Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

As we work with patients to improve their diet, we continue to be amazed at how few people eat breakfast. Most either skip it entirely, or drink coffee and eat sugary pastries instead.
A healthy breakfast is the cornerstone of a good diet. It is a meal that provides the opportunity to eat a serving of whole grains, a digestible protein, and have a serving or two of fruit. The energy from a healthy breakfast can carry you through your morning in a more stable way than by eating stimulating foods such as sweets and coffee.
Studies have shown, for example, that people can lower their cholesterol by eating breakfast. This is due to several factors. Breakfasts tend to be high in fiber (fruit, oatmeal, whole grain cereals) which absorb cholesterol in the intestines for removal from the body. More importantly, however, when we skip breakfast, our bodies go for 10-16 hours with no outside source of energy. Our chemistry begins to shift to a mode of starvation, which increases appetite and changes how our bodies regulate blood sugar. We then tend to crave high fat and high carbohydrate foods and binge later in the day, resulting in taking in more calories than we need just as our bodies are primed to store energy in the form of fat.
If you are trying to improve your diet and nutrition and stay healthy as you age, eat a good breakfast every day. Vary your foods and try to get some protein if you have problems regulating your blood sugar.
To get you started, here's a recipe for the Immune Support Breakfast which is very popular with students at the naturopathic medical colleges. We eat this a few mornings a week at our house.
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups oat bran
1 cup lecithin granules
1 cup flax seeds, finely ground
1 cup milk thistle seeds, finely ground
1-2 cups sunflower seeds
1-2 cups almond slivers (toasted or untoasted)
1-2 cups raw cashew pieces
Optional: raisins or other dried fruit to taste

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