What if you could perform better during the day, work more productively, or study more efficiently just by eating a different breakfast?
It’s possible. Research has shown that by choosing the right mix or of brain-building foods, you may be able to increase your energy, concentration, and focus, which can help you take on the demands of an intense day.
How Breakfast Helps
Breaking the fast and raising blood sugar after eight hours of fasting is essential for the brain function and energy level. Skipping your morning meal causes the brain and blood sugar to function erratically and your mood and energy level dip.
Don’t have time? Brown bag your breakfast. Take a breakfast sandwich or burrito with egg white and low-fat cheddar and salsa.
Fuel up with the right balance
When you eat breakfast compromised of whole grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins, you increase the secretion of positive neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine \. These all help improve your mood and can increase your focus for 3-4 hours. On the other hand, when you eat a breakfast made of refined carbohydrates, you’re more likely to feel irritable, sluggish, stressed out, jittery, and hungry. That’s the least favorable way to start a demanding day.
Healthy plate model
» 2-4 ounces protein
» 1-2 carbohydrate choices and/or 2-4 vegetable choices
» 50=100 calories of healthy fat
» 300-400 calories.
Glucose from carbohydrates is the fuel your brain uses to produce the energy that moves and motivates you.
Micronutrients from fruits and vegetables are the antioxidants your brain relies on to safeguard cells from damage and dysfunction.
Fatty acids from healthy monosaturated and omega 3 fats are what your brain uses to create specialized cells that allow you to think and feel.
Amino acids from proteins are used to make the neurotransmitters that allow your brain cells to network and communicate.
Fiber steadies the absorption of carbohydrates and contributes to a steadier blood sugar.
Guidelines for shopping
» Breakfast Cereal (>3g fiber per serving, <9g sugar per serving)
» Whole grain bread (>3g fiber per serving, <3g sugar per serving)
» Yogurt (<150 calories per serving, <16g sugar per serving)
» Protein bar (<250 calories per serving, protein 50-75% of total carbohydrate grams, saturated fat <1/2 of total fat grams, no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats)
Alcohol, artificial food coloring, coals, corn syrup, high sugar drinks, hydrogenated fats, junk sugars, nicotine, overeating, white bread
Almonds, avocados, bananas, beef (very lean), blueberries, broccoli, brown rice, Brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cheese (low fat), chicken, collard greens, cottage cheese (low fat), eggs, flaxseed oil, legumes, milk (low fat), oatmeal, olive oil, oranges, peas, potatoes, romaine lettuce, salmon (wild), soybeans, spinach, tune, turkey, walnut, wheat, germ, yogurt (low fat Greek)
Originally from PRO Pulse July-August 2010
By Lynne Williams