Sleep is perfect to revitalize the body, but it is not enough since when you wake up it will ask for fresh fuel. “Breaking your fast” is a key way to get your strength back, and if you do it the right way you can reap benefits throughout the day. This is where we ask ourselves: what is the perfect breakfast?
First of all, we need to understand that breakfast is how we break our overnight fast, and it does NOT have to be first thing in the morning. In fact, specialists say that if you’re not hungry when you wake up, that’s normal, and you don’t need to eat. The important thing is not to skip breakfast, because you could start with an energy deficit and have to draw on your energy reserves.
For many people, a healthy breakfast is cereal, toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, orange juice, eggs… Although every now and then is fine, consuming these products frequently for breakfast will affect your health in one way or another. Harvard Medical School says these familiar breakfast foods are unhealthy because the processed carbs and sugars cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, not unlike a dessert offering.
What is the perfect breakfast?
Of course, we can’t mention a specific one here, but a good breakfast will be one that provides some healthy protein, some slow-digesting carbohydrates, and some fruit or vegetables. Harvard University cites a vegetable omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast as a good breakfast, as does a bowl of high-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat or soy milk, along with a handful of of almonds or walnuts.
Dr. Monique Tello, a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, director of research and academic affairs for the MGH DGM Healthy Lifestyle Program, and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, mentions that a healthy breakfast can include fruit and vegetables, whole grains (unprocessed), and proteins and healthy fats. She also revealed what her breakfast is like:
- Frozen fruit: berries, mixed fruit, kale diced fruit, you name it. The fruit is frozen at its peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content may be better than what’s in the produce aisle.
- Nuts and/or seeds and/or grains of your choice: for example, unsalted nuts, seeds, or roasted grains, or a combination like a low-sugar granola.
- your favorite yogurt, ideally natural or low in sugar.
Harvard Medical School provides the following 4 tips to increase your energy naturally with breakfast
- Choose whole grains. High-fiber whole-grain cereals and breads can help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent a mid-morning energy crash.
- Include protein. Yogurt is a good option; Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. Eggs (up to one a day) are fine for healthy people. Although the yolks are high in cholesterol, eggs are high in protein, vitamins and other nutrients and do not appear to increase the risk of developing heart disease. You can also include foods that have healthy fats, such as those in nuts or salmon.
- Eat inside, not outside. You can enjoy a healthy breakfast on the go by sticking to oatmeal. But much of the traditional food will start the day with a lot of refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. Avoid fast food chain breakfasts.
- Make a smoothie for breakfast. Combine fruit, juice, yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, and other ingredients. Put them in the blender with a little ice and you will have a refreshing and energetic breakfast.
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