What Should You Do As You Wake Up In The Morning

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

As you wake up in the morning, you would sit up to get out of bed. In that seated position at the edge of the bed, you would swing your legs couple of times, to increase the circulation. At the same time you would stretch your arms and flex your elbows a few times for the same reason.

Then, you would get out of bed and walk straight to the fridge. If you suffer from positional vertigo, as is common as you get older, you should get out of bed more gently and slowly keeping your eyes closed to prevent an attack of vertigo or spinning.

Pour a glass of cool water from the container, put in a sliced lemon, and two to three drops of apple cider vinegar. Drink the whole glass of water to feel fresh, hydrated and feel it is a great morning for you.

Some people prefer warm water instead of cold water. In a way warm water extracts more nutrients and vitamin C from the lemon slice, but not as refreshing as the stimulating cool water.

Why add lemon?

Vitamin C in lemon is like our immune system jumper cables. It prepares you for a stressful day at work. High potassium in lemon is good for heart action, reduces your blood pressure, and good for your nerves. Lemon juice also prepares your digestive system for a good enjoyable breakfast, and it is a good energy booster and a mouth freshener.

Lemon reduces the acidity in the body. Though lemon has citric acid, the minerals and nutrients in it are alkaline in nature. Citric acid is not a strong acid and is removed from the body by eliminating in your perspiration. Lemon stimulates the formation of calcium carbonate that neutralises other strong acids in the body. This is helpful if your diet is heavy in proteins like meat and cheese. So lemon maintains the pH balance in the body. You should brush your teeth after you enjoy the glass of water with lemon, as lemon tends to corrode your enamel, but not in such dilute solutions.

Drinking lemon in water also tends to lose weight by fighting against the food craving.

Why add a few drops of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, and if you drink undiluted may affect your enamel. Just a few drops in your water would be sufficient. Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for those who eat a starchy breakfast, quite a frequent breakfast eating, string hoppers, hoppers in the mornings in Sri Lanka.  Undigested starches will feed the good bacteria in your gut. It is good to sip water with a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar along with your meal. This vinegar supports your immune system and for some people even helps with constipation.

Should you have a wash first and have breakfast or vice versa?

This is questionable. If you are a working person, it is advisable to have breakfast and then brush. For those who do not go out to work, they could leisurely have a wash and enjoy the breakfast easy.

What is there for breakfast?

In most Western countries, cereals or oats would be the convenient and preferred meal. In countries like Sri Lanka, as oats and Cereals are not freely available there are other options. Oats seems to be one of the healthiest food for breakfast. Just adding adequate milk and warming up in the microwave oven for a minute is all that’s necessary. You could add some sliced banana, strawberries and other fruits for more nutritional value. Oatmeal and oatbran are excellent sources of fibre, containing soluble and insoluble in equal proportions. The soluble fibre in oats has a component called beta-glucans which is proved and effective in lowering the blood cholesterol The soluble fibre in oats form a gel in the intestines that traps the cholesterol in cholesterol rich bile, and from the digesting food before been absorbed.

Oats also have a good source of a compound called tocotrienols. These are antioxidants and together with tocophenols in the oats form vitamin E. Tocotrienols also lowers the blood cholesterol.

Anti-Cancer properties

Oats like other grains contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals), reducing the chances of getting cancer. Lignans are phyto-oestrogens found in oats linked with hormone related diseases like breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who take high fibre diets have lower circulating oestrogen levels. The insoluble fibre in oats seems to reduce the incidence of cancer in the large bowel. Oats can be enjoyed every day for breakfast without alternating with other foods.

Cereals for breakfast

Go for whole grain cereals where the fibre and nutrients are not stripped off. A smarter choice: whole grains like wheat, brown rice, and corn, which keep the entire grain kernel.

Whole grains provide a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals, which help your body function They also reduce the risk of heart disease, and because they take longer to digest, will make you feel fuller, longer.”

Always choose a cereal with high fibre content. Check for the salt content on the label and steer of those that have more than 500 milligrams per serving.

Also, choose one with low sugar and fat.

What is a poor man’s breakfast?
Average worker cannot eat oats, too expensive for his purse. Bread and lentil or left over curry from the previous night’s dinner is preferred. Milk rice (kiri-bath) is another option with ‘lunu-miris’ normally cooked on the first day of the month in most Sri Lankan homes.

Now, you are ready to go for work.

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