Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your maximum energy level depends on what you have for this first meal. The healthiest breakfast foods can have a positive impact on your performance, all day long.
Eating breakfast has a lot of benefits:
- It starts your metabolism after a long rest period
- And, it elevates endorphin levels, known as the happiness hormone
- Additionally, it improves your mood, performance, and creativity
In addition, a breakfast made with healthy foods decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
Getting into the habit of eating breakfast is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Choosing the right foods for this meal helps you eat better for the rest of the day.
If your first meal of the day is too small or loaded with lots of sugar, you’ll feel hungry again by mid-morning. On the other hand, a good dose of protein and healthy sugars will keep you satisfied until lunch.
In the case of children, it’s essential that they eat breakfast. A good breakfast is associated with better attention and learning capacity. In addition, it affects their mood.
Healthy foods for breakfast: the list
A healthy breakfast should contain plenty of protein, cereals, and fruits. This combination helps activate your body.
- Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods you can choose for breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal will leave you feeling full and improve your digestion. It contains potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and improves your heart health.
- Whole grains give your body the carbohydrates that it needs. Because they are complex, they don’t have the fast action that simple carbohydrates do. Therefore, that feeling of fullness is maintained for a longer time.
- A slice or two of whole grain bread, or a cup of whole grain cereal, can be good options. You can also substitute dried fruits and nuts, like raisins and almonds.
Milk or dairy productsAlthough there is a lot of controversy surrounding the consumption of dairy products, milk is a very good option for breakfast.
It’s important to choose the best products for your digestion: yogurt, cottage cheese, or fresh cheese. Heavier dairy products will slow down your digestion, as well as your performance.
Milk made from vegetables is a more nutritious option than cow’s milk. These products have a high content of vitamins and minerals while being lower in fat and easier to digest.
You can choose between almond, rice, or oat milk. You can even make these yourself at home.
Fruit smoothies are very healthy breakfast choices. You can supplement them with oats or another whole grain. These make good options for breakfast on the go.
ProteinEating protein at breakfast will help you feel fuller longer. Your craving for carbohydrates will also decrease.
- Whole grain toast with a little chicken or turkey is very healthy. Hard boiled or scrambled eggs are another recommended option.
- Some people enjoy drinking protein smoothies for breakfast. It’s important to read the nutrition labels on these, however, as some are very high in fat and sugar.
FruitYour breakfast should include one serving of fruit that’s equal to one cup. It can be added to cereal, a smoothie recipe, or eaten alone.
Fruit gives your body the sugar it needs to get moving. The sweet flavor also helps reduce cravings. Fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Citrus fruits, like grapefruit and oranges, are the most recommended. Both have healthy sugars and lots of vitamins.
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Other very healthy food options
- Bananas are rich in potassium. They make an excellent mid-morning snack option to recharge your energy. You can also add them to a bowl of cereal or yogurt.
- Coffee makes a great morning stimulant. Drinking coffee will energize your body and speed up your metabolism. Too much coffee, however, causes anxiety and insomnia.
- Vegetable butter makes a very healthy breakfast condiment. You can try some peanut butter on whole wheat bread, or almond butter accompanied by a serving of fruit.
Foods to avoid at breakfast
- Simple carbohydrates: These include pastries and sweet breads. While they pack in a bunch of carbohydrates, the duration of energy you get is short.
- Too much sugar or dairy products: In the case of sugar, it doesn’t contain any nutrients. An excess of dairy products, on the other hand, can cause digestive problems.
- Saturated fats: They contribute to weight gain and cardiovascular problems.