A Nutritionist's Guide to Starting Your Day Right

What you eat can determine your energy and even mood for the entire day. Explore these expert nutritionist tips to kickstart your day on the right note.

By URLife Team
11 Dec 2023

Mornings hold immense potential for setting the tone for what follows the rest of the day. But more often than not, amidst busy mornings, we tend to reach for convenient choices that might not be the best for our bodies. These options, while quick and easy, often lack the wholesome nutrition and contain additives that can be detrimental over time. Nibbling on snacks, biscuits, or quick bites might seem like convenient choices, but can take a toll on our health in the long term. Also, establishing a set routine and embracing certain habits can truly make a difference in how we approach our mornings.


According to 2022 research by the American Academy of Neurology, eating more ultra-processed foods such as soft drinks, chips and cookies is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.


As stated in a 2011 report by the British Medical Journal, a diet high in fats, sugars and processed foods in early childhood may lower IQ, while a diet packed full of vitamins and nutrients may do the opposite.


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The above research shows that starting your day on the right nutritional note is pivotal for well-rounded health. We spoke to Dr. Lakshmi Kilaru, Head Nutritionist at UR.Life about the ideal foods for breakfast and how they can change our energy levels throughout the day. Keep reading to learn what she recommends, and how you can set yourself up for success by having the ideal morning routine.


Consume A Protein Heavy Breakfast

A 2004 research shows eating at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast can help in lowering insulin sensitivity, improving muscle mass and curbing your cravings. Protein-rich foods take longer to digest compared to simple carbohydrates, providing a steady release of energy throughout the morning. This sustained energy helps curb mid-morning energy slumps, keeping you more alert and focused.


Having a protein-rich breakfast can significantly impact our energy levels, especially during the early hours when the body tends to be in a catabolic state. At this time, cortisol levels are elevated, potentially leading to muscle breakdown. Introducing protein in our morning meals helps counteract this state by providing the body with essential amino acids that support muscle repair and growth. So try Incorporating protein sources like eggs, lentils, Greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit, tofu, paneer, nuts, seeds, or lean meats for your breakfast. Traditional Indian breakfast foods like dosa can be made using quinoa or ragi to make it more nutritionally dense.


Incorporate Wellness Drinks

Starting your day with infused water can be a healthy ritual. Dr. Lakshmi suggests the following wellness drinks to amp up your health. Soaked methi water, soaked cinnamon water, or a blend of ajwain and jeera soaked in water are known to offer various health benefits. Methi water enhances insulin resistance and allows for better blood sugar control and management. Similarly, soaked cinnamon is beneficial for those dealing with diabetes.


Ajwain and jeera water can aid in digestion and offer relief from bloating or gas issues. Also, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in water is often thought to promote an alkaline environment in the gut. An alkaline body helps ward off diseases and aids in promoting well-rounded health.


Avoid Drinking Chilled Water

Drinking chilled water causes abdominal muscles to contract and this can interfere with the digestion process and absorption of nutrients. To support a smoother and more efficient digestion process, opting for room temperature or lukewarm water in the morning can be a better choice. This temperature is gentler on the stomach, allowing for a more relaxed environment for digestion to occur, aiding in nutrient absorption and overall digestive health.


Opting for kombucha as a mid-morning drink is also ideal. It is a probiotic drink, well-known for its potential to enhance gut health. By incorporating kombucha into your routine, you're introducing beneficial live bacteria and yeast that can positively influence your gut microbiome.


Consume Soaked Nuts

We all are quite aware of the fact that the best way to start the day is by consuming nuts and seeds but it would be more beneficial for our health if we consume it after soaking it overnight. When nuts are soaked, their nutrient availability and digestibility improve significantly.


During soaking, enzyme inhibitors present in nuts are neutralised, making the nutrients within them more bioavailable. This means that the body can better absorb essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in the nuts. Additionally, soaking reduces phytic acid, a compound found in nuts that can hinder mineral absorption. By reducing phytic acid, soaking enhances the body's ability to absorb minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium.


Oil Pulling

While this routine has been trending on social media recently, oil pulling is actually an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has been around for centuries. This ancient practice involves swishing a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth for about 15 to 20 minutes before spitting it out. This helps in throwing out harmful bacteria and toxins from the mouth while promoting oral hygiene and gum health.


Using virgin coconut oil for oil pulling is considered one of the best options due to its antimicrobial nature. It waives off harmful bacteria, which may contribute to dental issues like plaque buildup and bad breath.


Get Some Sunlight

Starting your day by soaking in a bit of sunlight can work wonders for your body. Spending about 10 minutes basking in natural sunlight helps wake up your body and kickstart your internal clock(circadian rhythm). This rhythm helps regulate your body's functions, like sleeping and waking up.


Also, sunlight helps your body generate the production of Vitamin D naturally, keeps your bones strong and your immune system healthy. It's like giving your body a little dose of natural energy to start your day feeling more awake, alert and focused.  Sunlight can even benefit your eyes, keeping them healthy and happier. So, consider greeting the day with a bit of sunshine—it might just make your mornings brighter!


Go for a Walk

Breathing in the fresh morning air during a walk can benefit your lungs by enhancing their capacity. This not only helps you feel more awake but also supports better focus throughout the day.


Moreover, walking releases feel-good hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, which can lift your mood and reduce stress. Lowering cortisol, known as the stress hormone, contributes to a calmer mind and a more relaxed start to your day. Additionally, a morning walk can aid in improving insulin resistance, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and boost energy expenditure.


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At UR.Life Studios, we offer a complete multi-disciplined approach to fitness and well-being. The URLife Studio is a luxe wellness oasis, combining sleek modern design, lavish amenities, state-of-the-art equipment and personalised wellness programs.

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