“Eat breakfast fit for a king, a lunch fit for a prince, and the dinner of a poor man”.
This is the most often shared saying by Nutritionists, who almost unanimously agree about the importance of breakfast as the most important meal of the day.
Breakfast - literally “break the fast” - is important because in the morning, more than in any other moment of the day, our mind and body are in a particular need for "fuel".
According to several studies carried out in the United States and United Kingdom, it is one of the habits that promote longevity and well-being because:
- you eat less fats, more fibers and the right amount of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, iron and magnesium
- it supports memory and concentration, helps to study and work more efficiently, as well as to work more correctly, in comparison to those who skip breakfast
- especially in children, it helps concentration and sustains the body during prolonged efforts, such as studying and doing homework
- it helps prevent overeating: skipping breakfast can make you feel hungrier during the day, thus often causes people to eat prepackaged foods that are less nutritious and fatter
What to eat for breakfast
Unless one does a job that requires intense physical activity or in sports, for breakfast calcium, iron, fiber and essential nutrition substances are recommended:
Fruit. Apple, kiwi, melon, berries and citrus, whole or cut in pieces. You can prepare a fruit salad and an orange and grapefruit juice to ensure the right amount of vitamin C and a better absorption of iron.
Cereals. Many people get their fibers only at breakfast, it is thus a good idea to stock up on oats, wheat bran, oatmeal, and muesli, for heart and gut health.
Dry fruit. You can enrich your cereals with dry prunes, raisins, or other dry or dehydrated fruit, for an extra supply of fiber and potassium.
If you are used to eating muffins, cakes or toast, it is better to choose whole-wheat flours, that are less refined and richer in fibers.
Milk and yogurt. The right daily amount of calcium, proteins and vitamin B is contained in a cup of milk or yogurt, with some added fruit and cereals.
Eggs. Hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled eggs are surely a source of extra energy for days in which you need it, if you do at a physical job or for a Sunday morning breakfast.
Ideas for a quick breakfast
- If you are one of those who skip breakfast due to lack of time in the morning, here are some quick tips not to miss out on the most important meal of the day:
- Whisk in a cup of milk and yogurt some in-season fruit, banana, strawberry, apple or pear slices, with a spoonful of honey, one or two wheat bran or wheat germ spoonfuls.
- Put oatmeal to soak the night before, with two tablespoons of raisins in a cup of skimmed milk. In the morning, add a sliced apple or a chopped banana.
- Add to some low-fat yogurt, soy or rice milk, a handful of dry and dehydrated fruit and mix with a spoonful of honey.
- Prepare a fruit salad the night before and enjoy it with fresh orange and grapefruit juice.
- A valid alternative to milk and yogurt is low-fat goat ricotta with toasted whole-wheat bread and a handful of raisins.
Read also Breakfast in the morning.