If you grew up with your mom always telling you to eat your breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day, it turns out that she was right! Now, go ahead and thank her for the advice, and make sure you follow it!
Why is breakfast so important? According to research, the first meal you eat of the day sets the entire tone for what you eat the rest of the day. Not only does it fuel your body with vital energy that your body needs to get you up and going, but it also kick-starts your metabolism.
Breakfast immediately increases your energy levels, restores your blood glucose levels to normal after a period of fasting overnight, and it also increases glycogen stores in your liver and muscles. It also has an immediate impact on cortisol, the stress hormone, lowering its levels and boosting your overall mood. It affects every dimension of your physical and mental well-being, thereby impacting your performance throughout the day.
If you’re looking to lose weight, improve your mental and physical performance, and boost your mood, you are going to want to make sure that you start each day with a well-balanced breakfast.
In order to get the most out of your breakfast, skip processed foods, like toaster strudels and pre-packaged cereals that are loaded with preservatives. Instead, start your day off right with one of these 20 highly nutritious and delicious breakfasts.
1. Greek yogurt
For a super easy, highly healthy, and totally delicious breakfast, grab some Greek yogurt. It has a creamier consistency than traditional yogurt, thanks to the straining process, which removes liquids, such as whey, from the curds. This straining process also results in a highly concentrated form of protein, which will make you feel more satiated for longer. Plus, protein is an important building block for both your muscles and cells. Plus, Greek yogurt can also help with weight control, as it increases the production of hormones that promote the sensation of fullness. Lastly, Greek yogurt is packed with other essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Eggs are among the most popular breakfast foods, and for good reason. Packed with protein, research has found that eggs successfully increase the feeling of fullness, maintain healthy insulin and blood sugar levels, and reduce caloric intake during subsequent meals.
Eggs are also a great source of zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that maintain the health of your vision. They are also packed with choline, a nutrient that plays an important part in the health of your brain and liver.
Lastly, eggs are high in healthy cholesterol, and contrary to popular belief, they can actually lower your risk of heart disease.
So, whether you like them scrambled, hard boiled, or sunny side up, eggs are the perfect breakfast food.
There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot oatmeal on a chilly morning. Not only does it make you feel warm and cozy, but oatmeal also keeps your belly feeling full for longer than other breakfast cereals, and it will supply you with a wealth of important nutrients.
Made from ground oats, oatmeal offers beta-glucan, a unique type of fiber that offers a wealth of health benefits, such as lowering bad cholesterol levels. Plus, because it’s viscous, it promotes the feeling of fullness. Oatmeal is also full of antioxidants that protect you from free radical damage.
For the healthiest option, skip options that are filled with sugars and other preservatives and instead, opt for a stone ground variety.
Add some flavor with honey, fruit or fresh ground cinnamon.
4. Fresh berries
Another excellent option for breakfast is fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. These varieties are lower in sugar than other fruits, and they are also packed with fiber.
As a matter of fact, you’ll get about 8 grams of fiber in just one cup of blackberries or raspberries. Fresh berries are also low in calories; there’s only around 50 to 85 calories in every cup.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, berries are also high in antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties, making them great for your overall health and well-being.
5. Chia seeds
It’s surprising how much these little seeds can do for your health. Chia seeds are one of the best sources of fiber you can possibly consume; a single one ounce serving offers up about 11 grams! And, a part of this fiber content contains viscous fiber, which is famed for its ability to absorb water, which means it can actually expand the volume of food you eat as it moves through the digestive tract.
As a result, you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied for longer. Chia seeds also pack a ton of antioxidants, protein and anti-inflammatory properties. Sprinkle them on toast, mix them into a smoothie, or toss some on top of a bowl of oatmeal for a super healthy breakfast.
Nuts of all types make another healthy addition to your breakfast spread. They are an excellent source of protein, potassium, magnesium, and monounsaturated fat, all elements that play an important part in your physical and mental health. Nuts have also been found to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and lower resistance to insulin.
This means that if you are predisposed to heart conditions, have diabetes, or suffer from conditions that cause inflammation, nuts will be a particularly good part of your breakfast.
Enjoy a handful of nuts alongside your other favorite breakfast foods, mix them into yogurts, or sprinkle them on top of cereal.
Another type of seed that you should seriously consider eating for breakfast is flaxseed. These seeds are a rich source of viscous fiber, which has been proven to help you feel full for a prolonged period of time. Evidence also suggests that flaxseeds can lower blood sugar levels and reduce resistance to insulin.
Some research also indicates that flaxseeds might shield against breast cancer. Just two tablespoons of flaxseeds serves up about 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
You can easily add them to smoothies, Greek yogurt, cereal, and a variety of other breakfast foods.
8. Green tea
Of course, you need something to wash your breakfast down with, so why not sip on a cup of green tea? You’ll get anywhere from 35 to 70 mg of caffeine in a cup of green tea, which will make you feel more alert, enhance your mood, and can also increase your metabolic rate.
Green tea also contains qualities that can be helpful for diabetes, as it reduces both blood sugar and insulin levels.
It also contains EGCG, an antioxidant that has been found to protect heart, brain and nervous system from damage.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a great part of a healthy breakfast. Of course, you already know that caffeine is high in caffeine, which is why this beverage helps to wake you up and make you feel more alert.
But, did you know that it can also improve your mood?
Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, so it can reduce inflammation and protect you from various health conditions, such as liver disease and heart disease.
It can also reduce the effects of diabetes. Plus, the caffeine in coffee will increase your metabolic rate, thereby allowing you to burn fat.
10. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is another great food to add to your breakfast menu. It’s creamy, has a mild flavor, and it is totally fulfilling. Cottage cheese contains a healthy amount of protein, so when you eat it for breakfast, it will help to jumpstart your metabolism and make you feel full for a longer feeling of time.
It has also been found to decrease the production of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.
As a matter of fact, researchers have found that cottage cheese is more filling than eggs. So, mix some cottage cheese into an omelet, or top a bowl with some fresh berries.