Starting the day with a healthy breakfast is one of the foundations for overall health and wellness. If you are not a morning person, cooking yourself a nutrient-rich and delicious breakfast probably isn’t a major priority, but there are many simple and healthy breakfast foods that you can prepare quickly or enjoy on the go.
Eating a balanced breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. Ensuring that you have a mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients will provide energy for what lies ahead. It includes a fiber source will help to keep you full, rather than reaching for a snack hours before lunch. A solid meal at the beginning of the day will also increase concentration levels and cognitive performance.
Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast
Packed with beneficial antioxidants, berries have become synonymous with good health in recent years. In addition to their free radical-fighting properties, berries also have high levels of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and dietary fiber. As a morning meal, you want a delicious food that will keep you feeling full, boost your immune system and help to optimize your nervous system function, which is precisely what these fruits can do.
A perennial classic breakfast food, oatmeal is more than just a hearty and filling meal. It possesses high levels of dietary fiber, which can help to improve digestion. Furthermore, it contains a substance called beta-glucan, which has been linked to hormone levels in the body, including those that regulate hunger and fullness. So oatmeal can help you avoid that mid-morning snack that is adding into your calorie count for the day.
Dr. Robert M Russel, director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, states in a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that yogurt must be included as an essential breakfast item. He cites the significant concentration of probiotics (which are living cultures of bacteria that can stimulate a balanced bacterial environment in the gut) as the reason for including it as the first meal of the day. If you struggle to remain regular in your bowel movements or feel that something is a bit “off” in your stomach, starting your day with a cup of yogurt is an excellent idea.
Popularly mixed with yogurt or put into fruit smoothies, flaxseeds are a useful and versatile breakfast food. These small seeds also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, so even a 1/4 cup of these seeds in the morning will reduce inflammation and start the day with a bit of cardiovascular protection. These seeds also have other key minerals, such as copper, magnesium, and manganese.
Perhaps the world’s favorite morning beverage, orange juice can be a key component of a healthy breakfast. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins and various other minerals and antioxidants. A single glass of this juice can give your body a whole day’s worth of immune support, in addition to the wonderful and refreshing flavor!
Famed for their potassium content, bananas have more to offer than that one essential mineral, including high levels of fiber, protein, vitamin B6 and manganese, without adding too many calories (approx. 100 in a medium-sized banana). These on-the-go fruits provide an energy boost and a sense of fullness that can easily carry you through to lunch.
Eggs are the main protein source for many people’s healthy breakfast, but they also offer vitamin D, selenium, vitamin B12 and certain key amino acids the body requires for energy metabolism. A Harvard nutrition report suggests that eating too many eggs could cause an increase in your cholesterol levels, moderate intake (e.g., one per day) is a very good idea for growth and development, as well as energy levels to start the day.
Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, which has a limited number of health benefits, get your caffeine fix in the morning with green tea. A 2010 report published in the Chinese Medicine Journal suggests that green tea, packed with catechins and epigallocatechin, is an antioxidant-rich drink that invigorates the immune system, reduces blood pressure, eliminates stress and anxiety, and also provides a noticeable boost in energy.
There is a surprisingly high amount of protein found in cottage cheese, along with vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Capable of strengthening the bones, eliminating inflammation and lowering blood pressure, this tasty and versatile food is a key part of a healthy breakfast.
Quick & Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas
If you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, but want to improve your healthy breakfast game, try preparing meals like avocado toast, fruit parfaits, breakfast yogurt pops, fruit and cottage cheese, or cucumber-lox toast, just to name a few.
Breakfast Yogurt Pops
If you have DIY plastic popsicle shells, you can fill them with a mixture of Greek yogurt and granola, or even blend up a few fresh fruits in the yogurt before filling the pops. The next morning, you’ll have a delicious and fun breakfast treat that is rich in probiotics, whole grains, vitamins, and antioxidants. They’re also easy to eat on the go!
On a piece of whole-grain toast, spread a ripe avocado instead of butter for a hearty and healthy breakfast. In a report titled, The Avocado and Human Nutrition, Dr. Bob Bergh of Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, suggests that the fruit delivers healthy fats, such as omega-3s, instead of saturated fats, in addition to a high concentration of minerals and antioxidants. Furthermore, he reveals that the fruit is a rich source of magnesium, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein/zeaxanthin, folate, vitamin B-6, niacin, phytosterols, and MUFA rich oil at 1.7 kcal/g. Thus, season the avocado toast with pepper or hot sauce for more of a flavor burst.
Fruits & Cottage Cheese
A classic breakfast option, add peaches, strawberries, blueberries, bananas or apples to cottage cheese for a simple, quick and portable breakfast. You’ll get the mineral and vitamin benefits of cottage cheese, along with plenty of antioxidants and dietary fiber from the fruits of your choice.
Cucumber Lox Toast
After getting some fresh lox from your butcher, slice up a cucumber and lay them on top of a piece of whole-wheat toast. Add the lox to the top, and add sliced onions, pepper, capers and a splash of lemon juice for a refreshing and nutrient-rich breakfast that takes only a few minutes to prepare.
Slice up fresh strawberries and blueberries and add them to a cup of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle the top with granola and stir the mixture together. This early-morning fruit parfait takes only minutes to prepare but can keep you full for hours, helping to reduce your itchy fingers for a mid-morning snack.
List of Best Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Finding and preparing unique breakfast meals isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Some delicious and creative options include fried egg BLTs, breakfast burritos, breakfast peppers, broccoli frittata, and vegetable smoothies, among many others.
Fried Egg BLT
The classic lunch sandwich can get an easy makeover for breakfast by simply adding a fried egg, and possibly switching out avocado for the lettuce. This is a protein-dense breakfast – providing more than half of your daily intake thanks to the bacon, avocados, and eggs but it is also a delicious and family-favorite option for a healthy breakfast.
Stuffed peppers aren’t just for dinner anymore. Simply slice a pepper in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Then, set each half-pepper on a baking sheet and crack an egg into the half-shell. Cook these stuffed breakfast peppers for 15 minutes at 325 degrees and then prepare for a warm, delicious, and nutrient-dense breakfast option. You can also season the tops of the peppers with various spices before cooking, such as oregano, pepper or garlic salt.
Your favorite late-night snack can be altered to make an excellent breakfast, although it does take a bit of preparation. You can start by scrambling two eggs and frying a few vegetables up, such as onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Then, wrap the eggs and vegetables in a whole-wheat flour tortilla (or a corn tortilla), topped off with some salsa. For those who want an extra protein boost, add a few low-sodium breakfast sausages to the burrito wrap.
Most people associate fruits with breakfast, rather than vegetables, but a spinach, celery, carrot, and beet breakfast smoothie is a delicious and hearty option for a healthy breakfast. If you want to add some sweetness, try adding pears or a banana to the vegetable smoothie to improve the consistency and flavor.
Frittatas are quite easy to make once you know the secret. Begin by cooking some broccoli, carrots, chives, and onions in a large frying pan, preferably a cast-iron skillet. As these cook, beat 3-4 eggs and add spices to the eggs, as desired. Once the vegetables are cooked, pour the egg mixture into the pan and mix the ingredients. Add some cheese and make sure it is properly mixed in. Then, allow the frittata to cook and harden; it should have the consistency of quiche when you’re finished. In the last few minutes before eating, add more cheese on the top and serve! To submit a recipe, write to us at [email protected].