Regardless of the increasing debate over its necessity, breakfast still holds a mass of advocates. However, eating breakfast wrong could be more harmful than not eating breakfast at all. On the contrary, eating the right foods can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day.
Here are the 12 best foods you can eat in the morning.
Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious.
Studies have shown that eating eggs at breakfast increases fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels.
Additionally, egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help prevent eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline, a nutrient that’s very important for brain and liver health.
What’s more, three large eggs provide about 20 grams of high-quality protein. Eggs are also very versatile. For example, hard-boiled eggs make a great portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
Bottom Line: Eggs are high in protein and several important nutrients. They also promote fullness and help you eat fewer calories.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is creamy, delicious and nourishing. It is made by straining whey and other liquid from the curds, which produces a creamier yogurt that is more concentrated in protein. Protein has been shown to abate hunger and has a higher thermic effect than fat or carbs, meaning the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after eating.
Yogurt and other dairy products can also help with weight control, because they increase levels of hormones that promote fullness, including PYY and GLP-1. Full-fat yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may increase fat loss and decrease breast cancer risk.
Certain types of Greek yogurt are good sources of probiotics, like Bifidobacterium, helping the gut stay healthy. To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures” on the label.
Bottom Line: Greek yogurt is high in protein, helps reduce appetite and may aid with weight loss. Certain types also contain beneficial probiotics.
Coffee is a common choice for many to start a day. It’s high in caffeine, which improves mood, alertness and mental performance.
An analysis of 41 studies found the most effective dose to be 38–400 mg per day, to maximize the benefits of caffeine without much side effects. This is roughly 0.3 to 4 cups of coffee per day, depending on how strong it is.
Caffeine has also been shown to increase metabolic rate and fat burning. 100 mg of caffeine per day helped people burn an extra 79–150 calories over a 24-hour period. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, protect the cells lining your blood vessels and decrease diabetes and liver disease risk. The healthiest way to consume coffee is plain or with small amounts of heavy cream.
Bottom Line: Having a cup of coffee is a great way to start your day. The caffeine in it may improve mood, mental performance and metabolism.
Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers. It’s made from ground oats, which contain a unique fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber has many impressive health benefits, including reduced cholesterol.
Oats are also rich in antioxidants, which protect their fatty acids from becoming rancid; they may also help protect the heart and decrease blood pressure.
Although oats don’t contain gluten, they’re often processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains. Researchers have found that most oats are indeed contaminated with other grains, especially barley. Therefore, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should choose oats that have been certified as gluten-free.
Bottom Line: Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucan fiber, which lowers cholesterol and increases feelings of fullness. It also contains antioxidants.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are extremely nutritious. They’re also one of the best sources of fiber. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds provides an impressive 11 grams of fiber per serving.
What’s more, a portion of the fiber in chia seeds is viscous fiber. Viscous fiber absorbs water, which increases the volume of food moving through your digestive tract and helps you feel full and satisfied.
Chia seeds are also high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from unstable molecules called free radicals, that are produced during metabolism.
However, note that chia seeds provide a low amount of protein- too low for breakfast. It’s suggested to be taken with other food that provides more protein.
Bottom Line: Chia seeds are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and decrease disease risk.
Berries are delicious and packed with antioxidants. Popular types include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.
They’re lower in sugar than most fruits, yet higher in fiber. Raspberries and blackberries each provides an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup. What’s more, one cup of berries contains only 50–85 calories, depending on the type.
Berries have been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, prevent blood cholesterol from becoming oxidized and keep the cells lining your blood vessels healthy.
A good way to add berries to your breakfast is to eat them with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Bottom Line: Berries are high in fiber and low in calories. They’re also rich in antioxidants that may decrease the risk of disease.
Nuts are a great addition to breakfast because they are filling and help prevent weight gain. Even though they’re high in calories, studies have shown that the body only absorbs about 129 calories from a 28-gram (1-ounce) serving of almonds; this may be true for some other nuts as well.
All types of nuts are also high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Nuts are also beneficial for people with diabetes. In one study, replacing a portion of carbs with 2 ounces of nuts led to reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Topping Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts provides crunch and flavor, while increasing your breakfast’s nutritional value.
Bottom Line: Nuts are filling, nutrient-dense foods that may help reduce heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control.
8. Green Tea
Green tea contains caffeine, which improves alertness and mood, along with raising metabolic rate. It provides only 35–70 mg of caffeine per cup, which is about half the amount in coffee.
Green tea may be especially helpful against diabetes. A review of 17 studies found that green tea drinkers had reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels.
It also contains an antioxidant known as EGCG, which may protect the brain, nervous system and heart from damage.
Bottom Line: Green tea has many health benefits. It contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which has benefits for the brain and nervous system.
9. Protein Shake
Another great way to start your day is with a protein shake or smoothie. Several types of protein powder can be used, including whey, egg, soy and pea protein, among which, whey protein is absorbed the most quickly by the body.
In addition, whey protein can help lower blood sugar levels when consumed as part of a carb-containing meal. It can also preserve muscle mass during weight loss and aging.
Regardless of the type of protein powder used, a high-protein shake can be satisfying and filling. Add fruit, greens, nut butter or seeds to provide fiber and antioxidants.
Bottom Line: A protein shake or smoothie is a great high-protein breakfast choice that promotes fullness and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
All types of fruit contain vitamins, potassium, fiber and are relatively low in calories. One cup of chopped fruit provides about 80–130 calories, depending on the type. Citrus fruits are also very high in vitamin C. In fact, a large orange provides more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Fruit is also very filling, due to its high fiber and water content. Pair fruit with eggs, cheese, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for a well-balanced breakfast that will sustain you for hours.
Bottom Line: Fruit is a good source of vitamins, potassium and fiber. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce disease risk.
They’re rich in viscous fiber, which helps you feel full for several hours after eating. Flaxseeds may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels, as well as protect against breast cancer.
Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds contain 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Try adding flaxseeds to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or a smoothie to increase the fiber and antioxidant content of your breakfast.
Just make sure to choose ground flaxseeds or grind them yourself, because whole flaxseeds can’t be absorbed by your gut and will simply pass through your system.
Bottom Line: Flaxseeds are high in viscous fiber, which helps you feel full. They may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
12. Cottage Cheese
It’s high in protein, which increases metabolism, produces feelings of fullness and decreases the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. Cottage cheese has been shown to be as filling and satisfying as eggs.
Full-fat cottage cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may promote weight loss. 1 cup of cottage cheese provides an impressive 25 grams of protein. Add berries and ground flaxseeds or chopped nuts to make it even more nutritious.
Bottom Line: Cottage cheese is high in protein, which promotes feelings of fullness and increases your metabolic rate.
Take Home Message
While eating breakfast is a personal choice, starting a day off right by fueling the body with healthy and nutrient-dense foods is definitely a good idea.
Source: Authority Nutrition
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