It is often said we should breakfast like a King, and it does make sense; the body has been starved during sleep and needs to be refueled before attacking the day. After a good sleep, the body craves nutrients and here is where breakfast comes in picture to keep you going.
Healthy foods for breakfast should be heavy and rich in protein, carbs, fats and dietary fibers. Protein ensures muscle growth, carbs keep on fueling the body for the whole day, fats are required to support cell growth, and protect the organs, with fiber helping in better bowel formation.
There are many breakfast options available so it’s simple to get confused when it comes to choosing cereal-based breakfasts, as the majority are full of sugar and additives. The below options provide information to help you choose what is actually good for you.
Oatmeal is produced from oats and there are variants available, such as rolled, steel-cut or crushed. Usually rolled oats are used for oatmeal production. Oatmeal is a great source of slow digesting carbs and contains lots of soluble and insoluble fibers, with the soluble fiber being called beta gluten. Studies have shown that beta gluten is very helpful in lowering cholesterol, thereby reducing heart issues.
Oats have other benefits also like weight control, blood sugar, blood pressure control and increasing bowel functionality.
Oatmeal is primarily a complex carb source and has good amount of fiber and a little bit of protein, although for a balanced breakfast extra protein should be added. Complex carbs are released very slowly into the body therefore they fuel the body for longer time period.
✓ Take 100 grams of oatmeal, add low fat milk, 2 tbsp. honey and throw in some dry fruit. Add egg whites for protein.
✓ Use a scoop of whey protein, preferably unflavored or vanilla; add 1 banana, 1 cup oatmeal (75 gram), some skimmed milk , 2 tbsp. honey and blend. You can add some nuts post blending. This shake will serve as a complete breakfast.
✓ Add two heaped scoops of Instant Oats, mix with whey plus water or milk and drink it. It’s a great time saver.
Muesli is also an oat product, with the difference being that it has added nuts, fruits and wheat flakes. It is high on fiber, low on sugar and is a slow digesting complex carbohydrate. The added nuts do enhance flavor and serve as a source of essential fatty acids – omegas 3 and 6 – which the body cannot produce. Omega-3 is good for heart and is thought to reduce inflammation.
The downside to muesli is that it can be more expensive than plain oatmeal. Muesli comes in many flavors, some of which have extra sugar and additives, which should be avoided in favor of more natural options.
Muesli has almost no trans fat and cholesterol, so has the same health benefits as oatmeal yet tastes a lot better. Trans fats are called bad fats because they increase the bad cholesterol levels aka LDL cholesterols – high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to coronary heart disease.
Muesli doesn’t require any preparation and can be consumed directly.
✓ Take 100 gram of plain muesli, add some low fat milk. Add 4-5 egg whites to meet protein requirement
Wheat porridge is prepared by boiling crushed wheat in water or milk, and is also called cream of wheat or farina. Porridge has to be cooked because it is a form of crushed wheat and it can’t be consumed straight from the box.
Wheat porridge contains a good vitamin and mineral profile, decreases risk of cardio vascular diseases and aids in weight reduction. Being a wheat product, it keeps the body warm due to the heat given off during digestion and is a low GI complex carbohydrate.
It’s a low on calorie profile and doesn’t pack much in the way of carbohydrates or protein but it’s a great staple for people who are specially targeting low calorie breakfast.
✓ Boil 100 grams in pressure cooker with 100 ml water. Add skimmed milk, 2 tbsp. of honey and dry buts and fruits for enhancing taste. Consume eggs/whey together to fulfill protein requirement.
✓ Boil 100 grams in a pressure cooker with 200 ml of water. Add some cut vegetables, a pinch of salt, some turmeric and let it whistle for at least 2 minutes. This is a savory porridge preparation. You might like to add some chicken breast or an egg into the mixture.
Wheat flakes are similar to corn flakes but the difference lies in the manufacturing process – as the name suggests, they are made of wheat and sometimes companies add bran for more nutrients. To manufacture wheat flakes, wheat is rolled and turned into flakes, and during this process, the fiber content remains intact.
Wheat flakes might be fortified to include iron and calcium, have a low GI and have health benefits like controlling insulin levels, weight loss, helpful in bowel production & constipation. Due to a good amount of fiber they ensure proper elimination of waste from the body.
Wheat flakes can be consumed straight from the box with milk. They don’t require any special cooking.
✓ Take 100-grams wheat flakes & low fat Greek yogurt. Add 2 tbsp. of honey. Mix them very well, add some dry fruits and enjoy the meal. Consume a source of protein too.
✓ Take 100 grams of wheat flakes, add some skimmed milk and 2 tbsp. of honey. Stir the mixture and enjoy the meal.
Cornflakes are a very popular breakfast cereal manufactured from maize. Cornflakes are an almost 0 fat, 0 cholesterol food and contain a high amount of fast acting carbs with dietary fibers. Cornflakes are relative high in simple sugars as they are manufactured from maize, and often have added sugar.
Cornflakes are the last in the list because they offer little health benefit; those with insulin issues may not choose to eat cornflakes due to the sugars. Nevertheless, for a healthy person, cornflakes provide a good amount of carbohydrates and if used wisely may assist in your rigorous training goals like HIIT and post-workout where we need to refuel the muscles as quickly as possible.
✓ Add 100 grams of corn flakes in a bowl. Add cold or hot skimmed milk and 1 tbsp. of honey if required. Add protein as required.
Whilst commercial cereals can be full of sugar and additives, making you crash and burn not long after eating, traditional cereal-based breakfasts which include added protein and fats will keep you energized right up until lunch.