Which foods or beverages will put your body on track for the rest of the day? How do you get your body from a state of rest, to all-systems-go? Why is breakfast even called “breakfast?”
Let’s start with the easy one. While you’re asleep, your body is in a state of rest. You are not consuming anything for energy; in fact, you’re fasting. So, when you eat in the morning you are breaking your fast. Yup, you can wait until 2:00pm and whatever you eat is still technically called breakfast.
Today, however, we’re not talking about skipping breakfast vs eating breakfast. We’ll be sharing the benefits of some different foods and beverages that, when consumed upon waking, hit your system before anything else.
Foods that Jumpstart Your System
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, for their participants, a protein-filled breakfast “reduced daily hunger” and “increased daily fullness.”1 This is because eating breakfast slows the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which helps maintain that feeling of fullness after your meal. High protein breakfasts have even more of an impact on these hormones than other types of breakfast.1
Some High Protein Foods Include:
- Greek Yogurt
- Bacon or Sausage
- Cottage Cheese
Breakfast with Complex Carbohydrates
Eating a breakfast that’s packed with complex carbs helps provide your body with necessary nutrients and fiber. Try your best to choose these carbs over simple carbs because they digest more slowly and will keep you feeling full longer. Simple carbohydrates are processed very quickly by the body. This means that they’ll supply your body with some quick energy, but that energy doesn’t last, and you’ll also be hungry again shortly after.
Complex Carbs Include Foods Like:
- Black Beans
- Whole Grain Toast
Ginger can be a healthy and flavorful addition to your morning routine. According to Healthline, not only is it a great source of antioxidants and naturally effective at fighting bacteria, but it is also capable of boosting your metabolism!
Ginger, along with other spices like capsaicin and curcumin, has been found to stimulate bile secretion and ultimately aid fat digestion and prevent fat accumulation.2 It is also known for its success at treating nausea. So, if you’re a mom-to-be struggling with morning sickness, ask your doctor about using ginger as a natural remedy.
Ways to Incorporate Ginger:
- Use it in your tea
- Mix it in with your morning smoothie
- Use it to spice up your coffee
Beverages that jumpstart your system
Drinking water on an empty stomach can help regulated your digestive tract and get things moving for the day. However, the most impressive thing about drinking water is the effect it has on your metabolism!
The reason plain water does anything for your metabolism at all is because the body needs to heat the cold or room-temperature water up to your body temperature, and this process requires energy. This is called water-induced thermogenesis.3 This means that there is actually calorie-burn just from drinking water.
According to a study on Water-Induced Thermogenesis, “drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%!”3 So far, this is our favorite way to start the day.
Mixing Up Plain Water:
- Add some cucumber for a refreshing twist and a kick of nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, and antioxidants
- Add mint to soothe the stomach, aid digestion, and for some key vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and C, iron, and magnesium
- Add lemon for an added source of folate, potassium and vitamin C
Apple Cider Vinegar
So, we’re talking about how to start your morning, but Apple Cider Vinegar may have better health effects in the evening. According to research, an evening dose of vinegar can result in lower morning glucose levels in patients with Type II Diabetes.4
If that’s not a concern for you, consuming it in the morning can help you develop a routine and maintain a consistent intake, because ACV has a lot of great benefits. Some include improvement in cholesterol numbers, improvement in insulin function, and reduced risk of heart disease.5
To get more detail about apple cider vinegar, read our dietician’s article, pH Wars.
How to Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Dilute a tablespoon into a cup of water
- Add it to hot tea and honey
- Add it to fruit juice
- Leidy, Heather J, et al. “Beneficial Effects of a Higher-Protein Breakfast on the Appetitive, Hormonal, and Neural Signals Controlling Energy Intake Regulation in Overweight/Obese, ‘Breakfast-Skipping,” Late-Adolescent Girls.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 27 Feb. 2013, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/97/4/677/4576985.
- Prakash, Usha, and Krishnapura Srinivasan. “Fat Digestion and Absorption in Spice‐Pretreated Rats.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Sept. 2011, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.4597.
- Boschmann, Michael, et al. “Water-Induced Thermogenesis.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Dec. 2003, academic.oup.com/jcem/article/88/12/6015/2661518.
- White, Andrea M., and Carol S. Johnston. “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 1 Nov. 2007, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full.
- Gunnars, Kris. “6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science.” Healthline, 15 Mar. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar.