It’s universal knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is true because it nourishes the body and brain after the nighttime fast, hence the name. Because our body does not consume anything for long hours, we become famished. And the first meal you take upon waking up kick starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day.
The Importance of Breakfast
Your breakfast food will provide you the energy and nourishment you need to get going for the day. That’s why you should choose carefully what you eat for your day’s first meal. Sometimes, skipping breakfast may be better than eating unhealthy breakfast foods such as donuts, pastries, and pancakes, which are loaded with saturated fat and sugars, and contain very small amount of protein or fiber.
As a matter of fact, eating healthy breakfast can give you the right energy and prevent you from overeating for the rest of the day. It is proven that eating nutritious, well-balanced meal for breakfast leads to having less cravings, improved self-control, increased productivity, and better memory and concentration. Aside from these, you can also reduce your risks of getting diabetes and heart diseases.
A balanced breakfast is a combination of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. This combination helps your body get an energy boost, caused by a slight increase in blood sugar. The protein and fat, however, will aid in stabilizing this to distribute your energy consumption throughout the day. While carbs have an immediate effect on your vitality, your proteins will make sure you have more energy left for later hours. On the other hand, fiber will keep your body feeling full, preventing you from getting cravings and overeating.
Foods to Eat for Breakfast
In this article, you will learn the healthiest foods to eat in the morning.
Oatmeal is one of the popular choices for breakfast. It is a nutritious food made of ground oats, loaded with a distinct fiber called beta glucan, that helps a person feel full for long hours. Apart from this, oatmeal is also rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium, which are great for detoxifying your body and keeping your heart healthy.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that oatmeal does not contain enough protein for you body’s needs. Steel cut oats may be a better option since it contains more protein and fiber. But it’s still best to pair your oatmeal with eggs or cheese to boost your protein intake. Another important thing to remember is to avoid the flavored variants of oatmeal you may find in the market since these can be packed with sugar.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein for your first meal. It’s a delicious and nutritious food that you can pair with fruits for a yummy breakfast treat. It’s generally thicker and creamier than regular strained yogurt and has more protein content.
Some variants of greek yogurt also contains probiotics which helps your immune and digestive systems stay healthy. It is also rich in calcium, vitamin B12, and potassium.
Eggs are widely popular breakfast food. This is because it’s versatile, easy to prepare, healthy, and simply delicious. Eggs are packed with high quality protein and choline, a vital nutrient that keeps our brain and liver healthy.
Some people believe that eggs are not a healthy choice of food because of the amount of cholesterol they contain. However, many researches have proven that the dietary cholesterol found in eggs have very minimal impact in the blood. As a matter of fact, eating whole eggs may decrease risks of developing heart diseases.
Nuts is a good source of protein, especially for vegans or people who do not consume animal products. All types of nuts contains plenty of magnesium, potassium, and other heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Magnesium prevents buildup of fluid retention while potassium helps flush toxins by assisting urine production.
Aside from these health benefits, nuts are also a versatile addition to your breakfast meal. Nut butters can be spread on your wheat bread toast, paired with oatmeal, or a dip for fresh fruits. Some healthy nut butters include peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and hazelnut butter.
5. Green tea
Tea is on of the healthiest choices of beverages out there. It’s rich in antioxidants that helps in detoxifying your body. It also helps you get rid of oxidized stress and free radicals that causes growth of cancer and other life threatening diseases.
Green tea also contains 40-70 mg of caffeine per serving, making it a good alternative for coffee. It can also help increase muscle endurance and hydration to get your body going through the day. This drink is definitely a perfect addition to your morning food intake.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They can provide your body and brain plenty of nutrients that are essential to keep in good shape. As little as 1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds can give you 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants, which protect your cells from unstable molecules called free radicals that are produced during metabolism.
These power seeds are also very flexible in terms of preparation. You can blend them with your smoothie, mix it with greek yogurt, or add them to your protein shake for a fiber boost.
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another protein powerhouse to boost your breakfast with beneficial muscle nutrients. It’s also rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, and calcium. On top of this, cottage cheese also gives the same effect as eggs in alleviating sensations of hunger and craving, keeping your body feeling full for longer hours.
Some people eat cottage cheese by itself, but you can also mix it with salad, or use it as a spread for your wheat toast. You can also blend it with a fruit smoothie for an interesting beverage treat.
Eating fruits for breakfast an excellent way to start the day. Berries of all kinds, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in fiber disease-fighting antioxidants while having very low amount of calories. One cup of berries contain up to 120 grams of fiber and only 50-85 calories.
Use berries as a topping for your cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. You can also blend them into smoothies or eat them with cottage cheese. When not in season, berries may be sold in higher prices. You can always opt for frozen berries which are just as nutritious.
Boost your breakfast with omega-3 fatty acids by adding flaxseed to your meal. Even just two tablespoons of flaxseed can provide your body more than 100% of your recommended daily intake of these heart-healthy fats. It is also rich in fiber and lignan, an antioxidant that’s been shown to protect against breast cancer. It may also help in lowering blood levels of cholesterol, improving insulin sensitivity, and lowering blood sugar.
You can add ground flaxseed to your breakfast smoothie or bowl of oatmeal. Remember to buy ground flaxseed, or grind the whole seeds at home before consumption. This is to make sure your body digests them properly so you can get all the beneficial nutrients.