What are the best foods to start and end your day with? Know it from experts – India Today

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We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is important, but did you know that eating the right foods at the right times of day is also essential?

Yes, you read that right.

Experts and several studies show that certain foods are best eaten at specific times of day. This means that an extra cheese pizza might not be as detrimental to your body if consumed at the right time.

Skipping breakfast can also lead to depression

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If you feel tired throughout the day, struggle to get yourself motivated, or think you can fuel yourself with only a cup of steaming hot espresso, don’t just blame the gloomy weather. Skipping your breakfast can be the reason.

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Breakfast is the day’s first meal and perhaps the most skipped one. However, skipping breakfast might be as disastrous for you as texting your toxic ex (well, maybe a little less).

Both a pro-inflammatory diet and skipping breakfast were risk factors for depression. Photo: Unsplash
  • For instance, a 2020 study showed that skipping breakfast can potentially lead to a heart issue.
  • Not only this, another 2019 study also suggests that regularly skipping breakfast may be linked to an increased risk of developing conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Not only this, skipping breakfast can also manifest as mental health problems. A recent 2024 study, done on almost 20,000 Americans, shows that both a pro-inflammatory diet (all the food that can cause inflammation, for instance, processed foods) and skipping breakfast were risk factors for depression.

The right breakfast

But what is the right food to start your day, you ask? Here is what experts have to say:

Sanchi Tiwari, a nutritionist at Lord’s Mark Biotech, Mumbai, tells India Today that one should keep in mind our individual nutritional goals before tailoring a specific diet plan, even for breakfast, but there are certain nutrients that she would recommend that can make a wholesome breakfast.

“It is essential to include a variety of essential proteins, carbohydrates, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals to get the right start to the day,” she adds.

Your breakfast should have essential proteins, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. Photo: Unsplash

Jashan Vij, a health and fat loss coach agrees. According to him, starting our day with the right foods sets the tone for energy levels, focus, and overall well-being. He says to go for nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to kickstart our metabolism and keep us energised throughout the morning.

Here are some examples of an ideal breakfast according to Jashan:

Oatmeal

“Rich in fibre, oatmeal provides long-lasting energy and helps stabilise blood sugar levels,” Jashan says.

Eggs

High in protein, eggs help keep you full and satisfied, aiding muscle repair and growth.

Greek yoghurt

Packed with protein and probiotics, Greek yoghurt supports digestive health and keeps hunger at bay.

100 grams of Greek yoghurt can contain 5 gm of protein. Photo: Unsplash

Berries

Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre, berries are a nutritious way to add sweetness and nutrition to your morning meal.

Whole grain toast with avocado

According to Jashan, a breakfast like this provides healthy fats, fibre, and complex carbohydrates, ensuring sustained energy and satiety (the state of feeling full).

What about dinner?

Just as breakfast is often skipped, dinner is the meal we tend to get wrong. Whether we eat too much or too little, by the end of the day, we frequently make poor choices when it comes to the last meal of the day.

Many people go for fruit or could also be feasting after a strenuous workout session.

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“I think people should pay attention to their work regime, calorific requirements, and fitness goals,” Sanchi says.

She also suggests that our approach should be to consume light food at least two hours before sleeping and consume good food that can promote sleep while supporting metabolic activities.

Here are some things that you can keep in mind, according to Sanchi:

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  • The focus should also be on foods that support digestion, satiety, and muscle recovery.
  • It is advisable to focus on proteins that can keep one satisfied through eight hours of sleep. This also prevents late-night or early-morning cravings.
Bananas relax muscles since they are rich sources of magnesium and potassium. Photo: Unsplash
  • Slow-release carbs or low-GI (Glycolic Index) foods such as oatmeal and whole grains can be beneficial to sleep.
  • Besides, fruits such as bananas have been found to relax muscles since they are rich sources of magnesium and potassium.
  • But also keep in mind that although many people consider a fruit-rich diet, fruits contain higher quantities of fructose which may strain digestion and cause sugar spikes.

Jashan gives us a few examples of food that we can have for dinner. According to him, foods like lean proteins (chicken, fish and tofu) provide the amino acids needed for muscle repair and recovery while being easy on digestion.

He also further says to incorporate leafy greens and vegetables which are high in fibre and low in calories, which supports digestion and provides essential nutrients without feeling heavy.

Complex carbohydrates provide the necessary energy for workouts and aid in muscle recovery. Photo: Unsplash

“These foods are easy to digest and contain nutrients that support muscle repair, hormone regulation, and overall recovery,” says Jashan.

He further adds that nutrients like complex carbohydrates present in foods like quinoa and brown rice also regulate blood sugar levels and promote the production of serotonin, which can aid sleep.

PS: Just like your breakfast, your dinner should also be customised according to your health goals at the end. For instance, if you work out extensively, remember to add extra protein to your diet to support muscle repair and growth from sources like lean meats, dairy, legumes, and protein supplements.

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Finally, don’t skip your meals

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or even dinner, never skip your meals.

Why? According to experts, it may slow metabolism, making it harder to maintain or lose weight. Remember to eat at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Skipping meals can lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar, increasing the chances of insulin resistance and thereby the risk of diabetes.

Published By:

Dristi Sharma

Published On:

Jun 11, 2024

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title this site

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