You may already know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but feasting on greasy bacon and salted home fries isn't the healthiest way to go. If you want to jumpstart your morning with a nutritious breakfast, try some of these tasty options. These breakfasts are perfect for keeping you full until lunch and providing a good mix of vitamins and minerals needed for a balanced diet.
Not only is oatmeal rich in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and folate, but it also has beta-glucan, a cholesterol-lowering and blood sugar-stabilizing fiber. Although any whole grain is a healthy breakfast choice, steel-cut oats have more fiber than rolled oats. Instant variations may contain sugar, so sweetening homemade oatmeal with milk, honey, fruits, and nuts is a better option.
Even though any yogurt is a healthy breakfast option, Greek yogurt has more calcium and nearly twice as much protein as regular yogurt. If you need something to leave you feeling full all morning, try this creamy option. Choose plain greek yogurt to minimize the sugar content. As with oatmeal, you can add a hint of sweetness with real fruit.
Did you know that two tablespoons of wheat germ provide nearly 15% of your daily vitamin E? It also covers about 10% of your daily folate needs. If seeds or nuts are not part of your diet, wheat germ is a healthy alternative. It makes a simple topping that gives a nutritious boost to any cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie. However, those with gluten sensitivity should avoid wheat germ as it contains gluten.
A rich source of antioxidants, grapefruit helps hydrate and boost immunity. It is also beneficial for healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. Pair it with an egg or yogurt for a well-balanced breakfast. However, if you take any medications, double check with your doctor, as this delicious citrus fruit can cause increase side effects or decrease the effectiveness of some prescriptions.
Another nutritious breakfast food is bananas. This versatile fruit is well known for its potassium content, though many other foods actually surpass it. Potassium is an important nutrient that can help naturally lower blood pressure. Unripened bananas are also a resistant starch, which makes the body feel fuller for longer and keeps the blood sugar stable. Bananas are tasty sliced into cereal, blended in a smoothie, or eaten straight out of the peel.
This classic breakfast choice is an excellent source of protein, and egg yolks contain some vitamin D. The American Heart Association states we only need 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day, and one egg offers more than 60% of this, so keep that in mind as you plan the rest of your meals.
Almond butter is a delicious alternative to peanut butter for people with allergies or different preferences. At around 100 calories per tablespoon, almond butter has less saturated fat than PB and is high in protein and healthy monounsaturated fats.
At only 40 calories per cup, watermelon is mostly water! The hydrating fruit is tasty, in particular on a summer morning. This specific melon is also rich in lycopene, a nutrient that could help prevent cancer while improving vision and heart health. Watermelon is not that filling, though, being mostly water, so it is best paired with oatmeal, eggs, or a banana.
Although everything should be consumed in moderation, a cup of coffee in the morning could be healthy. Not only does it deliver a natural energy boost, but coffee can also lower the risk of prostate cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. Coffee is packed with antioxidants, too. Loading the beverage up with cream and sugar, however, can start to cancel out the health benefits.
Similar to wheat germ, flaxseed is easily sprinkled on breakfast favorites. Two tablespoons of flaxseed delivers the daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids, and the nutty seed is also an excellent source of fiber. It contains lignin, an antioxidant that protects against breast cancer. Ground flaxseed is better than whole because most of the latter will pass through the body without being digested, which wastes all those nutrients.
They may be small, but these colorful superfruits improve motor skills, memory function, blood pressure, and metabolism when consumed regularly. Blueberries have anthocyanins; an antioxidant compound found in the skin which gives it the blue color. It's best to freeze blueberries to retain the antioxidant. They contain only 80 calories per cup and are a delicious and healthful addition to any breakfast plate.
Much like blueberries, this red fruit is full of anthocyanins and low in calories. These berries are high in folic acid, fiber, and vitamin C, too. One cup of strawberries serves as the RDI for vitamin C. Strawberries are a good food to boost the immune system and help protect against heart disease and cancer.
All types of tea, black, white, and green, offer health benefits. Sipping this antioxidant-rich drink on a daily basis can increase metabolism, which can facilitate weight loss. Tea also contains catechins, immunity-boosting antioxidants.
A six-ounce serving of this cantaloupe supplies the recommended daily amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. Like other melons, this fruit is high in water, which helps keep us hydrated, and has only 50 calories per serving. Six ounces is about one quarter of a medium cantaloupe.
If bananas don't appeal, consider kiwi. This fuzzy fruit has more fiber per ounce and is equally rich in potassium. Many people find kiwis lessen constipation and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome if consumed regularly. Kiwis are just as tasty blended in smoothies as they are scooped out of the skin.
Though cereal is hardly a surprise breakfast food, many varieties exist that don't fall into the "healthy" category. Ideally, when shopping for a breakfast cereal, choose one with at least five grams of fiber, and a maximum of five grams of sugar, per serving. Bran or whole-grain options are the healthiest - they contain folic acid and riboflavin. Add skim milk and a handful of your favorite fruit for a well-rounded breakfast.
Ellagitannins are antioxidants that can protect against cancer, and raspberries are full of them, as well as vitamin C which supports the immune system and helps absorb iron. The tart berries also contain eight grams of fiber per cup. Fresh raspberries are plentiful in the summer months, but even the frozen version, available year-round, offer those nutritional benefits and can take cereal or oatmeal to the next level.
Although fruit juice is high in natural (and sometimes artificial) sugar and calories and should not replace consumption of whole fruit, orange juice is a traditional morning beverage that still offers some benefits such as vitamins C. Orange juice fortified with vitamin D can lower the risk of depression, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. Fresh-squeezed is ideal, but barring that, look for pure OJ fortified with vitamin D.
Whole wheat bread and other whole grains have higher amounts of fiber and other nutrients than white bread, so they make the best breakfast additions for people looking to carbs for the energy and fullness they provide. Like coffee and oatmeal, avoid topping bread with unhealthy add-ons. Additionally, look for loaves without a lot of added ingredients and preservatives.
Though not the most traditional breakfast item, bell peppers are a great way to incorporate vegetables into a morning routine. Green, red, and yellow varieties all have lots of vitamin C -- a quarter cup of chopped bell peppers is 150% of the RDI. Peppers are a delicious addition to omelets, or add some fresh slices to any plate.
This popular fruit contains oleic fatty acids that can help reduce abdominal fat. Avocados are also an excellent source of fiber and 20 other vitamins and minerals. One of the best weight-loss foods in the fruit aisle, avocados can be used in a variety of ways at breakfast. Try spreading them on toast, slicing them into eggs, or adding them to a green smoothie.
Best known for fighting urinary tract infections, cranberry juice has less natural sugar than other fruit juices, and no-sugar-added varieties are on most grocery shelves. The tart drink promotes cardiovascular and digestive health and helps protect against urinary tract infections. Because of its acidity, it is best limited to a glass a day.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.