Breakfast building blocks: Experts on how to create a balanced breakfast meal
To get your day off to a good start, make sure your breakfast is well-balanced. These are some breakfast components to consider while planning your morning meal
A balanced breakfast meal is essential for starting your day with energy and focus since a balanced breakfast can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve cognitive function and provide sustained energy throughout the morning hence, it should include a variety of nutrient-rich foods that provide a mix of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. By choosing a well-rounded breakfast, you can nourish your body and set yourself up for a productive and healthy day ahead.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Niyati Naik, Clinical Dietitian at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, shared, “We all our aware of how important breakfast, the first meal of the day is and thus balancing it well is it utmost importance. A good balanced and healthy breakfast will include a source of energy coming in from complex carbohydrates like whole grains, millets and pulses. Next comes in the protein rich sources like egg, milk and its products or sprouts and pulses and lastly comes in fibre from loads of colourful vegetables. You can also add in some healthy fats like nuts and seeds to your recipes. Each food group has a role to play and thus should be included to get maximum benefit, good energy and strength through the day.”
She added, “For example let’s talk of a simple breakfast item like poha. Now the rice flakes will give you the carbs but to make it more balanced and healthy take only half the quantity of poha of what you would ideally take and then add in some boiled sports and lots of vegetables in the other half. Your can top it up with some roasted seeds like pumpkin and sunflower. That’s how you endup balancing your meal better and thus got a lot of health benefits to start your day with. Just like this well balanced yet conduced recipe your could also make it a meal. Say for example, you make some vegetable besan chillas to give you your fibre, complex carbs and protein and take a side of a bowl curd and this gives you a meal that is easy to make yet provided balance nutrition.”
Nadiya Merchant, Associate Director - Nutrition at Kellogg India, emphasised, “For a healthy start to the day, a well-balanced breakfast should be nutrient-dense, containing high amounts of nutrients, while being low in calories. It should provide a healthy mix of carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals that helps fuel the body and mind. One serving from different food groups, such as cereals, fruits/vegetables and dairy, can provide a nutritious start to the day. For instance, a serving of Kellogg's ready-to-eat cereals made with whole grain, combined with a glass of toned milk and sliced banana/apple/strawberries is a great example of a nutrient-dense breakfast.”
She highlighted, “Research has demonstrated that consuming breakfast regularly can result in a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and helps improve various parameters associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In addition, it also promotes metabolic health, which is crucial for the overall well-being of an individual. All these factors underline the fact that starting your day with a nourishing balanced breakfast is a simple and effective way to ensure that you are on track to achieve optimal health.”
Asserting that to get our day off to a good start we should make sure our breakfast is well-balanced, Susan Bowerman, Senior Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife, listed some breakfast components to consider while planning your morning meal:
- Protein: A necessary nutrient, protein keeps you full and content all morning long. Eggs, yoghurt, nut butter, cottage cheese, tofu, pulses and lean meat like chicken are some excellent sources of protein.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are a fantastic source of fibre and can help you stay satisfied. Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice and whole grain cereal are a few examples of whole grains.
- Fruits and Vegetables: A significant source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are present in fruits and vegetables. Make a vegetable omelette or try adding some fresh fruit to your yoghurt or muesli for a healthy breakfast. Choose to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local market, they have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- Good Fats: Consuming healthy fats, such as those in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, will help you feel full and content. Try spreading some sliced avocado on your toast or topping your yoghurt or muesli with some nuts or seeds.
- Hydration: Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning will help you wake up and hydrate your body. If you want to increase the hydration and nutritional value of your breakfast, you may also try sipping on some herbal tea or freshly squeezed juice.
You may prepare a healthy, balanced breakfast that will keep you alert and focused all day by using these breakfast building blocks in your morning meal.