It’s Monday morning and you’ve got a whole new week ahead of you. Whether its office, school, college or even a day at home, it’s time to get back to work. Here’s a good way to start your mornings on a bright note – have a tasty and healthy breakfast!
Who says food can’t make a difference?! Breakfast is not just a nutritional essential, but also sets the tone for the rest of the day. You may think skipping breakfast could help you save time or lose weight, but health experts have proven that skipping breakfast leads to fatigue and can cause you to make unhealthy food choices later in the day.
What everyone wants these days is not just a good tasty breakfast, but a healthy one as well. And for those late risers… a quick and easy one, too. So here are some fast and healthy breakfast ideas to help you start your day on the right note.
Eggs: Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients, and although they do contain a fair amount of cholesterol, what we choose to eat along with the eggs can make a huge difference. Some recent studies have found that eating eggs in conjunction with a low-fat diet does not affect cholesterol levels. One healthy option is to scramble the eggs with a little olive oil, red and green bell peppers, some broccoli, onions and black pepper. Scrambling eggs with low-fat cheese also makes a yummy breakfast that goes well with whole wheat toast. The traditional hard boiled egg is also a healthy favourite. And for those watching their cholesterol levels, it’s a good idea to discard the yolks and stick with the egg whites once in a while; you’ll get the protein benefit without the added fat and cholesterol.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron. Try adding fresh or frozen fruit to make oatmeal tastier. Sliced bananas are particularly good. A small fistful of frozen blueberries adds flavour to instant oatmeal. You can also add dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dates or sweetened shredded coconut. Studies show that eating oatmeal can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also, new research has found that oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, and can help reduce blood pressure.
Pancakes: Pancakes are considered a classic breakfast treat in certain cultures. Nutritionally, pancakes can be a bit high in sodium and fat, but that all depends on how they’re made. Pancakes can be a good source of calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin and protein. It’s always best to prepare homemade pancakes, since this allows you to improve the nutritional value by replacing white flour with whole wheat. You can also reduce the amount of sugar and add fresh fruits instead, while using a healthier type of oil.
French toast: Another quickie that can be cooked up in an instant. Although French toast may contain a lot of fat, as long as you have the right ingredients to make it healthy, you can still enjoy it without compromising on flavour. It’s best to use whole wheat bread, organic eggs and low-fat milk. You can also substitute egg whites for whole eggs to help reduce the fat and cholesterol content.
Fresh fruit salad: Cut up some apples, melons, berries, oranges, pears, bananas, grapes or any of your favorite fruits in a bowl. Then add a little bit of lime or lemon juice to it. It can also be served with a yogurt dip. It’s healthy, and perfect for the hot summer months.
Drinks: As for beverages, coffee and tea are old favourites, but fresh fruit and vegetable juices are generally healthier options. Remember… don’t buy bottled juice, but prepare freshly blended juice instead. The best part about blending your own is the sheer variety of vegetables and fruits that you can get in one sitting. Beetroot, ginger, apple, carrot and celery are all excellent choices for blending into a fresh vegetable/juice drink.
For those coffee lovers out there, note that coffee may not be harmful (when consumed in moderation), but other beverages such as milk and juice contain important nutrients that coffee does not. And unlike coffee, tea contains antioxidants that are important to the immune system. Drinking tea can reduce the risk of heart disease, protect your bones due to the presence of beneficial phytochemicals, and increase your metabolism. While coffee is not all evil, its benefits appear to be limited compared to those of drinking tea.
Always keep in mind that moderation is the best option. Get a taste of everything on the breakfast table, but don’t overdo it. Always heed the maxim, "Everything in moderation!"
It’s true. A healthy start can cast your early morning moodiness and blues right out the door. So get that Monday morning smile back on your face, and start your day with a delicious dose of nutritious energy. You don’t want to miss it! - Hewasa