While growing up, I can't even try and put a figure on the amount of times I was told to eat a big breakfast. My parents were very conscientious about it because I was a small child. “You need the energy,” my mother would say. Well breakfast can be a very important meal, but only when it is beneficial for our bodies. In this weeks blog post, we are going to explore the benefits of a healthy breakfast and negative results of an unhealthy breakfast.
Healthy meals equal positive effects
While any breakfast may be better than no breakfast, there are some foods you might want to avoid because they're high in sugars, sodium, saturated fats and calories. Cut back on sugary cereals (over 5.0 grams per serving), high-calorie pastries, and meats like bacon and sausage that are high in saturated fat and sodium. Breakfast should include protein and plenty of fiber; the combination will help satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time. The protein can come from low-fat meat, eggs, nuts or dairy products. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
A healthy breakfast doesn't need to be extravagant or take a long time to prepare. Try something simple like a hard boiled egg, whole grain toast and 100% fruit juice. And there's nothing wrong with a bowl of whole-grain cereal with berries and low-fat milk.
If you really don't like to eat breakfast, you can split it up into two smaller meals. Eat a hard boiled egg at home, and an hour or two later, take a break from work and snack on an apple and a handful of healthy nuts like pecans or walnuts.
Heavy meals have been known to produce a strain on the digestive system, which in turn drains your energy reserves. (Ever wondered why you feel exhausted after a big dinner and dessert?) Ironically, people eat because they need energy, but the process of digestion itself is anything but energizing to your body.
When you sleep at night, you’re giving your digestive system a break, and food from the day is getting a chance to move through your system to be eliminated the next morning. If you insist on having a big greasy breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes and hashbrowns as soon as you hop out of bed, you’re guaranteeing that you’re going to be needing an afternoon siesta. These common breakfast items are all difficult for your body to digest, and they will sit in your system for hours, using up all that energy you needed for other things, to break down those foods.
The word “breakfast” is no mistake. We all know that fasting helps the body to cleanse and detox itself. Most of us do not fast enough. We eat until late hours of the night, give our system a mere 6-8 hour break, then tax it again first thing in the morning by breaking our fast with a big heavy meal. We would be healthier if we learned to give our bodies more rest, and to truly fast from evening til late the next morning.