You’ve heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Why not use that same advice when you start each day! Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? The answer comes in many forms, but research shows that there are good reasons to eat breakfast, and an anti-inflammatory breakfast should keep you satisfied until your mid-day meal. Many people skip the morning meal because they’re rushing to get out the door, and that’s a mistake. You need food in your system long before lunchtime. If you don’t eat in the morning, you may get so hungry later that you snack on high-fat, sugary foods.
WebMD tells us that breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done which enables you to focus at work or school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day.
Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
An anti-inflammatory breakfast also gives you a chance to get in some vitamins and nutrients from healthy foods. If you don’t eat breakfast, you aren’t likely to get all of your body’s needed nutrients.
What do we know?
We do know that skipping breakfast can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is typically low. Breakfast helps replenish it. If your body doesn’t get that fuel from food, you may feel zapped of energy, and you’ll be more likely to overeat later in the day.
How should you eat?
Enjoying a breakfast filled with anti-inflammatory foods like berries, nuts and flax, as well as basic fruits and vegetables, will help your body send the right signals to stop inflammation. The basic formula for breakfast should be to pair carbohydrates with proteins. The carbs give your body energy to get started, and your brain the fuel it needs to take on the day. Protein gives you stamina and helps you feel full until your next meal. An anti-inflammatory breakfast can be as simple as a combination of:
- Eggs, nuts or breakfast meats for protein
- Fresh fruit or vegetables for carbs
What if I’m going to the gym? Should I eat before I exercise? WebMD points to Sabrena Jo, a personal trainer and a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, who says if you’re the kind of person who wakes up hungry, try a snack before your morning workout. It will help you improve your performance and stave off fatigue and shakiness.
Keep it light though. Your body stops digesting when you exercise, and a full meal will slosh around in your belly. That can make you bloated or queasy, especially when you’re doing a high-intensity workout.
“I would definitely eat something post-workout,” Jo says. “A normal breakfast with some good carbohydrates and protein should be fine.”
If your mornings are busy and you don’t have time to make breakfast every day, see our blog post on Healthy Breakfast Ideas for People on the Run for some quick anti-inflammatory breakfast ideas. And have some approved bread on hand for those of you who are gluten free, Paleo or simply living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
We want to share an anti-inflammatory breakfast recipe from our Feed Your Vitality recipe files to give your body the energy it needs to get started every day!
"Green Eggs" & Ham
- 9 large eggs
- 1 lb ham diced
- ½ lb fresh baby spinach
- 2 oz yellow onion
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium skillet, scramble eggs with 1 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet with 1 tsp olive oil. Sauté onion, sprinkled with salt and pepper, until translucent. Add ham and spinach and heat until warmed through.
- Mix eggs, onion, ham and spinach to serve.
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