Your mother was right. A good breakfast is an important way to start every day. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to enjoy your first meal at the table. You can easily get great nutrition on the go with healthful smoothies.
Why breakfast is important
According to WebMD, people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity and elevated levels of bad cholesterol. They also score better on measures of memory and concentration. Although it isn’t known whether these people just happen to have healthier habits overall or if the habit of eating breakfast leads to better health, it is worth noting that breakfast:
• Gives you a head start at getting in vitamins and nutrients you need to be your best throughout the day.
• Provides fuel you need and boosts blood sugar levels for more energy after fasting all night.
• Helps you avoid binging on high calorie, high sugar foods later in the day.
Best nutrients for breakfast
Protein – In an article titled, Exactly How Much Protein to Eat at Breakfast to Burn Maximum Fat, author Stephanie Ekelkamp writes that consuming protein with breakfast can help you eat 400 fewer calories throughout the day and burn more fat, too. Protein promotes satiety and stabilizes blood sugar levels so you feel fuller longer and are less likely to overeat.
Fiber – Fiber keeps the digestive system running smoothly and fills you up.
Whole grains – Choose these slow-digesting carbs for a vitamin and nutrient boost that keeps your mind sharp for work and school tasks.
Calcium – Put this one on your list for strong bones and teeth.
These three smoothies help you get in the good stuff for a great start to any day.
Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
• 1 ½ cup orange juice (use calcium fortified)
• 2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
• ½ cup rolled oats
• 2 tablespoons flax oil
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 cup ice cubes
Puree the ingredients in a blender and enjoy immediately. Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market.
Healthy Coffee Banana Smoothie
• 1 cup chilled Seattle’s Best brewed coffee
• 1½ bananas, cut into chunks
• 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
• 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
• 2 tsp honey or agave nectar
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
• 6 ice cubes
Place all of the ingredients in a heavy-duty blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy. Serves 3. Recipe courtesy of Dara Michalski of Cookin’ Canuck.
The Best Three-Ingredient Avocado Smoothie
• 1 Avocado, cubed
• 2 frozen bananas, chopped
• 400 milliliters (14 ounces) milk
Place in blender and process until smooth. Simple and superb, serves 2. Recipe courtesy of Maggie Zhu of omnivorescookbook.com.
No more excuses for skipping the first meal. Breakfast is easy with a blender and a few common grocery items. Go ahead and treat yourself to a great start.