Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
We hear this phrase all the time. Many of us roll our eyes before the last syllable of the first word is even out. We respond with comments like, “I don’t have time for breakfast,” or “I don’t like breakfast foods.” Unfortunately, however, true as those phrases may be for you, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you don’t eat within the first hour of waking up, your body will go into fat-storage mode because it’ll think it’s starving. Breakfast is the jump-start energy source for the rest of your day. It stabilizes cholesterol and levels out your blood sugar.
There are ways around the time issue, and every food is an acquired taste. Wake up just 5 or 10 minutes earlier, pre-prepare your breakfasts, or focus on getting on-the-go healthy breakfast foods. You just have to be creative. Start off small. You don’t need to have full-course breakfasts right away. Take a couple of small bites of fruit or low-fat yogurt just to tell your body it’s not starving. Your appetite will grow as time passes, and you’ll find that eating a wholesome, nutritious breakfast actually makes you eat less over the course of the day and help you actually lose weight.
What is considered healthy food?
When I talk about healthy food, I’m talking about wholesome, nutritious foods that have more benefits than just simply satisfying the taste buds. Healthy food doesn’t have to be “bland” or “boring.” They can be prepared in ways to make them more palatable. The below list of foods will give you a few ideas, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list. Use your imagination and mix and match. Feed your body what it needs.
Foods rich in vitamins and nutrients have physical and mental health benefits that can’t be found in sugary, high carbohydrate foods. This is especially important for breakfast. The alarm clock may force you to peel your eyes open and crawl out of bed, but the nourishment you give your mind and body within that first hour will be more important than racing to get to the office.
Top 10 Breakfast List
When looking for the right foods to eat at breakfast, choose what your body is telling you it needs. These following foods are loaded with fiber, protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, and D. They can provide a heavy full feeling, or keep it light and simple.
1. Eggs. There are so many things you can do with eggs besides just the basics. Make some hardboiled eggs the night before and toss them in salt, pepper, garlic and curry powder in the morning for a quick, on-the-go option. Scramble them up with pre-diced peppers and mushrooms and spread them over toast. Eggs have a high content of vitamin D and a decent amount of protein.
2. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is probably one of the most popular picks, and that’s because you can do pretty much anything with it. You can choose steel-cut, rolled oats, or instant and still get the benefits. You can add butter or honey, fruits and/or nuts. It’s versatile, filling, and fully packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and folate, which have been proven to lower cholesterol and stabilize sugars.
3. Porridge. Porridge is very similar to oatmeal in consistency, but it’s made of rice. It, too, is a versatile food. Make it with skim milk, add a little bit of apple juice, diced sweet apples, and a dash of cinnamon and you’ve created a delicious dessert-ish breakfast that not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but is incredibly nutritious as well.
4. Greek Yogurt. Higher in calcium than regular yogurt, this thick, creamy food offers a plethora of benefits. The amount of protein is double that of regular yogurt, so it helps keep you full throughout the entire morning. Choose a flavored yogurt, or add a packet of Stevia/Truvia to plain, top it off with some fresh berries and low-fat granola and you have a healthy morning parfait. If you are looking for something lighter, forget the granola and throw the rest in a blender with some spinach and skim milk for a smoothie instead.
5. Fruits. For a lighter breakfast, make yourself a fruit bowl with bananas, melons, kiwi, and berries. These sweet fruits are full of healthy, energy-providing carbohydrates which help you stay full for longer. Grapefruit with a tiny bit of cane sugar sprinkled on top is another light breakfast option with nutritious benefits of antioxidants. Try to pair this with a protein like an egg or piece of toast to help the full-feeling last.
6. Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread. As you can see, carbohydrates are a must for breakfast, and these breads are a great option. Aim for a bread high in fiber.
7. Almond Butter. Spread some of this on your whole wheat or multigrain toast, and you’ve got yourself a high-protein, energy-boosting filler that keeps you going for several hours. It’s loaded with healthy fats (monosaturated), but if almond butter is too expensive, natural or organic peanut butter is a good option too.
8. Flaxseed. Don’t underestimate it! It may not look like much, but it’s packed full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Sprinkle some in your smoothie, or mix them with your eggs. It’s nutty flavor will enhance any meal.
9. Cereal. Don’t get too excited. This is a tricky one. Go for the cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar. Look for whole grain and bran cereals. Complete this high-protein bowl with fruit or nuts and you have a quick, healthy, energy-sustaining meal.
10. Wheat Germ. Like flaxseed, a little bit of wheat germ goes a very long way. Just a couple of tablespoons will give you over 15% of your recommended amount of vitamin E and folate, and it’s virtually tasteless. Sprinkle it on anything!
If these foods don’t strike your fancy, check out these websites for more options. Remember: Be creative.
Health.com’s top 20 best breakfast foods
Reader’s Digest 27 Healthy Breakfast Ideas