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3 nutrients you need in a breakfast

February 2 2018 by Jess

Find out from our nutritionist Jess the best nutrients to include in the most important meal of the day.

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Talking about breakfast and highlighting its importance, is one of my favourite areas in nutrition.

It's the one meal you have total control over, because you're normally at home around that time of day. It steers your hunger hormones for the rest of the morning, and it allows you to start your day strong after a period of fasting overnight.

I'm going to share with you the three nutrients that I want to encourage you to have at breakfast, and why I'm recommending them.

Jess, graze nutritionist
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Protein - 'the most important one'

I know we talk a lot about protein on this blog, but it's for a very good reason. The word 'protein' comes from the Greek 'proteos', meaning the 'first one' or the 'most important one', so it feels right to begin here.

When it comes to appearance, protein is important because it contributes toward your muscle mass. Women who gain muscle mass while remaining relatively lean appear tighter, firmer and more “toned.” Men who gain muscle mass while remaining lean appear stronger, larger and more athletic. More muscle means more lean muscle mass, which helps your body burn calories more efficiently. If you've had a history of yo-yo dieting, then make sure protein features at every meal.

Muscle always improves how our body functions. Muscle is metabolically active, and affects the way the body handles nutrients. For instance, people who are more muscular (especially combined with lower body fat) typically have better insulin control. Larger muscles are often stronger, leading to improved daily functions in most individuals.

Sources of protein include: nuts, seeds, eggs, quinoa, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, beans and lentils, tofu, fish, seafood and meat.

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As many of the B vitamin family as possible

We get our “energy” in the form of calories from carbohydrates, fat, and protein. The B vitamins help convert dietary energy into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is the form of energy that your body uses, in a series of complex chemical reactions carried out by the mitochondria in cells.

B vitamins can be found in lots of foods, but the main ones are nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, whole grains such as oats and rice, legumes, lean meats and mushrooms. Enjoy lots of these foods to ensure you get all the B vitamins that are essential for converting foods into usable energy. Doing so may result in a more long-term better sense of well-being!

Breakfast ideas to ensure you’ve got B-vitamins coming in first thing include:

  • Nut butter on toast
  • Oatmeal with plant based milk
  • Smoothies including greens
  • Grilled mushrooms, poached egg on toast with pak choi on the side
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Healthy Fats

The right kinds of fats are important for so many reasons.

Firstly, energy- They’re the most energy-dense macronutrient out of fats, protein and carbohydrates. They help manufacture and balance hormones, and they form each of our trillions of cell membranes, which allows the right molecules in and out of our cells. They form our brains and nervous systems, which means they help to steer our every thought, and they also help to transport fat soluble vitamins in the body such as vitamins A, D, E and K.

There are certain fats the body cannot make, and those are called ‘essential fatty acids: linoleic acid (an omega 6 fat), and alpha linolenic acid (an omega 3 fat)

If you're looking for graze snacks with an omega 3 benefits, you can use an easy technique to find them... it’s all the nut and seed based ones!

Other sources of omega 3 include: oily fish like mackerel, herring, sardines and salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Sources of omega 6 fats include: vegetable oils (grape seed oil, sunflower oil), nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hempseeds.

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By Jess, graze nutritionist.

Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to her website at jessntom.com for even more.

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