Breakfast the key to better health

Time and again we're told it's the most important meal of the day, but many of us are still failing to tuck into breakfast in the morning.

According to a new British study, nearly half of us skip brekkie at least once a week, while 15 per cent of those surveyed never eat that vital early meal.

The top reason given was not feeling hungry first thing, while 21 per cent of respondents would rather spend longer in bed.

And one in 10 people miss out in a belief it will help them lose weight - despite breakfast-skippers being twice as likely to munch on unhealthy snacks later in the morning.

The research was conducted for Farmhouse Breakfast Week, which aims to put a stop to these bad habits and encourage people to start the day with a meal.

Dietician Nigel Denby said: "People who eat a healthy breakfast have better concentration, more energy, tend to be less stressed and are less likely to be overweight.

"Despite the wealth of evidence about the benefits of eating breakfast, it's shocking to see so many people missing out and that a large number of people are unclear about the benefits.

"For those who don't feel hungry in the morning, there are plenty of light breakfast options, such as smoothies or a bowl of cereal.

"If you start your day with a healthy balanced meal, you are also more likely to make healthier food choices for the rest of the day."

Here are two healthy breakfast options to try at home:

THE BREAKFAST STACK

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

4 large Portobello mushrooms

2 beef tomatoes

4 medium eggs

4 slices bacon

2 wholemeal English-style muffins, halved

1 tbsp chopped chives

Method

■ Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and place in a grill pan. ■ Slice the ends off the tomatoes and cut in half to create two circle shapes and place in the grill pan with the mushrooms.

■ Place under a preheated grill for 5 minutes each side. Set aside and keep warm.

■ Meanwhile, poach the eggs for 2-3 minutes (one at a time if easier).

■ Place the bacon in the pan and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning once until golden and, towards the end of cooking, toast the muffins.

■ Stack the bacon on top of the muffins then top with the mushrooms, tomatoes and then egg. Scatter with the chives and season with black pepper.

VANILLA HONEY YOGHURT SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

(Serves 1)

100ml semi skimmed milk

150g low fat natural yoghurt

25g bran flakes

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp honey

Method

■ Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a glass to serve.

■ Tip: For smoother texture, soak bran flakes in the milk for 5-10 minutes in advance.

PA

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