"Breaking the fast" is key to powering you up in the morning. By starting your day on a more balanced footing, you will be able to kickstart your metabolism and give your body the boost it needs to keep you going throughout the day.
According to research, breakfast can provide a substantial amount of your day’s total nutrient intake. People who eat breakfast are more likely to consume the right amount of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals throughout the day. In fact, eating a balanced breakfast helps reduce cravings, overeating and unnecessary snacking later in the day as it helps you feel fuller for longer.
But where do you start? An ideal breakfast has a healthy dose of protein, fibre, and vitamins and minerals. Mix it all up, and what do you get? Fuel for your body and brain. A well-balanced breakfast that meets your nutritional needs can improve your concentration, helping you perform better at work and play.
Power up on protein
A high-protein breakfast can boost your metabolism and keep your body powered up as you tackle the day. This is because protein provides energy to the body while helping it build strong muscles and bones.
We should be getting up to 30% of our total daily kilojoule intake from protein, depending on age, gender and lifestyle. Studies have shown that eating around 30g of protein for breakfast slows the release of hormones that trigger feelings of hunger. It also increases the release of satiety hormones, so you’ll feel fuller for longer.
However, you want to be sure that the proteins you choose aren’t too high in saturated fat. Good, healthy options include low-fat dairy, lean meat, eggs, beans, protein shakes and oily fish, like salmon.
Keep it going with fibre
Adding fibre to your breakfast has countless benefits for your digestive system, but the average person falls short of meeting their recommended fibre intake of between 25g and 30g daily. Fibre aids in the digestive process, and high-fibre foods also contribute to the sensation of fullness, making you less likely to reach for those sugary snacks.
Breakfast foods that are high in fibre include apples, oranges, avocados, various berries, whole-grain bread, beans, nuts and seeds.
Remember: for a completely balanced breakfast, be sure to add some protein to your fibre-rich foods. Together, protein and fibre create a sensation of satiety, helping keep hunger pangs at bay until lunchtime.
Add a mix of vitamins and minerals
Balanced breakfasts should also be packed with vitamins and minerals. Typically referred to as micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are needed in much smaller amounts than macronutrients like carbs, proteins and fats. However, it’s important that we include them in our breakfasts as the body can’t produce its own micronutrients; it extracts them from our food.
Foods like milk, yoghurt, and cheese contain calcium, magnesium and zinc, and these nutrients support the immune system and help keep our teeth and bones strong and healthy. Fruit and vegetables contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals, and a good way to make sure you’re getting enough of each is to vary your diet by eating many different kinds of food. So, add that extra slice of avocado, handful of berries or bunch of spinach leaves to your breakfast – it’s the fuel your body needs to keep you healthy.
Good ol’ H2O
The last ingredient for a more balanced breakfast is water. Starting your day with a glass of water can have many health benefits, including better blood circulation and more efficient regulation of your body temperature. Six to eight hours is a long time to go without water, so hydrating the body after a nights’ rest should be a priority – we are made up of 60% water, after all.
Keeping the body hydrated both internally and externally will not only help you feel good, but it’ll help you look fabulous, too. While drinking enough water helps you maintain peak physical and mental performance throughout the day, it also helps improve your overall complexion. In addition, drinking water first thing in the morning can kickstart your metabolism, increase your alertness, and naturally stimulate movement in the bowels.
Having a meal after waking up might be the single most important food decision of your day. Apart from giving your body the energy boost it needs, a protein-, fibre-, and vitamin- and mineral-rich breakfast is just as important for focus and concentration and meeting your health goals.
Find out more about how the benefits of breakfast can last well beyond your morning routine and get delicious My Herbalife Breakfast recipes and tips by visiting the website: myherbalifebreakfast.co.za. Shake it, Drink it and Live it with Herbalife Nutrition.
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