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Think That Corn Flakes Are Healthy Options? Then You Should Read This

Think That Corn Flakes Are Healthy Options? Then You Should Read This

You know the routine: wake up, take a shower, grab a bowl, a spoon, and a box of corn flakes. Sound familiar? Well, I have news for you. If you’re eating those corn flakes because you think they’re a healthy breakfast option, you may as well be eating chocolate cake.

Corn Flakes Are Not That Healthy

Corn flakes are far from the healthiest breakfast cereal. Actually, they are a refined carbohydrate. This means that the most nutritious part of the grain and its fiber have been removed. But, fiber is exactly what we should be adding to our diet! Because refined carbohydrates have had all of their vitamins and minerals removed, they are considered empty calories. That’s right, you’ve been starting your day on empty calories.

Do you find yourself hungry again before it’s time for lunch? That’s because your body is digesting the corn flakes too quickly which causes a sharp increase in your blood sugar level. The increased blood sugar leads to increased insulin production as well.

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Because of this, corn flakes are considered a high glycemic food, as are most refined carbohydrates. High glycemic foods have been linked to obesity because the feeling of constant hunger leads to overeating. In addition to obesity, consuming refined carbohydrates has been connected to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

A Healthier Alternative: Bran Flakes (Whole Grain) Instead Of Corn Flakes (“White Grain”)

Want a healthy alternative? Try bran flakes instead. Not convinced? Take a look at this picture:

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whole-vs-refined-grains
    Infographic source

    Just a quick glance and you can see that bran flakes, a whole grain, offer more than corn flakes, a “white grain”.

    What is Bran Actually?

    Bran is the outer part of a wheat kernel and is usually discarded during the refining process. It is considered a whole grain and is rich in fiber, vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Its high nutritional value and fiber-rich layer means you feel full longer. This is because your body digests this complex carbohydrate more slowly, which prevents the surge in blood sugar levels and insulin production.

    The Benefits of Bran

    It Boosts Your Digestion

    As previously mentioned, bran flakes are full of fiber. Just one serving gives you around 20% of the daily recommended intake. Your body needs all of that fiber to maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Because the fiber slows down digestion, bran flakes can keep you feeling full for longer in the mornings.

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    It Keeps You From Getting Hungry So Easily

    Even though bran flakes keep you from getting hungry before lunchtime, one serving actually has less calories than corn flakes. Lower calorie intake and feeling full for longer have the added benefit of weight loss.

    It Contains More Vitamins And Minerals

    Bran also contains more vitamins and minerals than corn flakes. Some of the minerals found in this morning bowl of cereal include zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, bran contains vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, D, and E.

    It Lowers Cholesterol Levels

    Consuming dietary fiber has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels. High cholesterol leads to clogged arteries, which can cause stroke and even heart attack. So, eating bran flakes instead of corn flakes has the additional benefit of reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

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    Adding Bran Flakes to Your Diet

    For some people, switching from corn flakes to bran flakes in the morning may be difficult because the taste is different. If this is true for you, try gradually making the switch. Fill your bowl halfway with corn flakes and halfway with bran flakes, gradually increase the bran flake content over the week.

    To make your breakfast even healthier, try adding some fresh fruit, raisins, unsweetened coconut flakes, or nuts. Eating bran flakes with plain yogurt is another delicious alternative. Cut up a banana and drizzle a little bit of honey.

    If you have been consuming a low fiber diet, the sudden switch to bran flakes might result in diarrhea. So, switching gradually might be the best option for you. Also, remember to drink plenty of water all day long to avoid constipation.

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    Amber Pariona

    EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

    1. Cat Camel Stretch

    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

    Here’s a video to guide you through:

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    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

    3. Jumping Jacks

    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

    4. Abductor Side Lifts

    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

    5. Balancing Table Pose

    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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      6. Leg Squats

      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

      7. Push Ups

      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

      8. Bicycle Crunches

      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

      9. Lunges

      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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      10. Bicep Curls

      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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