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June 2019

Brain-boosting breakfasts

“Research shows that one in three of us misses breakfast, often due to time pressure or not feeling hungry,” says registered nutritionist Kathy Lewis. Lewis, an expert at the UK’s Extra Travel Vitality, says that a good breakfast “improves concentration and mood, regulates blood-sugar levels, manages jet lag and also reduces cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and diabetes. All these issues affect business travellers more than office-based workers.” Lewis gives us some advice on how to eat a healthy breakfast when travelling.

Start with a drink

We lose water at night as our bodies work hard to remove waste substances. So always start your day with fluids. Even mild dehydration can affect concentration and mood. A hot beverage is fine. If you are on the run, take a bottled drink with you. Milk is the most hydrating and contains the iodine, calcium and essential proteins frequent travelers who often miss breakfast overlook.

The ideal breakfast

A good breakfast should include several food groups and supply 20–25 percent of your nutritional requirements. Aim for whole grains, such as oats, rye, whole wheat bread and cereals. Include protein such as egg, salmon, beans, low-fat milk or cheese to keep you feeling full. Add fruit and vegetables. Good combinations include: peanut butter on wholegrain toast, wholemeal pitta bread and hummus, porridge with milk and berries, Greek yoghurt with oats or cereal, avocado on toast, or a vegetable omelette. But beware of overeating at the hotel buffet!

Breakfast on the go

If you are not able or ready to eat before a flight or meeting, prepare a breakfast to take with you. Take an apple, nuts, dried fruit, a banana or a sandwich for that late breakfast. If you don’t feel like eating when travelling long haul, eating at your destination’s breakfast time will help reset your biological clock. (When we “break” the night’s “fast”, it signals the start of the day).

Beware of hidden sugar and salt in fashionable “healthy” breakfasts

Most airport cafés, markets and restaurants now offer Greek yoghurt with granola and compote. But we also know that some items on offer contain five or six teaspoons of sugar. Smoothies

advertised as “Pick me up”, “Detox” or “Energizer” can contain up to 500 calories per drink with an extremely high content of freed sugars. Check ingredients where possible, especially for salt content higher than 0.5 grams per 100 grams or over 1.5 grams per serving. High salt items should be avoided when flying, as your heart then needs to work harder to pump oxygen around.

Auhtor: Vicki Sussens, Connect Magazine UK
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash


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