I’m sure you have heard it said many (MANY) times before.
‘Don’t forget to eat your breakfast!’
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!’
But is it really?
Funnily enough, like with most old wives tales, there is actually a considerable amount of truth behind this statement.
Breakfast literally means to break ones fast.
During the night while we sleep, the body is ultimately resting and recovering from the accumulation of the previous day’s physical, mental, and emotional stress. This requires the efficient utilization of the body’s energy stores, and is often associated with a significant reduction in resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy our body requires to function at rest).
When we wake, the body is therefore essentially running on fumes.
We have used most of our energy stores during the night on the various recovery processes required to maintain the health and functioning of the human body.
This lack of energy can have serious implications in our ability to function throughout the day.
It can lead the feelings of drowsiness and lethargy, and have negative effects on both our physical and cognitive performance, influencing our memory, cognitive processing, and problem solving abilities .
Additional to the various negative that skipping breakfast can have on our daily performance, it can also have a number of negative impacts on our health.
Firstly, it has been demonstrated that individuals who eat breakfast daily are at a significantly lower risk of developing type II diabetes than those who eat breakfast irregularly . Similar results have been seen when looking at coronary heart disease, with those individuals who eat breakfast regularly at much lower risk than those who do not .
Additionally, skipping breakfast has also been associated with increased weight gain, with those individuals who either eat breakfast irregularly, or skip it all together, reporting higher measures of body weight and fat mass than those who eat breakfast regularly .
So, if we were to summarise the positive effects of eating breakfast daily they would be as follows:
Reduced risk of type II diabetes and Coronary heart disease.
Improved physical and mental performance throughout the day.
Reduced weight gain.
Pretty good right?
Now for the downside.
We are busy.
Between getting kids ready for school, rushing off to work, remembering (or forgetting) to pack our gym bag, organising our lunch etc. etc. etc. breakfast is often missed.
And while a cup of coffee as you walk through the doors at work in the morning might make you feel a little better, it will not provide you with either the energy needed to get through the day, or the health benefits associated with eating breakfast regularly.
So we have put together a few breakfast ideas that will help save you time in the morning, making it easier to get the numerous benefits that come with eating a regular breakfast!
Prepare Breakfast the Night Before
This one is pretty simple, but makes a lot of sense.
One of the most common excuses people come up with when describing why they skipped breakfast is that they ‘do not have the time to make breakfast’.
So, by making breakfast the night before, you can save yourself a HUGE amount of time.
And as a bonus?
You don’t even have to eat it when you wake up!
If you still feel too busy in the morning to eat, you can store it in a Tupperware container and take it to work with you where it can be eaten when you get to the office, or even during the commute to the office (assuming you are a passenger… I do not condone ‘eat driving’).
Some simple meal ideas that can be stored easily overnight include oatmeal, yoghurt and fruit, sandwiches, and even mini omelettes or quiches.
If you do have to drive to work, but are still after an easy breakfast that you can consume during your commute, you cannot look past a smoothie!
Smoothies are super simple to prepare, can be stored easily overnight, and can be made with a heap of variety, so there is no chance you will get bored with them!
And additionally, they can be stored in simple drink containers that can be taken to work, or consumed during the daily commute.
Stock up on fruit and nuts
If you are one of those people who have pretty inconsistent schedules and eat breakfast intermittently as result, where some days you manage to get in a full breakfast, and on others don’t eat until dinner, this solution is for you.
Fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals that promote the healthy functioning of the mind and body, while also providing the energy required to get through the day.
Nuts are full of important ‘good’ fats that promote cell health and proper endocrine function.
As such a simple breakfast of a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts can provide you with the essential nutrients you need to keep you going all day.
Both fruits and nuts can be easily stored, are extremely accessible (and often quite cheap), and won’t take long to eat.
Additionally, they can be stored at work or even in the car, so if you find yourself leaving the house without even any thought of food, you can still get in a quality, healthy breakfast.
Keep protein powder on hand
The third and final recommendation is a fairly simple one (simple is often best!), but it undoubtedly works.
Protein power comes in many shapes and forms, which makes it perfect for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan or vegetarian, and even suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
It comes in a variety of flavours, which make it quite versatile, and can actually be integrated into the cooking of various healthy snacks such as protein bars and protein balls (and can obviously be drunk, as a protein shake).
Protein powder often contains essential vitamins and minerals that promote gut health and energy, and as such can be a simple breakfast option that can be used at home, at work, or in the car.
Additionally, most people don’t actually get enough protein through their regular diets, and the inclusion of a protein shake for breakfast can go a long way in helping people meet their recommended dietary guidelines, which can help overall health and longevity.
So there you have it, 3 incredibly simple breakfast ideas that can save you time, while also providing you with all the benefits that come with eating a healthy breakfast!
1. Mahoney, C. R., Taylor, H. A., Kanarek, R. B., & Samuel, P. (2005). Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children.Physiology & behavior, 85(5), 635-645. Retrieved From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16085130
2. Mekary, R. A., Giovannucci, E., Cahill, L., Willett, W. C., van Dam, R. M., & Hu, F. B. (2013). Eating patterns and type 2 diabetes risk in older women: breakfast consumption and eating frequency. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 98(2), 436-443. Retrieved From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23761483
3. Cahill, L. E., Chiuve, S. E., Mekary, R. A., Jensen, M. K., Flint, A. J., Hu, F. B., & Rimm, E. B. (2013). Prospective study of breakfast eating and incident coronary heart disease in a cohort of male US health professionals.Circulation, 128(4), 337-343. Retrieved From: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/128/4/337