Health & Habits
The Benefits of Liquid Breakfasts
Posted August 19, 2021
In order to maintain a healthy body, we need to ensure we take care of ourselves in as many ways as we can. This includes an active lifestyle, regular health checkups, and a healthy diet. One aspect of our diet in particular that is up for debate is the importance of breakfast. While some claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day, others argue that it may slow them down. The truth is, the way we break our “fast” is important. It’s the first meal of the day, and can play a vital role in supplying our bodies with the nutrients it needs to support energy levels and fight off fatigue.
Some of us may simply not be big breakfast people, and the sight of food first thing in the morning can be nauseating. We must honor this information our body tells us and act accordingly. One alternative is a liquid breakfast, which can offer health benefits such as improved digestion, better physical performance, and heightened mental acuity. It can also contribute towards a nutrient-rich diet that is full of fruits, veggies, and other healthy ingredients. They allow us to take in larger amounts of certain superfoods that we may not eat otherwise, offering an opportunity to cleanse and detoxify our bodies.
Plant fiber is pulverized when blended, making it easier for our digestive system to handle. The “good” bacteria in our gut can thrive on the number of plant foods a smoothie provides, and healthy gut bacteria are less likely to cause abdominal pain, gas/bloating, and motility problems. Having an optimal bacterial balance plays a crucial role in our overall health. Many of us also don’t realize the energy needed to break down large meals. On average, a person uses about 10% of their daily energy expenditure digesting and absorbing food. This percentage changes depending on the type of food we eat, so if we can speed up and lighten our digestive loads first thing in the morning with a liquid breakfast, the ingredients will be more easily assimilated to our bodies. After all, we are not what we eat - we are what we digest.
We also cannot overlook another crucial benefit of a liquid breakfast - hydration. The water content of fruits and vegetables are high, and blending them all together with water or plant-based milk offers a rush of hydration that the body can utilize first thing in the morning. After eight hours without water (during sleep) it’s incredibly beneficial to rehydrate the body, and doing so can jump-start our metabolism and reduce calorie intake throughout the day, which may assist in weight loss. It can bolster our ability to perform early-day tasks and help rid the body of undesirable toxins. The brain is also made up of almost 73% water, so staying hydrated is essential to maintaining maximum brain function.
The number of ingredients that can make up a nutrient-dense smoothie are endless. A typical base can include leafy greens, a banana, berries, nut butter and plant-based milk. However, there are numerous add-ons that can significantly bolster immunity, aid recovery, and protect our overall health. Some notable ingredients include:
- Maca powder
- Amla powder
- Cacao powder
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Goji berries
- Ginger Cinnamon
- Apple cider vinegar
Additionally, if we’re looking to increase our protein intake and stay satiated until lunch time, adding a scoop of protein powder to our smoothie is a great option. Supplementing with one that mixes well and tastes great is quite easy with Vedge Plant Protein. Centered around organic peas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, it can easily be added to any type of smoothie for an extra 25 grams of USDA Certified Organic plant protein per serving.
When they're done right, smoothies are a great way to pack a powerful nutritional punch in a quick, easy, portable meal. They allow us to take in larger amounts of certain superfoods than we could if we merely ate them. It’s important to be mindful of the sugar content of such meals, as what can start out as nutritional breakfast can easily turn into a dessert-like treat, spiking our blood sugar first thing in the morning. Even if some of us wanted to, we don’t have the time to sit down to a big breakfast, so striking a balance between nutrition and practicality can help us move one step closer toward optimal health.
TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!
Barr, Sadie B, and Jonathan C Wright. “Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure.” Food & nutrition research vol. 54 10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5144. 2 Jul. 2010, doi:10.3402/fnr.v54i0.5144
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