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Making The Most Important Meal of The Day Count

It looks like we are finally starting to see those brighter mornings with sunlight streaming through our windows, giving us the boost that we need to get out of bed in the morning. 

 

But, if you’re anything like me, my day hasn’t really started until my stomach is lined with the best type of food: breakfast food. I could honestly (and occasionally do) eat breakfast foods at any time of the day, whether it’s a bowl of cereal before bed, toast as a mid-afternoon snack, or granola and yogurt after dinner – who says these foods are only meant to be consumed in the morning? 

 

It’s well-known that breakfast is needed to ‘break our fast’ but what does this really mean? Well, as breakfast starts our metabolism running again, after not eating for maybe over 12 hours, it triggers the tissues in our body to respond to insulin again, and this means there will be less spikes in our blood glucose levels throughout the day, which is why eating breakfast is meant to keep us fuller throughout the day for longer. 

 

Also, breakfast helps keep our bodies in normal routines. Our body patterns, including hormone cycles all follow a rhythm and so having a good routine around sleeping and eating and everyday life is generally healthy! This is because our body clock follows the cycle of light and darkness, and so eating at unnatural times, such as late-night snacking and then skipping breakfast, confuses our bodies and messes around with our normal metabolism. Try as much as possible to eat during daylight, and not during darkness and you’re on to a good rhythm. 

 

So, what to eat – that’s the most exciting part! It’s a good idea to get a mixture of fats, carbs and protein as this balance fills you up, gives you a mix of important nutrients and sustains you. For example, avocado (fats) and poached eggs (protein) on wholemeal toast (fibre-based carbohydrate) is a great balance. However, I appreciate this is definitely not a student-friendly everyday option, so what’s quick and easy? 

 

Well, a bowl of Bran Flakes with milk and a banana is a much cheaper option – Bran Flakes actually give you a ton of iron and B vitamins, as it is a fortified cereal. A banana is full of potassium and vitamin C – brilliant for strengthening the immune system, and milk gives you protein and fat-soluble vitamins. 

 

If you’re not a cereal person try out peanut butter and sliced apple on wholemeal toast- the peanut butter contains magnesium (which helps you relax – perfect when deadlines are coming up), and vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, which along with heart health benefits, can keep your skin and hair shiny and glowy. The apple contributes to one of your five a day and wholemeal toast gives you fibre to keep your bowel working normally. 

 

And of course, by keeping a big glass of water beside your bed, and drinking this just before you get up, will make sure you’re awake, fresh and ready for whatever the day holds!

Katy Skillen

Nottingham '22

Hi, I'm a second year nutrition and dietetic student at Uni of Notts, interested in healthy eating and living, body positivity and all things food-related!
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