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National Restaurant Association - Ask the Nutritionist: A healthful breakfast fuels your brain

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Ask the Nutritionist: A healthful breakfast fuels your brain

The National Restaurant Association’s Director of Nutrition & Healthy Living Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., provides regular commentary on the NRA News blog. Her latest tips focus on the importance of a healthful breakfast.

Breakfast is important to everyone's overall health and performance. It is a morning refueling stop that your body needs to replenish its glucose, also called blood sugar, the main energy source for the brain.

Research has found that breakfast consumption:

• Is associated with greater dietary quality.

• Makes a high contribution to micronutrient intake in children and adults, such as potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C, and iron.

• Is a prime opportunity to help meet the Dietary Guidelines recommended intake of food groups and nutrients of concern, including recommendations for whole grains, fiber and fruit.

• Is generally associated with a better body weight status compared to breakfast skipping.

A few good options for a healthy breakfast include:

• Oatmeal - January was National Oatmeal Month. Personally I love a bowl of hot oatmeal with a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon and fresh blueberries. Oatmeal is a great option for breakfast since it provides whole grains, fiber and essential nutrients.

• Eggs – The 2010 Dietary Guidelines concluded that consumption of one egg per day is not associated with heart disease. In fact, one egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and antioxidants, all for 70 calories. An omelet with fresh vegetables is delicious!

• Low fat dairy- Dairy protein is a complete source of the amino acids needed for healthy muscles, especially as we grow older. Your body uses protein all day long. Low fat yogurts with fruit, or whole grain cereal with low fat milk are great options for breakfast.

• Whole grain bread or one small bagel with 1 oz of low fat cream cheese,or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter provides protein and fiber.

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