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Time to get serious about breakfast

Senior Wellness | Sep 16, 2015

Breakfast is an important part of anyone's diet. According to WebMD, skipping the early morning meal is simply not a smart move and may even backfire. Skipping breakfast won't help facilitate weight loss and can often have the opposite effect. For instance, by not starting your day off with a meal, your body will get even hungrier and come lunch and you'll find yourself eating more than you would like. On the other hand, WebMD also said those who skip breakfast will likely consume high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger.

Furthermore, Consumer Reports said eating within two hours of waking up can be a crucial time frame for your body. In an interview with the publication, Eric Rimm, a professor at Harvard School of Public Health, the body's blood sugar levels increase after the morning meal. As a result, you won't feel the urge to consume snacks since you won't feel hungry.

"Skipping breakfast is not a smart move."

Of course, you can't just eat anything for breakfast. When you were younger, sugary cereal or a frozen egg sandwich may have been suitable, but as you age, your body's needs change. You shouldn't consume those types of foods. Luckily, there are a few breakfast foods you can cook every morning that are quick and nutritious. A healthy meal is an excellent way to start anyone's day.

Morning essentials
Before your next trip to the grocery store, create a checklist of ingredients and foods you'll need for your new morning routine. According to Livestrong, seniors need a variety of nutrients that differ from people who are younger. Protein, typically found in eggs, can be considered essential for morning meals. You may also want to include servings of wheat cereal, plain Greek yogurt, fruit and milk. If you are a big coffee drinker, the beverage is also suitable for the morning, but you should try to stay away from adding too much cream and sugar.

Care.com recommended some healthy options that are quick to make. Among them are oatmeal and berries. For the fruit, you can use either fresh or frozen variants to add to warm oatmeal. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, oatmeal is one of the healthiest options anyone can eat to start off their day. The benefits stem from the oatmeal being a whole grain. WebMD said whole grains contain protein, vitamins, antioxidants and more, which together, can help lower an individual's risk for severe disease such as Type 2 diabetes. However, be careful to avoid mixing up healthy oatmeal with its prepackaged variant, as those may be high in sodium and sugar.

Like any other meal, you can vary up you eat. While oatmeal and berries is relatively easy to prepare, you don't have to eat the meal everyday. Yogurt parfaits are an excellent replacement and will still kick start your day. Greek yogurt is said to be one of the fastest growing foods available, according to U.S. News & World Report. Unlike regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains less sodium and sugar, while providing twice the protein. Throw in some healthy oats and berries, and the parfait provides carbohydrates, healthy fat and Vitamin C.

"Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options."

Other benefits
Breakfast can provide many health benefits, but there are other reasons to eat healthy in the morning. In a 2014 study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating breakfast is linked to higher levels of physical activity in the morning. The study also found that breakfast eaters typically consumed more calories throughout the day, but that was offset by their higher energy levels and physical activity. You may find breakfast gives you more energy for your morning low impact exercises.

A cliche exists about how important breakfast is, and in many instances, the saying holds true. Eating a nutritious morning meal can jumpstart your day and help you be more productive and active.