You’ve heard it since elementary school: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But when you wake up and hit the snooze button and are left with only twenty minutes to get ready for class, it is easy to skip breakfast altogether. In fact it is estimated that 12 to 34 percent of teens regularly miss their morning meal.
Eating breakfast can help you maintain a healthy weight and even perform better in school. Along with sleep and exercise, eating a healthy breakfast is the best way to recharge your batteries. Those who eat a morning meal tend to make healthier food choices throughout the day, which can positively impact weight and long-term health. In addition, breakfast supplies essential nutrients to the nervous system that rev up brain power. Studies suggest that eating a healthy breakfast improves brain function, particularly memory and recall. Eating a healthy breakfast before studying could be what earns you those few key points on the exam.
How do we know what ingredients add up to a healthy breakfast? Try to fit it to this equation: Whole Grains + Fruits and Vegetables + Protein. Here are some examples from each category:
- Whole-wheat toast, English muffin, or tortilla: When you choose white flour over whole wheat, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron.
- Oats: Oats are complex carbohydrates, meaning they will not spike your blood sugar and are slow to digest. They also have a very high fiber content! Oats also contain potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Fruits and vegetables:
- Blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. They can counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.
- Avocado contains vitamins A, B, C, E, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Its greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and alleviation of depression.
- Apples: Three a day can help decrease cholesterol by 10 percent. They are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Tomatoes: Contain vitamin A and C. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been proven to halt the growth of cancer cells.
- Eggs: The yolk contains the nutrients tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein.
- Low-fat dairy products: High in both protein and calcium. Just a cup of light nonfat yogurt, for example, gives you a third of your daily recommended calcium intake.
- Smoked salmon: Salmon is loaded with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D and vitamin B.
Looking for a healthy breakfast at the DC? Try the new SPE Oatmeal Bar! Great tasting oats with a variety of toppings to choose from. If you are looking for more try adding some nut butter or fresh fruit from the salad bar. Occasionally you will find spelt cereal there for a change of pace. Enjoy!