We have all heard it time and again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Rest assured, this isn’t simply an age-old morning mantra. Scientific research continues to reaffirm the nutritional benefits of a healthy breakfast. First off, what you consume for breakfast tends to set the tone for the rest of your day. Think about it: breakfast is your first opportunity to improve your nutrient intake, as it literally “breaks the fast.” Occasionally, when people are attempting to lose weight they will skip breakfast in an attempt to ‘save’ calories for the remainder of the day. Be advised this may actually backfire, as your body has already been without nourishment throughout the night. This lack of proper nutrients can then signal to your body to enter starvation mode, which only further slows your metabolism—the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest.
Scientific research has also shown that skipping breakfast often causes binge eating later in the day, as hunger pangs often cause suffers to reach for foods high in trans (bad) fat and processed sugar—which are essentially empty calories. Plus, perhaps most importantly, you desperately need the energy provided by a healthy meal to jump start your day! An overly sluggish start never translates to a great rest of the day.
Quick Healthy Breakfast
So What are “Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast” recipes? The good news is your options are virtually endless!
Good carbohydrates, fiber and protein are a great jumping off point when considering the components of a healthy breakfast that won’t leave your stomach grumbling for more.
Simple steel-cut oats are a great option for a morning pick-me-up. Leave the processed, sugar-laden instant packets behind, and invest in the steel-cut variety that are known to contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol when ingested regularly. Sure, steel-cut oats take a bit longer to cook than the instant variation (approximately 15 minutes), however they are packed with omega 3 fatty acids. For a punch of extra flavor add a bit of pure honey and your favorite fresh fruit and nuts. Blueberries, strawberries, bananas—let your creativity shine through!
Grapefruit is also a nearly effortless option. Just a half grapefruit in the morning is both hydrating and surprisingly filling. If you like this option make sure to combine with a simple protein such as a hard-boiled or scrambled egg, small portion of chicken or even a slice or two of turkey bacon.
Another super simple healthy breakfast option is a serving of Greek yogurt, which is jam-packed with protein. This means not only will it jump start your metabolism, but it is known to induce a feeling of fullness that lasts all morning long. Make sure to stay away from the artificially-flavored brands, as these tend to contain massive amounts of processed sugar. It is best to naturally flavor Greek yogurt with a few spoonfuls of pure, organic honey and some fresh fruit.
Omelets are another healthy breakfast option that are guaranteed to supply you with energy. Another great thing about the incredible, edible egg is its versatility. Feel free to add your favorite ingredients that speak to your specific tastes. Looking for a Southwest take on a traditional omelet? Easy peasy! Add a bit of caramelized red onion, a dash of red pepper, chorizo, cilantro, a few slices of fresh avocado and top it with a dollop of sour cream. What’s that—you’re a vegetarian? No problem at all. Add some fresh spinach, juicy tomato and mushrooms. Viola!
Perhaps it’s the weekend and you’re looking for a hearty breakfast option—and you have a bit more time on your hands to whip something up. Fear not. These too can be easily tweaked to a healthier option. Have a hankering for fluffy pancakes? Simply combine multi-grain pancake mix, a few spoonfuls of warm coconut oil, ¼ cup of soy milk and fresh blueberries. Once these babies hit the griddle top them with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
In keeping with the lazy weekend theme, how about some delicious banana cinnamon waffles? (You knew both banana AND cinnamon were packed with antioxidants, right?) Combine one cup of all-purpose flour with one half cup of whole wheat flour and a fourth cup of buckwheat flour. Mix up these ingredients well, then add a quarter cup of ground flax seed and two tablespoons of sugar (or better yet, use agave nectar). Add one and a half teaspoons of baking powder, a few pinches of ground cinnamon (feel free to add more to taste), a pinch of salt, three spoonfuls of coconut oil, two eggs and one mashed ripe banana. Pour the contents into a hot waffle iron until golden brown. Serve up with a drizzle of agave nectar and fresh blueberries, strawberries and bananas—for an extra antioxidant punch.