(Be sure to try my amazing, healthy and nutritious oatmeal recipe at the end of this post! And let me know if you like it!)
When you get up in the morning, you’ve been fasting for many hours. Plus, while you were sleeping, your body was working hard to recuperate so you can feel rested when you wake up. So your body needs refueling. It’s tempting with our busy schedules to run out of the door as quickly as possible without eating breakfast. Or sometimes we simply decide we’ll pick up something later when we get hungry. However research findings reveal this is not the best way to go. At least not for the average person. Since nutrition plays a big role on our productivity, you need to start your day with a healthy nutritious breakfast.
Avoid Skipping Breakfast
As the Harvard Business Review explains, it is not recommended to skip breakfast.
“Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance … Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.”
However, they go on to explain that some foods like bread and cereal release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. While others, like high-fat meals provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, which reduces oxygen levels in the brain and makes us sleepy.
That explains why the Mayo Clinic suggests that in order to get a healthy nutritious breakfast, you should select at least three of these four food groups: carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
“… these food groups provide … a combination that packs health benefits and helps you feel full for hours. Carbs will give you energy right away, and the protein will give you it later on. Fiber keeps you feeling full.“
The Most Important Meal of the Day
According to this article on WebMD, many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration.
Other benefits of eating breakfast have been reported as follows:
- It allows you to eat certain healthy foods your body needs, that you may not get a chance to eat later on in the day — like grains, fruits and dairy.
- By not skipping breakfast you may avoid getting too hungry and falling for high-fat and high sugar foods, like a muffin, bun or doughnut.
- Since food is fuel, eating a healthy nutritious breakfast will help you feel good, alert and perform better at work.
- Some researchers have found that on average people who eat breakfast are thinner than those who don’t.
What’s in a Healthy Nutritious Breakfast
It’s recommended to eat a combination of these four food groups to get the most benefits out of your breakfast.
- Whole grains: Like whole grain cereal, toast, or bagel, granola and oatmeal (choose the regular rolled oats and not those instant oatmeal packets that are loaded with sugar).
- Lean Protein: Like hard-boiled eggs, low-fat peanut or almond butter, and nuts.
- Low fat dairy: Like low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese (such as cottage cheese).
- Fruits and vegetables: Like fruit and vegetable smoothies (without added sugar), and fresh or frozen fruit that you add-on to your cereal or granola and yogurt mix.
Try this Amazing Oatmeal Recipe!
This recipe — once given to me by a nutritionist that I really trust — not only tastes great but combines the four food groups recommended. Making it the perfect solution to a healthy nutritious breakfast. If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, mix the ingredients in advance, like the night before (I even prepare more than one serving at a time). And keep the mix in the fridge.
1 tablespoon of oatmeal (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon of buckwheat (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds and 4 almonds cut in pieces, or 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds (I buy organic Cold Milled Golden Flax Seed)
6 dried apricots cut in pieces (organic apricots are dark brown)
1 cup of soy milk (I replace it with almond milk)
In the microwave: Use a medium to large bowl to prevent spillover. Heat 1 minute at a time, 3 to 4 times, depending on the texture you like. I normally cook a total of 3 minutes.
On the stove: Bring to a boil for 1 minute and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Let it stand until you get the desired texture.
Eat it with a bit of soy or almond milk and voilà! Quick, delicious, healthy and filling.
There’s a great way to jump-start your day, and be ready for a productive day at work!
Do you have a favorite recipe that’s quick and easy to prepare, healthy and delicious? I’d love to know what your tricks are!
Let me know in the comment section below!