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Breakfast on the go, breakfast smoothie, breakfast bowl, breakfast cereal, English breakfast, veggie breakfast, or simply… skip-breakfast?
What’s your online search history most likely to disclose about your eating habits in the AM?
While breakfast has long been regarded as the most important meal of the day, there’s still a lot of confusion around its importance.
It has surely gained new meanings in the last few years with the increase in popularity of either intermittent fasting or the complete opposite; Instagramable meals dripping in sugary syrups and sprinkles such as pancake stacks, waffles, and granola bowls.
Is either of these trendy breakfast approaches right for you? What should an ideal breakfast include? How can you make the most of each breakfast opportunity? Read on to find out more.
To breakfast or not to breakfast
The answer is in the name – you “break” your “fast” when you eat your first food of the day.
This essentially means that you went on for an extended period (usually around 12 hours) without food and now you’ll need to break that cycle in order to replenish.
As simple as it may sound, the habit of having breakfast will feel somewhat unnatural if you find yourself reaching for the snacks cupboard or the fridge a few hours after dinner or in the middle of the night.
This habit can lead you to consume unnecessary calories, increases the risk of acid reflux, slows down digestion and disrupts sleep.1,2,3
Assuming your meal timings are correct, and you only ate to a place of comfortable fullness at dinner, you should find yourself feeling hungry upon waking up more often than not.
You’ll also notice how you may experience lots of highs and lows throughout the day and crave something sugary by mid-morning whenever you choose to skip breakfast.
Hence, to avoid imbalances in your blood sugar levels and the associated symptoms such as shakiness, headaches, weakness, sugar cravings or lack of concentration, it's recommended to have some food within the first hour of waking.4,5,6
Honey, what’s for breakfast?
There’s an old proverb that says ‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’.
In other words, it implies that breakfast is not only a meal that shouldn’t be missed but also the only one that should be abundant.
While that’s partly true, abundance shouldn’t usually refer to the volume of food or caloric density you eat for breakfast (these should be adapted to individual needs), but to the nutrition of your breakfast choice.
That’s why you must always aim for a balanced breakfast including all the major macronutrients (i.e., protein, carbohydrates and fats), fibre and as many micronutrients as possible.
Breakfast will then become a fantastic opportunity to start your day positively.
Breakfasts such as Organic Overnight Oats, a source of protein, copper, zinc and beta-glucans may support your energy, immunity and muscles.
They also protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce blood cholesterol levels, which are essential for you to perform at your best regardless of your activity levels and work set-up.
Handpicked content: Health benefits of oats
How do we create a balanced & delicious breakfast?
We've got four top tips on how to make your breakfast taste good while giving you all the nutrients you need.
Beware of the sugar content
Love sweet food for breakfast? Sugar is better provided from whole fruits, that will also include fibre (don’t peel apples, pears etc., that is where the great fibre is!).
Want to stay loyal to having cereal or porridge for breakfast? Why not try Naturya Keto Porridges?
Available in 3 tasty flavours so you will never get bored, they are made with fibre-rich chia, flax, and hemp seeds, and contain no added sugar – perfect for anyone looking for a grain-free and nutrient-dense breakfast option.
With magnesium, iron and up to 9.5g 10g of protein per serve, they’re great forcontributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
If you still haven’t perfected your porridge game or you’re simply looking for a breakfast option that tastes amazing with very little effort (literally ready in under 2 minutes!), meet the NEW Naturya organic Overnight Oats.
Available in 3 delicious flavours, they include gluten-free oats and a range of superfoods to deliver complex carbohydrates, up to 12g of protein per serving, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-glucans, copper, manganese, and vitamin C.
So, you’re not only getting a breakfast that tastes filling & is tasty, but also one that’s supportive of your muscle function, immunity, energy, and healthy cholesterol levels
While carbohydrates are rarely omitted from breakfast recipes, many people forget to include protein and fat in their breakfast.
Having all these three macronutrients with all your meals helps to set you off for a day of healthy choices.
Don't forget the fibre!
It's a great idea to get a good portion of your recommended daily intake of fibre with your breakfast if you want to stay fuller (bye-bye mid-morning hunger).
Fibre can help with the movement of food through the gut.7,8,9
There are two types of fibre - soluble and insoluble. Several plant-based foods are naturally high in fibre and super versatile, so you can either blend them into smoothies or sprinkle them over porridge, cereal and smoothie bowl.
These mighty seeds are a must-have in every healthy kitchen. They burst with fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and complex carbohydrates, meaning that they can be made into a balanced breakfast such as the Instagram-trendy Chia Puddings with no need for many other additions.
*However, if making a delicious Chia Pudding is still a minefield for you, Naturya NEW organic Chia+ blends combine just the right amount of chia seeds and organic superfood powders, so you’ll only have to mix them with milk or water to obtain a delicious Chia Pudding.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle them on yoghurt or cereal, blitz them into smoothies or use them as an egg replacement in baked breakfast recipes.
Want to try something new?
Enriched with over 5 billion live bacteria as well as calcium from seaweed to keep the digestive system healthy, Naturya Gut Feel flaxseed blends are now also available in 5 different flavours to delight your taste buds and calm a sweet tooth.
Not a fan of flaxseed or chia? There are plenty of other nutritious sprinklers and toppers you can add to your breakfast, including:
- Cacao nibs
- Barley grass powder
- Goji berries
And finally, don't forget about micronutrients!
Have you ever wondered why nutrients are categorised as either “macro” or “micro”?
Macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) received their name because we need them in large quantities to provide energy in the form of ATP to run all the metabolic reactions in the body, but these reactions are jumpstarted by enzymes.
Whereas micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals), although needed in smaller quantities, play an equally important role in the body as they act as cofactors to allow these enzymes to work.9,10,11
While there are around 30 vitamins and minerals we need to consume regularly and these can’t be produced by the body (except for vitamin D), don’t allow that to intimidate you!
Most whole foods contain an abundance of different vitamins and minerals which each can serve multiple functions in the body.
Handpicked content: The micronutrients you need in your diet
The final say
- Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to replenish and feed your body all the macro and micronutrients it needs to function
- Breakfast should be adapted to individual needs (energy and dietary requirements and eating schedule), but that is simpler than you’d think
- As a rule of thumb, you’ll want your breakfast to include complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fibre and a variety of vitamin and mineral-rich whole foods
Last updated: 18 May 2022