Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so they say.
After all, it’s designed to be the first meal you eat after waking up in the morning;
in other words, when you have breakfast, you’re literally breaking your fast from the night
As for what’s supposed to go into a healthy breakfast, there seem to be at least a few
food choices that people agree on for their morning routines: eggs, oatmeal, fruit, tea
and coffee are all popular choices.
But do these choices really constitute a “balanced” breakfast?
That’s a question that we want answered.
So how important is breakfast when it comes to your morning routine?
According to dietician Franziska Spritzler of Healthline, it might not be as crucial
as the title “most important meal of the day” would lead you to believe; according
to Spritzler, no breakfast at all is still better than an unhealthy breakfast, and many
people are inclined to skip the meal altogether in their everyday lives.
However, Spritzler goes on to say that a nutritious and balanced breakfast can be just the thing
you need to jumpstart your day with an extra boost of energy, as well as prevent you from
overeating later on in the day as your body tries to make up for lost calories.
Here’s a list of healthy foods which, according to Spritzler, are an ideal addition to any
balanced and nutritious breakfast:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Regardless of the answer, one thing we know for sure is that eggs are a nutritious addition
to any breakfast.
In addition to helping your body maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels, eating
eggs also promotes feelings of long-lasting fullness, reducing your overall calorie intake
by making you less likely to overeat when your next meal rolls around.
The yolk of the egg also contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can prevent
health conditions which affect the eyes such as cataracts.
Eggs are also a valuable source of choline, an important nutrient which aids in the overall
health of your brain and liver.
So tell us: how do you like your eggs?
2. Greek Yogurt
Like eggs, Greek yogurt is considered an excellentsource of protein, as well as being another food which leaves you feeling full and reducesfeelings of hunger.
If that wasn’t enough, full-fat yogurts such as Greek yogurt are also a source of
what’s known as conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA; if that name sounds scary to you,
it shouldn’t: CLA is believed to be useful for promoting weight loss, as well as reducing
the risk of certain cancers, such as breast cancer.
Certain types of Greek yogurt may also contain healthy probiotics such as Bifidobacteria,
which can help you to maintain a healthy gut and ease digestion.
Man, some of these nutrient names can be pretty hard to pronounce sometimes.
I guess you could say it’s “all Greek to me”.
Okay, cards on the table: In an effort to show both sides of the argument, we’d be doing you a disservice
if we didn’t also mention some of the healthier aspects of coffee as well.
Sure enough, caffeine does indeed improve mental alertness, performance, and mood, though
multiple studies claim that you only need less than 1 full cup of coffee per day to
get the most out of this benefit.
Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, and studies have indicated that caffeine may help increase
your metabolic rate as well, which can help with fat burning and weight loss.
So while you might not necessarily need to quit drinking coffee altogether, you might
want to at least consider cutting back.
All things in moderation, etc…
Okay, we’ll be the first to admit that oatmeal
isn’t exactly the most exciting food to wake up to in the morning.
But what oatmeal lacks in pizazz, it makes up for in nutritional benefits.
For starters, the oats used to make oatmeal contain a unique type of fiber known as oat
beta-glucan, which has been found to help reduce cholesterol, among other things.
Oats are also high in antioxidants which can potentially help prevent conditions such as
heart disease and high blood pressure.
For those of you who can enjoy oatmeal, try serving it with milk instead of water for
an extra boost of protein.
5. Chia Seeds
Need a high-fiber way to start your day?
Look no further, chia seeds have got your back.
In just a little under 30 grams of chia seeds, you can find a whopping 11 grams of fiber,
which can not only reduce feelings of hunger but can also help maintain healthy blood sugar
and blood pressure levels.
Like most of the other foods on this list, chia seeds are also a beneficial source of
antioxidants, and are versatile enough to be a tasty ingredient in a number of different
Try adding a scoop of protein to a chia seed pudding for an extra nutritional boost.
Berries are probably one of the healthiest
foods that you can eat.
If you don’t have time, here’s a quick rundown: in addition to being lower in sugar
than most fruits, berries are low in calories but high in fiber, antioxidants, and a plethora
of other beneficial vitamins and minerals which can prevent the signs of aging, reduce
inflammation and lessen the risk of heart disease.
Now that’s what I call come “berry” useful info.
Even though many types of nuts are seemingly
high in calories, this is mitigated by the fact that studies seem to show that your body
doesn’t fully absorb all the fat in them; in a 28 gram serving of almonds, for example,
your body would only actually end up absorbing about 129 of those calories, while still feeling
relatively full and satisfied.
In addition, nuts also contain a number of helpful nutrients such as magnesium, potassium,
and selenium, and can also be a tasty snack for anyone struggling with diabetes or at
risk of heart disease.
The amount of health benefits to be found in nuts is just plain, well, nuts.
8. Green Tea
For those of you who don’t want to drink
coffee, there are other ways to get a healthy dosage of caffeine.
One of these alternative caffeine options is green tea.
In addition to helping with alertness and mental performance, green tea is also believed
to help prevent diabetes by reducing blood sugar and insulin levels in your body.
I guess it really is easy being green after all.
9. Protein Shake
If you tend to start your day on the go or
just have a hard time working up an appetite in the morning, the good news is that you
can always save some time and effort by drinking your morning calories instead of eating them.
While a number of different protein powders used in shakes and smoothies are available
to choose from, whey protein specifically is the one which your body absorbs the fastest.
Additionally, whey protein can help to reduce calorie intake by managing your appetite,
as well as help lower your blood sugar when consumed alongside foods that are high in
With this in mind, a protein shake for breakfast can be a great way to “shake up” your
We already mentioned berries on this list,
but there’s no reason to leave other types of fruit out of a nutritious breakfast.
In addition to being low in calories, many types of fruit are also an abundant source
of important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, as well as fiber and high water content.
Like chia seeds and many other foods on this
list, flaxseeds are a rich source of fiber.
Seeing a pattern here?
It could be because fiber is an important part of the human diet that most people don’t
Flaxseeds also contain nutrients which can potentially improve insulin sensitivity, reduce
blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
12. Cottage Cheese
Hey, don’t make that face!
Cottage cheese might not look delicious, but you better believe it’s good for you.
In addition to being a rich source of protein, cottage cheese is also another source of the
CLA that we mentioned earlier.
Not a fan of eggs?
Maybe give cottage cheese a try instead.
Did you find this article informative?
What’s your typical breakfast look like in the morning?
Be sure to let us know in the comments section below and help us keep the conversation going.