Health

Breakfast … the most important meal of the day

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Getty Images

Starting your day with a good breakfast is one of the best health decisions you can make. Breakfast literally means “breaking your overnight fast”. Remember it could be at least 10 hours since your last meal, so it is important to refuel your body ready for another day.

Enjoying breakfast can help lift your mood and has been shown to help with improving concentration levels, behaviour and learning abilities in schoolchildren.

Breakfast and weight control

Although many people skip breakfast in an effort to reduce their food intake and lose weight, research shows that enjoying a high-fibre breakfast, may lead to eating less food later in the day. This is probably because high-fibre meals can be quite filling, so you are less likely to snack on high-fat and sugary foods mid-morning. In fact, eating breakfast is strongly associated with successful, well-maintained weight loss.

What makes a good breakfast?

It is important to make the most of your breakfast meal by including highly nutritious foods, such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, low-fat dairy or fortified soy products and nuts and seeds. Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt (such as takeaway options) as these will simply take up the space (and provide more kilojoules) of more nutritious foods. People who skip breakfast also generally find it difficult to achieve their daily nutrient requirements, so best to start packing in those nutrients early!

One of the most common reasons why people say they skip breakfast is that they believe they “don’t have enough time” in the morning. We have come up with some tasty and nutritious breakfast ideas which are quick and easy to prepare:

  • Wholegrain cereal such as Sanitarium Weet-Bix® topped with fresh or canned fruit and low-fat milk;

  • Peanut butter on wholegrain toast with a piece of fresh fruit;

  • Natural muesli topped with some low-fat yoghurt and chopped banana;

  • A chilled liquid breakfast like Sanitarium Up&Go®;

  • A piece of fruit and a glass of low-fat milk.

And for those with a bit more time in the morning, perhaps you could try the following:

  • Fruit smoothie with some of your favourite varieties, such as banana or berries;

  • Baked beans on wholegrain toast;

  • Toasted wholegrain English muffin topped with ricotta cheese and sliced tomato;

  • Porridge topped with sliced banana and a small handful of walnuts.

Your say: Which is your favourite meal of the day? What do you have for breakfast? Share with us below…

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