I love mornings…particularly on the rare occasion I get to wake up before anyone else in the house.
At their best, mornings are filled with promise and good intentions. It’s easier to make better choices when your mind is clear of the accumulated clutter of the day. Which is why it makes sense to start your morning in the healthiest way possible – it sets the tone for a day filled with better choices. A day where you put your health first.
It’s an old adage, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Scientifically, the jury is still out - but practically, it makes a lot of sense. From the science perspective, breakfast eaters seem to have better regulated blood sugars1 than breakfast abstainers but the effect on overall weight has been mixed.
From a real world perspective, eating a good breakfast allows you to fill your belly at a time of day when you are less likely to be driven by cravings. It refills your energy tank after a long overnight fast so that you can start the day alert and energized. Eating breakfast also helps you avoid the ravenous hunger later in the morning that will almost certainly lead to poor choices at snack time or lunch.
If you want your body to perform well, you need to nourish it well. Trying to get everything you need for your day out of just two meals is a bit tough. Breakfast provides another opportunity to make smart, plant-centered choices that keep you strong and healthy.
When eating organic is important to you, breakfast is also an easy time to make this happen. Why go organic? The evidence base is building to show that there is a significant difference in the composition of organic and conventional foods. One 2014 meta-analysis2 found that conventional foods have four times the rate of pesticide residues; this same review found increased levels of antioxidant vitamins and anti-inflammatory phenols and flavonols in organic foods.
Evidence is clear that eating organic helps eaters avoid residues of potentially harmful pesticides such as glyphosate3, a chemical pesticide that recently the World Health Organization has declared “probably carcinogenic”4. Early associations between health outcomes and eating organic are also emerging. A Norwegian study found an association between eating organic vegetables and lower risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women5.
At their worst, mornings can be frantic and stressful but a healthy breakfast is probably the quickest meal of the day to pull off. Organic whole grain cereals, fresh or frozen fruit, raw nuts & seeds, topped off with milk or vegetarian alternatives like organic soy or quinoa are easy and inexpensive to have on hand. And if things really get too crazy, you can pack up the whole meal to eat at your desk without too much fuss.
September is the new January, or so they say. If you are ready to jump back to health this fall, perhaps don’t go for the all-or-nothing approach. Commit to better self-care by making yourself a healthy, organic start to the day. Let health bloom organically, one meal at a time!
Show us your healthy breakfast by tagging us (@NaturesPath) online with #BetterBreakfast.
- Betts, James A., et al. "The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults." The American journal of clinical nutrition 100.2 (2014): 539-547.
- Barański, Marcin, et al. "Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses." British Journal of Nutrition 112.05 (2014): 794-811.
- Bøhn, Thomas, et al. "Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans." Food Chemistry 153 (2014): 207-215.
- Torjusen, Hanne, et al. "Reduced risk of pre-eclampsia with organic vegetable consumption: results from the prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study." BMJ open 4.9 (2014): e006143.