Why you should eat breakfast
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health.
Question: I’m looking for different options for breakfast, as I’m a bit bored with the muesli I have most mornings. What are some nutritious breakfast options?
There is one piece of advice that most nutritionists reach unanimous agreement with and that is the importance of eating breakfast. Starting your day with the right nutrition is as essential as keeping the petrol tank in your car topped up with the right fuel.
Evidence suggests eating a nourishing breakfast is one of the best habits you can adopt to improve your health and wellness. Its many benefits include everything from improved mental function to weight loss, weight management and improved mood.
Turn convention on its head and opt for a breakfast high in plant foods. Try lightly steamed or stir-fried vegetables with a fistsized serving of protein or start the day with a green smoothie. Higher protein breakfasts decrease ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone) while high-carb breakfasts can do the opposite. Having said that, you know your body better than anyone else does and what fuels you may differ. Many people enjoy bircher mueslis or homemade nut-based mueslis and feel energised by these choices.
Paying attention to what gives you energy and vitality is critical in helping you better understand the needs of your individual body.
Nourishing breakfast ideas:
Omelette filled with greens and herbs.
Bircher muesli made with oats (if tolerated), nuts and seeds and a small amount of fruit, preferably fresh.
For a quick breakfast on the run try avocado and lemon juice or nut butter on good quality toast.
Poached eggs with greens with/ without good quality toast.
Breakfast smoothie with berries, banana, nuts or seeds or avocado and greens.
Question: I’m an office snacker, I find myself eating things I wouldn’t normally eat at home just because it’s in front of me at work, do you have any tips to avoid this mindless snacking?
Many people find themselves reaching for food when they’re not truly hungry whether that is at work, home or while studying. Overeating or mindless eating Email your questions for Dr Libby to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered.
often comes from emotional pain, boredom, or when seeking energy (typically in the afternoon slump). Dehydration can also play a role.
If you are a stress snacker, a five-minute walk or stretching in the park at the end of the street can resolve the need that you may try and fulfil with a packet of chips or a giant cookie.
However, for many people a barrier to nourishing food choices is having healthy and nourishing choices available. So by having your own nourishing snacks on hand such as seed and nut balls, or a piece of fruit, you reduce the reliance on bought snacks which can contain poor quality fats, salt, refined sugar and preservatives.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. Dr Libby’s new book
is available at all good bookstores and from drlibby.com.
A fruit smoothie is a quick alternative if you need breakfast on the go.