Mixed breakfast

30 May 2024

The Importance of Breakfast

Breakfast, often hailed as the most important meal of the day, does indeed deserve the moniker. It sets us up with much-needed nutrients after a night’s sleep and provides us our energy for the day ahead. 

Why eating ‘dinner’ foods for breakfast is gaining traction
  • Kickstarting metabolism
    When you eat breakfast, you signal to your body that it's time to start the day's energy consumption. After a night of rest, your metabolism is in a state of slumber. Consuming a morning meal helps to rev up the metabolic processes, allowing your body to begin efficiently processing nutrients and calories, which can aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Energy supply for the day
    A well-chosen breakfast of proteins and fibre provides the fuel necessary for brain and muscle function. After fasting overnight, your body's energy stores are low. Healthy foods replenishes these stores, giving you the energy needed to tackle the day ahead. Skipping breakfast or eating a high-sugar/low-nutrient breakfast, may ultimately make you feel sluggish and lethargic.
  • Cognitive function
    Several studies have indicated that eating breakfast can enhance cognitive performance, particularly in children and adolescents. It's associated with improved memory, concentration and problem-solving abilities. For adults, a morning meal can be just as crucial in maintaining focus and productivity at work.
  • Weight management
    Regularly eating a nutritious breakfast can play a part in weight management. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight or obese compared to those who skip it. This could be because a satisfying breakfast reduces hunger throughout the day, preventing overeating or snacking on high-calorie, less-nutritious foods.
  • Nutritional adequacy
    Breakfast presents an opportunity to consume a variety of foods that contribute to the overall nutritional quality of your diet. It's an ideal time to take in important vitamins and minerals that might be less abundant in other meals. Those who eat breakfast tend to have higher daily intakes of fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins.
  • Emotional wellbeing
    There's also a link between breakfast and emotional health. Skipping breakfast can lead to mood swings and irritability. Eating in the morning stabilises blood sugar levels, which can reduce any associated stress, leading to an overall sense of improved wellbeing.
  • Long-term health benefits
    Regularly consuming breakfast has been associated with a reduced risk of various health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. It's believed that the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as the avoidance of obesity, all contribute to these protective effects.


What to eat for breakfast

The key to a beneficial breakfast is balance. Incorporating a variety of food groups can ensure that you get a mix of essential nutrients. Here are some top choices for a nutritious morning meal:

  • Start with whole grains, such as some cereals, porridge oats or wholemeal bread. These options are high in fibre, which aids digestion and provides a slow release of energy, keeping you fuller for longer.
  • Lean Protein is vital for repairing and building tissues. Including protein in your breakfast can help you feel satiated and preserve muscle mass. Eggs, lean meats, fish or plant-based proteins like beans and lentils are excellent choices.
  • Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your breakfast contributes vitamins, minerals and fibre. Whether it's a banana sliced over cereal, a handful of berries in your yoghurt or spinach in an omelette, these additions are a simple way to work towards your five-a-day.
  • Dairy products or fortified alternatives, provide calcium and protein. A glass of milk, a pot of yoghurt or a slice of cheese can be a beneficial part of breakfast. If opting for non-dairy options, such as almond or soy milk, choose unsweetened and fortified varieties.
  • Healthy fats are essential for nutrient absorption and brain health. Avocado, nuts, seeds and natural nut butters can all be part of a balanced breakfast, providing valuable heart-healthy fats.

By focusing on a variety of nutrients and incorporating whole foods, you can create a morning meal that sets the stage for a day of good choices. Week on week, this can lead  to long-term benefits for your physical and mental health. Give it a go for a week and see how your energy levels are by the end of it…


Why not try this delicious Mediterranean dish to kick-start your day today?

Frittata with red peppers, spinach and cheese (serves 4)


  • 10 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 60g quinoa, cooked 
  • 85g manchego or feta cheese, coarsely grated or crumbled (about 1 cup), divided
  • 2 roasted red peppers (deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 4 large handfuls spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced 


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, beat eggs, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in quinoa, spinach, cheese and red peppers. 
  2. Heat olive oil in large cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add spring onions and cook, stirring for 30 seconds – do not let them burn! Stir in egg mixture and cook, undisturbed, until sides and bottom begin to set, 3 to 4 min. Top with remaining 1 1/2 oz cheese and bake in the oven until frittata is set and edges are golden, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.