Updated: Oct 20, 2021
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why?
For starters, let's break down the name. Break-fast. When you eat breakfast, you are ending your overnight fast. When you are fasting, your body is using it's every stores to keep your bodily processes working overnight. Overnight your body is focused on recovering and recharging from the day before. This process overnight is one of the reasons why getting adequate sleep every night is so important! To make sure your body is able to be restored to it's best, breaking your overnight fast with a nutritious breakfast is very important to maintain your energy and nutrient stores.
An interesting cohort study using NHANES data found that when individuals skipped breakfast, they were are a higher risk for nutritional gaps in their diet. They found that when an individual skipped breakfast, and missed eat typical breakfast foods such as fruit, high-fiber cereals, and calcium-containing foods, they also tended to not eat these foods throughout the rest of their day. Therefore, missing the boat on getting some essential nutrients.
In addition to prioritizing vitamin- and mineral-containing foods at breakfast foods, I recommend having some element of carbohydrate at breakfast time. This can help wake up your brain and help that sluggish feeling in the morning. This is because carbohydrates are digested and broken down into individual sugars, or glucose, in your blood stream. Your brain prefers to use glucose as it's energy source. So, introducing some carbohydrate in your breakfast can help get your brain and body moving.
Choosing a carbohydrate that is a good source of fiber is even better. This could include:
High-fiber cold cereal
Whole grain bread/muffins/English muffins
Vegetables (eg, veggie egg cups, veggie omlete)
Starting your day with a high fiber breakfast helps you get enough fiber throughout the entire day. Getting at least 25 grams of fiber or more per day for women, and 38 grams for men, can help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Eating a regular breakfast can also help control your hunger throughout the entire day. This can prevent energy crashes, accidentally over eating, and the dreaded "hangry" feeling.
Sometimes making breakfast in the morning can be a challenge. That is why I love to prep my breakfasts the night before. Here are 3 heart-healthy breakfast ideas that are high in fiber to try this week!
Banana and Blackberry Flaxseed Smoothie
1 cup plain kefir
1 small frozen banana
½-1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1 tbsp flaxseed1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
Drink immediately or store in a mason jar in the fridge
Egg white Bites with Arugula, Red Pepper and Feta
4 cups of egg whites
1 cup of red pepper, diced
1 cup of arugula, roughly chopped
½ cup of crumbled feta
¼ tsp salt¼ tsp pepper
Canola cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 12-count muffin tray with cooking spray
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt and pepper and gently whisk together
Divide toppings and cheese among the egg cups, then fill the rest of the way with the seasoned egg whites
Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, or until the eggs are set
Remove the egg bites from the molds to a cooling rack, and store in the fridge once cooled
Kefir Overnight Oats
½ cup dry rolled oats
1 cup plain kefir
½ cup frozen raspberries
½-1 cup of your favorite berry
1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
Combine all ingredients in a plastic or glass tupperware container and sit in the fridge overnight