ST. LOUIS, Aug. 12 (UPI) — A U.S. nutrition expert suggests the best breakfast the first day of school should include foods that fight stress and keep students calm.
Connie Diekman, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, says a breakfast with protein and quality carbohydrates — such as oatmeal with milk or peanut butter on whole wheat — can help students stay calm and focused.
“When we look at that carbohydrate piece, what we want to focus on is your better quality carbohydrates, the longer energy carbohydrates like whole grain,” Diekman says in a statement.
She also suggests fruit, possibly a fruit and yogurt parfait, be included in breakfast.
“Some sugar from the fruit that gives that quick burst of energy, but the milk, the yogurt, has a lot of compounds in it besides the protein that can help the body with relaxation, attention, all of these factors,” she says.
The darker the fruit, the better, Diekman advises. Blueberries, strawberries, apricots, blackberries and raspberries all contain a lot of phytonutrients that can help the body with relaxation during stressful times.
“It is so important that we equip kids, and mom and dad too, with something to eat before they enter the classroom or their job, because the studies are very, very clear,” Diekman says. “Performance in a classroom is so much better in breakfast eaters than in those who skip.”
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