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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Healthy head start on the day

10:09 AM

Store up on energy with a quick and nutritious breakfast of healthy oats

PICTURE this: You’re rushing an important proposal for a client and you’re just an hour away from the deadline.

Instead of grabbing some breakfast, you use the time to double-check whether you miss out anything in your proposal before heading out the door with an empty stomach.

Unfortunately, as the morning wears on, you start to shut down. You can’t concentrate.

Do your body a favour. Go have your breakfast. Breakfast supplies you energy like how batteries activate your electronic gadgets. With a complete breakfast, you would be able to keep up with the many different roles you play throughout the day.

Wake up early to have some time to prepare breakfast. If that’s not an option for you, then prepare breakfast the night before if you usually rush the next morning. Make time, even if it’s just 10 minutes, to enjoy your breakfast.

High-fibre foods like oats and high-protein foods like milk and cheese can keep your energy up the rest of the day. So, stock up on them. Munching on an oat bar while downing it with milk works too. Keep some of these in your office on those mornings you forget to grab breakfast on the way out.

However, a woman’s body needs a unique combination of nutrients that is quite different from a man’s. Women’s nutritional requirements also differ according to the various stages in their life. They include energy, protein, iron, B vitamins, calcium and folate.

• Energy

Energy is required to fuel your brain and body for all those activities that you need to do in a day. The body turns to carbohydrates for this energy. Oats are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre as opposed to highly-refined carbohydrate foods. The fibre keeps you full longer and helps prevent constipation.

• Protein

Protein is absolutely essential to build and repair those body tissues damaged or worn out by strenuous activities. Proteins also defend the body against disease. Giant protein molecules (antibodies) are designed specifically to combat invading antigens.

• Iron

This mineral gives you vitality, which sharpens your concentration and keeps your complexion rosy.

• Vitamin Bs

Vitamin Bs improve your metabolism and also help keep fatigue at bay.

• Calcium

This mineral strengthens your bones and maintains your bone densities which support your daily routines and act as additional support if you go to the gym.

• Folate

Folic acid, one of the many B vitamins, is essential in the formation of red blood cell and strongly recommended for women in their 20s and 30s who plan to have children.

So, with juggling so many roles in your life and pandering to others’ needs, don’t forget to give some time to you yourself. You need power to keep you on your toes!

While you care about what your family is eating, you deserve the best choice of breakfast for yourself especially oats, tailored-made with the nutritional needs of women in mind.

This article is courtesy of the Quaker Smart Heart Programme (QSHP).

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