We’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a breakfast of doughnuts and pastries isn’t helping your body.
Nutritionist, Jessica Sepel gives three reasons why eating a high protein breakfast like eggs or a protein smoothie, will jump-start your diet and keep you satisfied and focused all morning long.
1. Helps Keep You Fuller For Longer
Eating a high-sugar, high-carbohydrate breakfast foods, like bagels, cereal, and toast can spike your blood sugar, in turn, causing a blood sugar crash.
Jessica says, “Protein is one of our most satiating macronutrients. It keeps our blood sugar levels nice and stable and it takes a really long time to digest and metabolise. I’ve found, just with clinical and personal experience that when you add protein to your breakfast you’ll find you’re much fuller throughout the morning, your energy is more stable and your concentration is more stable.”
“This is because the protein is in there to slow down the release of carbohydrates and sugars in the rest of the breakfast. For example, having oats with protein powder, the protein will slow down the release of those oats and you might not have such a big blood-sugar drop” she says.
In this way, lower carb, higher protein breakfasts will keep your blood sugar level steady, reducing the chance of unnecessary headaches, drowsiness and mid-morning hunger.
2. Makes You Feel Good
Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that can affect mood. Eating foods that contain the essential amino acid known as tryptophan can help the body to produce more serotonin.
Jessica highlights that “amino acids, found in protein, help manufacture serotonin, which is our feel-good hormone.”
“Therefore, the amino acids in protein are very important for mood and anxiety which is something that a lot of people struggle with.”
Foods, including salmon, eggs, spinach, and seeds are among those that help boost serotonin naturally.
3. Amino acids improve skin and gut health
While most people associate protein with muscle growth and repair, what you might not know is the benefits of this macronutrient on gut health and even acne.
“The other thing that protein is so important for, is amino acids, as these are for the repair of skin cells. What I find, is that when a lot of people become vegan, their skin starts to break out and they find that they struggle with acne. That can sometimes be because they don’t have enough amino acids for the repair of their skin cells” says Jessica.
What’s more, Jessica highlights that “another part of that is that we need the amino acids found in protein for our gut lining.
For example, glutamine is one of the pro-amino acids to repair the lining of our gut. If the lining of our gut is fragmented food can escape into the bloodstream. When people have skin breakouts or allergies and food intolerances this can cause an auto-immune reaction. So these amino acids are very important for both skin but also for the gut.”
So how can someone incorporate protein into their breakfast? While Jessica stresses the importance of a balanced diet to ensure we hit all the necessary daily macro and micronutrients, protein can be added into most traditional breakfasts with meals such as eggs on toast or adding protein powder to oatmeal or a smoothie.
Jessica Sepel recently released her own range of protein powders with Nuzest which are a great addition to any breakfast smoothie.
Both her flavours ‘Cookies and Cream’ and ‘Cinnamon Scroll’ contain probiotics and high-quality pea protein which means they won’t leave consumers feeling bloated or gassy.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
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