The well-known saying goes: "Eat your breakfast alone, share your lunch with a friend, then give your dinner to an enemy." But we know how hard sometimes it is to cook a nutritious meal when you're in a rush. Though ignoring morning meals can be dangerous for your health and productivity.
So is there a way for you to get a wholesome breakfast when pursuing new career highs? We're answering this question here, so dive in to know it too!
Why is it essential for your health and productivity to have breakfast?
Dietarians repeatedly tell us not to miss our breakfast. Still, our careers and everyday tasks outweigh their statements, taking too much of our time. So the most that you can catch in the morning is to have a cup of coffee, not even mentioning a balanced meal.
And that's a common problem — among U.S. residents, 25% are continually missing their breakfasts, states The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research also claims subjects consume only 16% of the daily calorie norm with breakfast, compared to 44% with dinner. Can such a lifestyle affect our health and productivity?
It definitely can! And you'd be shocked how strongly — University of Iowa research states those who skip breakfast have an 87% higher risk to die from heart diseases compared to breakfast eaters. The study claims that you enhance your chances of getting high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes by ignoring morning meals.
If you don't eat during the morning, you will have a low appetite and metabolism. "Bad cholesterol" level in your blood will rise, which leads to stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, if you don't get your morning food, you become more susceptible to bad habits like smoking or heavy drinking.
According to the University of Leeds research, skipping breakfast also affects your cognitive function, declining brain excitability, causing a slower response, and reducing attention. So not only your health suffers from it, but also mental performance and productivity do.
But let's not focus too much on the opposing sides of skipping breakfast because there are much more benefits of taking a morning meal that you should know.
How can you benefit from eating breakfast daily?
Every professional wants to stay energized without losing time or consuming extra calories, so try to eat breakfast habitually. And that's not just to have healthy nutrition — eating morning meals can bring lots of various benefits to your life. Take a look at the list of them:
Control your weight
The main benefit of eating breakfast is maintaining a healthy diet and good shape of your body. The study from Loma Linda University proves that by eating breakfast daily and making it the largest meal of the day, you can prevent weight gain in the long-term. At the same time, it showed subjects who ate morning meals lost weight quicker than those who skip breakfast. So make sure you grab your early food if you want to stay fit.
Get an energy boost
After getting up, our body lacks glycogen because we haven't eaten anything for the whole night. Thus, when it uses all the energy from recycling glycogen, it will begin breaking fatty acids. But suppose you don't get something to eat in the meantime. In that case, acids will oxidize partially, making you sluggish and sleepy, states Australian dietitians.
By eating your morning meal, you supply your body with the energy it needs, restore your glycogen level, and turn on your digestive system. And what is more important, you get the power to stay active throughout the day.
Power-up your brain productivity
No career pro wouldn't like to stand out from colleagues and perform working tasks more effectively. That's where eating breakfast could also be beneficial. According to the Harvard Business piece, our brain needs glucose to function normally, and food is the primary source. Numerous studies state morning meals can improve your memory, problem-solving abilities, concentration and enhance mood.
So you don't need any training or courses like "How to boost your productivity in 5 steps". Just eat your breakfast and show better results in the long run.
Get the necessary nutrients
The last but not the minor value of taking food in the morning is that it delivers all elements our body needs. Popular morning meals like cereals or eggs are rich in micronutrients necessary for you to stay invigorated and productive.
The University College Dublin survey reveals that breakfast eaters consume less sugar, more fiber, iron, folate, and calcium, along with vitamins C and A. Besides, the Healthy Eating Index that measures the diet quality is higher among people who don't ignore morning meals.
But wait, does that mean you can eat anything in the morning and continue to stay healthy and energized? That wouldn't work, as the University of Worcester study states that regular breakfast doesn't deliver significant health benefits. It's time for us to figure out the best products for breakfast when you're busy and which you better avoid staying energized.
What should you eat for breakfast when you're busy?
The right choice of products for morning food intake is how you make the most out of this meal in terms of energy and productivity. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a wholesome meal for the morning should consist of fruits, low-fat proteins, healthy fats, and whole-grain foods. Let's look at the exact list of products beneficial for your early morning meal.
The worldwide popular morning dish is oats, served as porridge. But we eat them not just because British people chose them as a prominent world's breakfast. Oats are rich in fiber and magnesium, ease the insulin response, and contain vitamins E and B, as states by the Harvard School of Public Health. The survey highlights that oatmeal should be sugar-free if we want to get all the healthy benefits.
Another survey about the oatmeal breakfast, conveyed by Nutrition Impact LLC, shows children who choose oats as a morning meal have a higher diet quality. Besides, they get higher fiber, magnesium, and calcium intakes than other breakfast eaters.
