Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Later research suggests that when you eat can be as important as what you eat. People who eat their largest meal at breakfast tend to be less overweight than people who eat their largest meal at lunch or dinner. People who eat breakfast tend to be less overweight than those who skip breakfast.
What are some good, healthy food choices that you can make for your first meal of the day?
Start with the Basics
Whole eggs are a terrific way to start your morning. Eggs don’t affect your cholesterol and the egg yolk contains a lot of protein and healthy fats. Of course, frying them in bacon grease or slathering butter on them will offset the mighty egg’s health benefits. Use a healthier oil like olive or coconut and go easy with the add-ons.
Most American might find beans and legumes an odd breakfast, but other cultures know the value of beans for breakfast.
They are high in protein, fiber and resistant starch making you feel fuller longer. Beans are great sources for zinc, folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Try a breakfast burrito with low fat beans and a scrambled egg for a healthy breakfast.
Cottage cheese was a huge diet food in the 1970s and they were right! Full of protein and calcium, a serving of cottage cheese is a great breakfast food.
Full-fat cottage cheese contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is used to fight cancer, atherosclerosis and obesity among other conditions. CLA can also help reduce food allergies in some people. Add some flaxseeds, chia seeds, berries or nuts to boost the nutritious-ness and add some extra flavor.
While sugar-coated high-calorie cereals are not your best breakfast source, there are some great whole grain cereals out there. Even better than cereal is to start at the source. Oats, brown rice and quinoa each make for very tasty breakfasts. They cook quickly and then check out the add-ons section below for ideas on what to top them with for a satisfying and tasty breakfast.
Adding nuts to your breakfast is a great way to add protein, fiber and healthy fats. Nuts are high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They are still high in calories, so don’t go overboard.
One study found that adding 2 ounces of nuts a day helped reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Nuts may improve heart disease risk factors, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation, so sprinkle on the nuts and enjoy!
Fruit is a great way to add a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber to breakfast without overdoing the sugar.
You may want to avoid bananas since they are high in tryptophan and may make you sleepy. Berries are a great source of antioxidants that protect your heart and may reduce inflammation, help with blood cholesterol and keep your cells healthy.
Chia seeds are not just for growing hair on terra cotta figures! Instead, you will find an almost perfect food that is high in fiber, low in carbs and high in anti-oxidants. If you want to be instantly full and stay that way chia seeds on your breakfast will do wonders for you.
They also help decrease inflammation. They don’t taste like much, so you can add them to everything.
Flaxseeds are another add on that doesn’t taste like much but adds lots of fiber and may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugars. If you eat them whole, they tend not to be digested although they do keep you feeling full.
You can grind them in a coffee grinder or buy already ground flaxseed to make it easier for your body to digest.
Coffee and Tea
Who doesn’t start their morning without coffee or tea? Turns out that coffee can improve mood, alertness and mental performance.
Coffee also contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation, protect your cells and decrease the risk of diabetes and liver disease. Don’t go overboard and add cream, creamer, sugar or artificial sweeteners to your coffee and you will keep it much healthier.
Green tea is a terrific drink. Like coffee, it contains caffeine but about ½ the amount. It’s been shown to reduce blood sugars and insulin levels and it contains a very important anti-oxidant that may protect the brain, nervous system and heart.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be pasties and sugar bombs. Choosing from the list of basics and topping that with some add-ons and sipping on a cup of black coffee or green tea will give you a varied and healthy menu to choose from every morning.