Breakfast is a great way to start the day. While some people prefer to skip breakfast, others need a source of energy to start the day. If you like breakfast, choosing nutritious foods can provide you with long-lasting energy and keep you full for hours. These foods are generally high in fiber, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients. While it’s best to avoid unhealthy options that are high in sugar, refined carbs, and additives, it’s not always easy to know what to choose. The list below will therefore help you to compose a healthy breakfast.
Here are 12 of the best foods and drinks to enjoy in the morning
Eggs are a simple and nutritious choice for breakfast. They are an excellent source of protein, which helps support muscle synthesis. Since protein takes time to digest, it also helps you feel full. In one study, people who were given eggs and toast for breakfast reported significantly less hunger than those who were given cereal, suggesting that higher intake high in protein from the egg group — 25 grams versus 11 grams — promoted greater satiety. Additionally, the egg group consumed fewer calories at lunch, suggesting that this dish may aid weight management. In addition, egg yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help prevent eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline, a vital nutrient for brain and liver health. Contrary to popular belief, eggs do not raise cholesterol levels, despite their high cholesterol content. In fact, an analysis of 23 studies found that eggs have a slight protective effect against heart disease.
2. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great option if you’re looking for a quick breakfast. It’s made by straining whey and other liquids from curds, resulting in a creamy product that’s more concentrated in protein than regular yogurt. Also, it is lower in calories than other protein sources. A one-cup (245-gram) serving has 25 grams of protein and only 149 calories. Plus, Greek yogurt is full of beneficial nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Certain types of yogurt are good sources of probiotics like bifidobacteria, which aid digestion. To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures” on the label. Try topping Greek yogurt with berries or cut-up fruit to add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Apart from water, coffee is the most popular drink in the world. It is rich in caffeine, a molecule that promotes alertness, improves mood and increases physical and mental performance. Notably, many athletes drink coffee as a natural pre-workout beverage to support athletic performance. It also contains other beneficial compounds, like chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and diterpenes, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, regular coffee consumption is associated with numerous health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, certain types of cancer and even death from all causes. Most studies suggest that 1–3 cups (240–710 ml) per day containing around 300–400 mg of caffeine provide these benefits. Although this amount is safe for adults, you should limit yourself to 300 mg or less of caffeine per day if you are pregnant. Finally, it is best to drink your coffee black. Try to use sugar sparingly or avoid it altogether, as excess sugar is linked to health risks.
4. Rolled oats
Rolled oats are a breakfast classic, and they’re very nutritious. They are made with rolled oats or steel cut oats, which contain a unique fiber called beta-glucan. This soluble fiber not only helps lower cholesterol levels, but also promotes feelings of fullness by delaying stomach emptying and triggering the release of peptide YY, a satiety hormone that can prevent overeating. Additionally, oats are a good source of iron, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. It also contains about 10 grams of protein per cup (81 grams). To increase protein content, prepare rolled oats with milk instead of water; Remember that oats do not contain gluten, but are often processed with gluten-containing cereals, which increases the risk of cross-contamination.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are extremely nutritious and an excellent source of fiber. In fact, 28 grams provides an impressive 10 grams of fiber per serving (24%).
Additionally, some of this fiber is soluble, which means it absorbs water and increases the volume of food that passes through your digestive tract. In turn, this process helps you feel full. The high soluble fiber content of these seeds may also help stabilize blood sugar levels and support heart health. Although chia seeds are not high in protein, you can eat them with protein-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt.
Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are delicious and packed with antioxidants. Most are high in fiber, which promotes satiety. In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup (123-144 grams). Additionally, a cup (123-144 grams) of berries only contains 50-85 calories depending on the type of berry. The berries also contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their characteristic blue, purple and red colors. A diet rich in anthocyanins is linked to reduced inflammation and a lower risk of diseases like heart disease and certain types of cancer. Additionally, anthocyanins are associated with better brain health and may protect against age-related mental decline. You can buy berries all year round, fresh or frozen. Add them to Greek yogurt, oatmeal or a fruit smoothie for a tasty breakfast.
7. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a fantastic high-protein breakfast food, with an impressive 24 grams of protein per cup (220 grams) (41%). A high-protein breakfast is linked to greater satiety and reduced hunger. In fact, one study has shown that cottage cheese is just as filling and satisfying as eggs. Cottage cheese is also low in calories, with only 180 calories per cup (220 grams). Therefore, it can promote weight loss without leaving you feeling hungry.
8. Whole Wheat Toast
If you prefer a simple breakfast in the morning, try whole wheat toast. Whole-wheat toast is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which are slowly digested and don’t raise blood sugar quickly. You can spread whole wheat toast with a number of nutritious toppings, including:
– fried eggs
– avocado and chili flakes
– peanut butter and banana
– sliced figs and honey
For more fiber and protein, try sprouted grain bread, two slices of which provide about 8 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein (46%).
Nuts of all kinds are high in magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants (47%). Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. Just 2 Brazil nuts provide over 100% of the Daily Value (DV). Although nuts are high in calories, studies suggest that you don’t absorb all of their fat. For example, some studies show that your body only absorbs about 129 calories from a 28-gram serving of whole almonds, while you absorb more fat from processed versions, such as almond butter. Another study indicates that your body absorbs only 80% of the calories from almonds and walnuts. Additionally, the high protein, fat, and fiber content of nuts promotes satiety, which may aid in weight management. Nut consumption is also linked to better heart and brain health.
10. Green tea
Green tea is a soothing beverage to help you get started in the morning. It contains caffeine, which improves alertness and mood. One cup (240ml) provides only 35-70mg of caffeine, about half the amount found in the same serving of coffee (62%). It’s also high in L-theanine, a compound that promotes a calming effect and may reduce the ‘shakiness’ associated with caffeine consumption. It can also improve mood and reduce anxiety. Finally, green tea provides epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that protects against chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and mental decline.
11. Protein shakes
If you’re short on time or want to take your breakfast on the go, protein shakes or smoothies are a great option. There are many types of protein powder, but whey and pea protein are the most common. Protein is important for many bodily functions, such as enzymatic reactions, maintaining and building muscle mass, and maintaining healthy skin and hair. In addition, protein promotes satiety and reduces hunger. Plus, a protein shake makes a great post-workout meal. Eating a big meal after a workout can be tough on your stomach, but drinking a protein shake can be easier on your stomach while providing enough protein and nutrients for post-workout recovery.
If you don’t crave a full meal but still want a bite to eat in the morning, try fruit. All fruits are relatively low in calories and contain good amounts of fiber and simple sugars. The fiber in fruit slows the body’s absorption of sugars, giving you a constant source of energy. Depending on the type of fruit, you will also get various vitamins and minerals. For example, many fruits, including oranges, guavas, kiwis, strawberries, papayas, acerola cherries and lychees, are rich in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and plays a key role in the health of the skin. Other fruits like bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, papaya and mango are high in potassium. Additionally, fruits provide an array of polyphenol compounds and antioxidants depending on their color. For example, guava is high in lycopene, while purple plums contain anthocyanins. That is why it is important to eat fruits of different colors. Research indicates that eating whole fruits may provide many benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced rates of depression and poor mental health, healthy aging, and better gut health.