My recommendations for an ideal breakfast
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – La Rouchefoucauld
As the sun wakes up shifting the curtain of the night with its powerful rays, it’s time for us to wake up to another healthy day. Our night may have been dark and we may have slept covering ourselves with blankets of bad moods, tired muscles and exhausted brains but a good breakfast could help us kick start our sluggish brains, a sleepy metabolism and a grumpy mood.
The Chinese say that, ‘He that takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skills of the physician.’ In this fast paced world of workaholics we often hear people say that they have no time for breakfast. After almost eight to twelve hours of fasting, one certainly needs to pay great attention to this first meal of the day which is rightly called ‘break fast’.
A healthy breakfast helps improve the mood, boosts brain power, helps perform better mentally and physically with better concentration. It also helps maintain a healthy body weight and reduces cholesterol. Having gone without energy for a long period, a healthy breakfast helps start production of enzymes crucial for igniting the metabolism of the body. It in fact helps improve overall nutrition. A healthy nutritional breakfast sets a good tone for the day. One therefore needs to prioritize this first meal of the day as breakfast eaters have a higher daily intake of micronutrients and are more likely to meet their recommended nutrient intake of nutrients such as zinc, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium. This first meal of the day then promotes more strength and endurance.
A breakfast plate or parcel must contain fresh whole nutrient dense foods. If pressed for time you could do with just a hard boiled egg and a fruit. Artificial sweeteners must however be avoided as they cripple the endocrine system which is responsible for production of hormones that keep the metabolism working. Coffee and tea being a part of breakfast for the majority of people, coffee being diuretic one needs to remember to increase the intake of water and in place of tea one could be a little more selective and go in for green tea.
From the main food groups namely; whole grains cereals, protein sources such as eggs, beans and nuts, fruits, vegetables and dairy products, the goal should be to include at least two to three such food groups daily if not all. For example, if you are having a bowl of oats for your breakfast, you are certainly getting a whole grain in the form of these oats and also a dairy product with the milk and to further enhance it you could add a fruit. Breakfast need not be complicated or take a lot of your time. If you are ‘on the go’ kind of a person, you could fill yourself up with small nutritionally dense foods such as a handful of nuts, a scrambled egg sandwich or a glass of milk which has tones of calcium which helps keep bones strong.
If you have some favorite foods you could make them less repetitive by making variations. If for instance oats are your favorite you could repeat them as an oat chivda or an oat kichdi or an oat bhakri.
Oats are ideal breakfast foods as they are high in fiber, have a low level of fat, high level protein, they remove bad cholesterol, high in iron. They are gluten free [oats lack many of the ‘prolamines’ (proteins) found in wheat gluten] but contain ‘lignans’ which is a protein that protects against heart disease and cancer. Oats also contain a unique anti-oxidant called ‘avenanthramides’. Oats are also good for people with ARF (acute renal failure). Oat meal has low GI (glycemic load) that stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces risks of diabetes. Also a low GI is associated with healthier body weight and improved blood cholesterol levels and stabilized blood glucose levels and reduced risks of cardio vascular disease.
It’s the need of the hour in the clock of our life that we begin to pay attention to our morning meal and understand the importance of breakfast. If we wish to live a life free of illnesses, a life full of zest, a life full of vigor and energy then we need to be more attentive towards the breakfast plate allowing it to be full of colors from nature’s bounty so that our life will not get dulled with the aches and pains arising out of careless or ignorant food habits.
To sum it up I would like to say that those who think they have no time for breakfast will sooner or later have to find time for illness.