Besides, it's effortless to cook - pour in some hot water, add your favorite topping, and it's ready. So consider the oatmeal as one of the most wholesome breakfasts when you're in a rush.
There's nothing better than fried eggs with a crispy toast after waking up. But how healthy are eggs if taken on breakfasts? Firstly, eggs are an indispensable source of micronutrients. Imagine, one egg contains more than 7 vitamins, claims the University of Southern California study. What's more, it has 5 grams of healthy fats and 6 grams of protein.
Saint Louis University research proved that consuming eggs in combination with a diet increases the weight loss effect. Even one egg per day will lower your risk of stroke or heart disorders, says American Heart Association.
They're also good for your eyes, including lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants, which lowers the cataract risk and are exceptionally relevant for computer workers. Plus, cooking eggs is fast — boil them or roast for 5-7 minutes to get your morning food and save time on breakfast preparations.
Fruits and veggies
You're probably tired of hearing about the positive effects of fruits and vegetables on a diet. But eating some of them after waking up will help you get an energy boost, satisfy your hunger, and support your health.
Fruits are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and natural sugars, which give our body the necessary power and strengths to live through the day. The study made by Iranian scientists also says consuming veggies and fruits makes us happier. Remember that fruits and vegetables are just a supplement for the main dish or a snack between meals because eating them alone will not be enough for you to produce energy.
But you can easily add fruits to your main breakfast meal, be it oat porridge, yogurt, or pancakes. Just chop an apple or add frozen berries to make your early eating healthier without wasting time.
There's an easy solution if you don't even have 5 minutes to cook but need to stay productive during the hard work day and stick to a healthy diet — take a bowl of yogurt! According to the American Society for Nutrition study, yogurt manages to supply you with energy without getting extra calories. It is a nutrient-dense food rich in calcium, magnesium, and dairy protein.
But what is an even more powerful morning meal than yogurt? It's a yogurt and fruit mix, for sure! Numerous studies have proved eating yogurt and berries lowers your risks of getting metabolic syndrome, reduces blood pressure, and even prevents diabetes. Plus, yogurt is more energy-dense than other dairy products, so it's a true champion in giving you more energy for the upcoming day.
The greatest thing about yogurt is that it's easy to prepare — you can get it out of the fridge, open it and add frozen berries, fruits, or nuts. You can replace plain yogurt with popular greek yogurt or skyr — Icelandic fat-free dairy product, extremely rich in protein. It will take you up to 3 minutes, making this meal convenient if you're a busy career person.
Energy-killers products to avoid eating for breakfast
Aside from wholesome, energizing products, some foods make you dizzy and tired even at the beginning of the day. So it'd be better for you to avoid eating them at the beginning of the day to maintain your energy on a high level. Here are these energy-killers products:
Bakery and pastry products
Muffins, bagels, cinnabons, and other bakeries are a true guilty pleasure if we eat them for breakfast. According to the research, bakery and pastry products contain refined carbohydrates that increase blood sugar, leading to inflammation. In turn, our brain begins to work slowlier and less effectively. Still, it's not so bad to take a muffin on your lunch a couple of times a week, but better avoid eating it regularly for an early meal.
It's a common habit to eat processed foods for morning meals if you're in a hurry. Of course, just heating frozen nuggets or crepes will save your time, but would it give you enough energy? No, as processed foods digest easier than whole foods. That means they give us quick power that will drop sharply not so long after. What's more, processed foods contain high sodium, sugar, and fat, which cause obesity, heart disorders, and diabetes.
The perfect morning food shouldn't be too hard for your digestive system but also filling. But some of us chose low-calorie products to stay fit. Karolinska Institute's study states this approach is fundamentally wrong. With it, your body will receive fewer calories than it needs, leading to hormonal imbalances, energy drain, and muscle loss. So to keep up with your daily routine without fatigue, it's better to say "no-no" to low-calorie products and choose balanced breakfasts.
Tips on how to make a wholesome breakfast if you're busy
Congrats, you're already aware which products are the finest for the morning meal and which you should better avoid, so you've made the first step towards an energizing diet. Now let's see how you can fasten breakfast preparation if you're super busy:
- Make a plan of meals for the week. So you wouldn't hang around the fridge wondering what to cook
- Always have the products for a wholesome early meal in your fridge. You won't have time to visit the store
- Put out the products for breakfast like oats, veggies, and fruits, or jam in the evening to save your morning time
- Prepare your bowl or yogurt in advance, so you can quickly grab it before going to work
- Make overnight oats. Combine oats with yogurt the evening before and leave them in the fridge, so you'll have a healthy and quick meal before work
- Use the microwave for heating. It will fasten the cooking and save you more time.
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