The Nutritional Secrets Behind Breakfast
We all know everyone starts their mornings differently. You may be very hungry when you wake up while or you may prefer to break-your-fast later in the morning and sleep a bit longer instead – or a combination of the two?
Often when we are in a hurry we might choose breakfast foods that are quick and easy – like a piece of toast with vegemite. For some, skipping breakfast is a lot easier.
However, if you are a serial breakfast skipper (pun intended!) you could be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals needed to kick-start your day! The extended period in a fasted state may also lead to low blood sugar levels, making you feel quite cranky, shaky and possibly faint. Skipping breakfast has also been linked to overweight and obesity, possibly as there may be increased snacking on high energy foods come mid-morning, and overeating throughout the day once intense hunger kicks in. Not choosing a nourishing breakfast in the morning can have a similar effect. A breakfast high in refined sugars plus low in protein and fats typically leads to a big spike in blood sugar. This will give you an energy boost which will quickly drop, leading to reduced feelings of fullness and poor control of hunger throughout the day.
Eating breakfast foods which contain an adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates helps to balance the hormones responsible for these feelings of fullness and hunger. Pairing protein with carbohydrates and some good fats is a great way to keep hunger in check throughout the day!
The Advantage of Breakfast Smoothies
The Australian Health Survey found that only 1 quarter of Australian adults are eating their recommended 2 serves of fruit a day, women surprisingly being the least likely. The study also found less than 4% of Australian adults eat their 5-6 recommended serves of vegetables a day. People who meet these recommendations are more likely to be at a healthy weight and less likely to suffer chronic disease.
Fruits and vegetables nourish our bodies with unprocessed carbohydrates and a range of vitamins and minerals which help support optimal bodily functions. Dietary fibre, which is found in plant foods is often associated with protecting against heart disease and diabetes while it promotes healthy bowel movements and prevents constipation.
If you are time poor, a smoothie can be a great choice to help boost your morning fruit and/or vegetable intake. Simply add a serve of fruit and you are already halfway to your daily recommended fruit intake. If you are notoriously bad at eating your vegetables then adding a serve of leafy greens to your smoothie is an easy way to get closer to your 5 a day goal and boost your fibre, vitamin and mineral intake.
What is a Blendie?
In your Blendie you will find high-quality whole food ingredients which have a range of functional health benefits like beetroot, matcha, cacao and spirulina. These functional ingredients provide vitamins and minerals to help support a healthy immune system and optimal bodily function that we may not otherwise consume in a regular smoothie.
Blendies also contain protein and good fats – like those found in pea protein, pumpkin and chia seeds as well as coconut oil. These will help keep you feeling fuller for longer throughout the day and prevent spikes and dips in blood pressure.
As Blendies are already portioned out with these ingredients we do not have to worry if we are adding too many sweet dates or honey, too much fat or too many teaspoons of beetroot powder! Let’s take a look at the different Blendies variations and characterising ingredients:
Goji Berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth! This amazing little superfruit contains all essential amino acids, as well as high amounts of fibre, vitamin C and protein. It’s no surprise that these berries have been used for thousands of years in China to cure various diseases.
Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is a great source of zinc, protein, iron, calcium and the vitamins A, C, K and E. This basically means that spinach is loaded with good things for every single part your body. It boosts muscle efficiency and eye health and is known for its strong anti ageing properties. Also, the spinach powder gives our Cleanse Blendies their beautiful green colour.
Organic Raw Cacao contains an incredible amount of fibre and is also known as the highest plant-based source of iron! Cacao also contains important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which lower the blood pressure and support the heart function. Last but not least, cacao is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant, as it contains different neurotransmitters which can be associated with the positive feelings of wellbeing and happiness.
Organic Maca is an important ingredient of our Energy Blendies. This amazing superfood belongs to the radish family and contains enormous amounts of different vitamins, minerals, zinc, iron and calcium. Maca can benefit your health in various different ways: it increases the overall energy level and well-being while it helps with skin issues, alleviates cramps and balances hormones.
Manuka honey, produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the manuka bush, is one of the most beneficial and unique forms of honey in the world. It contains vital amino acids, as well as important vitamins, copper, magnesium, iron and sodium. This special form of honey has a variety of health benefits, which range from curing sore throats to helping with skin issues and boosting the immune system.
Vegemite Toast vs Blendies Smoothies
Protein & Energy
Energy needs throughout the day are very specific to the individual and vary depending on your activity level, life-stage and various other factors. Based on the general Australian recommended energy intake of 8700KJ per day – an average breakfast could typically range from 1500KJ-2600KJ or more!
While the aim of the game for most is to consume less energy, the vegemite on toast could be a good breakfast choice, However, the smoothie will give you more “bang for your buck” nutritionally.
As you can see, a piece of toast with vegemite is much lower in protein. As discussed earlier, protein helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer. With double the amount of protein, a smoothie would be a great choice for on the go. Feeling fuller throughout the morning means that we may not snack as much on high energy foods, or over-eat at lunch time.
Smoothies can also be a great alternative mid-morning or afternoon snack to help curb the hunger cravings and irritability often associated with a drop in blood sugar levels. In comparison, a banana muffin contains approximately 2535 KJ and is low in fibre, protein and other nutrients while also being much higher in energy.
Fibre in quantities of more than 3g per serve are good choices, so both breakfasts are winners in terms of fibre. However, the smoothie will provide your body with unprocessed carbohydrates – dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, which Australian’s are definitely not eating enough of.
Recently it has become apparent that our population’s intake of salt/sodium is very high, with Australians consuming an average of 10g salt per day. Recommendations state we should only be consuming 1.15–2.3g of salt per day.
High salt intake has been associated with high blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular disease – a major cause of death in Australia. Salt or sodium is naturally found in most of the foods we eat, however, it is found in higher quantities in processed foods where it is used as a preservative and to improve taste. It is also important to note our low intake of fruits and vegetables, which contain potassium and nitric oxide which have been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
While many factors play a role, it is certainly a good idea to reduce our salt intake by reducing the intake of processed foods and increasing our fruit and vegetable intake.
The smoothie above contains significantly less sodium compared to the toast with vegemite making it a great choice in reducing your overall salt consumption. The smoothie also contains fruit and vegetables to help blunt the effects of salt on blood pressure.