May 21, 2013

Breakfast too important to skip

Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It wakes up your body and metabolism and gives you energy. However, many of us are not naturally inclined to eating first thing in the morning, and skip breakfast.

For those who do not wake up hungry, having breakfast is easier if you try to eat it within two hours of waking up, not necessarily right away. Breakfast can be any food you like, but including a few key components will help you feel full longer and give you lasting energy.

Carbohydrates: Since these are known as quick energy, it makes sense to eat them to wake up. Choosing more complex carbohydrates (choices with fiber) will help that energy last. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruit and some dairy foods.

Fiber: Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that does not get digested in the same way that sugars and starches do. Since it helps slow digestion, fiber is especially important in the morning. Some good sources of fiber are whole grains, especially bran flakes or shredded wheat, and fruits or vegetables. 

Protein: Protein will help you feel full. Dairy is a great source of protein, as well as eggs, nuts and meats.

Try to include at least three food groups in your breakfast. Eating from more food groups at each meal helps to ensure you get enough from each one. Many breakfast choices can be quick, easy, inexpensive and hopefully too tasty to skip. Some ideas include:

Banana roll-ups: Spread peanut butter (or other nut butter) on a whole-wheat wrap, and wrap tightly around a banana. If you are taking this on the go, spread the peanut butter on the wrap and fold it in half and bag it. Peel and add the banana when you are ready to eat it. This prevents the ends of the banana from browning. 

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