Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? But what’s best – a liquid concoction or a piece of toast?
Having a nutritious breakfast is one of the best (and easiest) ways to ensure your day gets off to a great start. Traditionally, breakfasts have been heavy on the carbohydrates with toast or refined sugary cereal as the main staple. But now there’s a trend towards the liquid breakfast such as smoothies, green juices and protein shakes.
Liquid breakfasts can be a great alternative to the traditional affair as they are packed with all sorts of nutritious ingredients like colourful fruits and vegetables. They’re also a great alternative for ‘breakfast skippers’ who find a sit-down breakfast a little time consuming.
A freshly made juice, whether it contains fruit and/or vegetables, ditches most of the fibre, leaving you with just the liquid. Fibre helps to slow the absorption of sugar in the blood and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. Including a piece of wholegrain toast or small bowl of muesli with your fresh juice is a great idea to ensure you are getting enough fibre. Be sure to opt for more vegetables than fruit in your juice too, as this will help minimise blood sugar spikes.
Smoothies on the other hand are made by blending, instead of extracting/juicing, retaining most of the fibre from the fruits and vegetables. There’s a little more choice when it comes to ingredients, such as a blend of fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds, milks and non-dairy alternatives, so you can cover all the important food groups – protein, carbohydrates, good fats and fibre. But be careful not to add too many ingredients or your delicious breakfast smoothie might just turn out to be a kilojoule bomb!
Protein shakes have become another popular breakfast of choice, with a mind-boggling variety of protein supplements available on the market. Additional protein in the form of supplementation can be a great choice for people that exercise at extremely high intensities. Think power-lifting, strength training and ultra–endurance sports. However, the excess protein is usually not necessary for your everyday gym goer. A nutritious smoothie made with milk, yoghurt and nuts, or a wholefoods, protein-rich breakfast – such as eggs on wholegrain toast or high fibre muesli with yoghurt – is more than enough without having to fork out for expensive protein supplements.
Bottom line? A healthy, nutritious breakfast should include ingredients from the main food groups – protein (nuts, eggs, lean meat), high-fibre carbohydrates (oats, rye, multigrain, fruits and vegetables) and good fats (avocado, nuts and seeds). Not only will it kick-start your metabolism, but it will also keep the mid-morning munchies at bay.
Pairing a fresh, green juice with a high-fibre food, or whipping up a smoothie every other day is a great way to sneak in some vegetables and add variety to your breakfasts, so get on board the liquid breakfast trend!