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Ever start your day with a glazed donut or chocolate chip muffin, only to feel your stomach growling again an hour later? This could be because you didn't get enough protein first thing!

Swapping sugar and or just carbs for a balance that includes high-quality protein can prevent energy crashes, crush cravings, and keep you going strong all morning long. Studies show that protein in the morning helps you maintain a sense of sustained fullness throughout the day. A nourishing, protein-packed breakfast will get your day off to the best possible start.

Plain Yogurt Parfait

Flavored yogurt may be a good source of protein, but it has an alarming amount of added sugar. Add sliced almonds and ripe blueberries to plain yogurt for a parfait that’s both perfectly sweet and nutrient-dense. Greek yogurt usually has about twice as much protein as regular options.

Blueberries are a deliciously juicy natural sweetener bursting with phytochemicals and filling fiber, and almonds are a crunchy source of healthy fats and protein.

Close-up of dessert in glass on table,Indonesia ijack 2409 / 500px/ Getty Images

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Ham and Cheese Omelet

If you’re hoping to cut down on carbs and grains and maximize your protein intake, you can’t go wrong with the satisfyingly savory combination of eggs, chopped uncured ham, and your favorite cheese. You’ll get over 30 grams of protein per serving to keep you feeling full for hours.

A handful of chopped pre-cooked broccoli florets will add some color and give you a fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C boost, not to mention add veggies into the first meal of the day, which is a notoriously tricky thing to do.

Ham and cheese omelette breakfast martinturzak/ Getty Images

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros, which translates to “ranch-style eggs”, is a meatless Mexican breakfast dish that offers a zesty way to front-load your day with plenty of protein. Eggs, black beans, and shredded cheese on a corn tortilla will provide you with at least 16 grams per serving, plus 10 grams of filling fiber.

Traditional Mexican dish Huevos rancheros - scrambled eggs with tomato salsa, with taco tortillas, fresh vegetables and parsley. Breakfast for two. Rimma_Bondarenko/ Getty Images

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Protein Pancakes

Have a hankering for pancakes? Put down that pre-packaged batter—you won’t miss it! Cottage cheese, egg whites, rolled oats, and a splash of vanilla combine to create a perfectly fluffy buttermilk-style pancake mix.

Not only are these easy-to-make pancakes packed with protein, but they’re also gluten-free. Even better: you can toss all the ingredients in a blender for easy pouring and quick cleanup.

Banana protein pancakes with almond flakes on plate, white marble background, top view Arx0nt/ Getty Images

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Overnight Chia Pudding

Does the thought of cooking in the mornings leave you cold? Wake up with this vegan, non-dairy alternative to overnight oats. Chia seeds contain an impressive 19% plant protein by weight, which is more than most cereals. They’re also full of fiber and healthy fats.

To make overnight chia pudding, combine one cup of coconut milk with a quarter cup of chia seeds in a jar, and add some chopped ripe mango, macadamia nuts, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Stir, close the lid, and let the mixture soak together in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds soak up the liquid and expand; in the morning, you’ll have a ready-made, high-protein breakfast waiting for you!

Overnight banana oats quinoa Chia seed pudding decorated with fresh banana slices and chocolate. toning. selective focus nata_vkusidey/ Getty Images

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Peanut Butter Banana Toast

If you like toast, you’ll love this protein-rich alternative to butter and jam. A tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter and sliced bananas on warm whole-grain toast packs enough of a protein punch to keep you satisfied until lunch.

As a bonus, peanut butter can help boost metabolism and gain muscle mass, while the potassium in bananas helps lower blood pressure and improve heart function.

Toasts from Wholewheat Seeded Bread with Peanut Butter and Banana on the Wooden Board on dark marble background, Healthy Snack Alternative Manuta/ Getty Images

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Protein Shake

Turn your standard fruit smoothie into a nutrient-dense protein shake with just a few adjustments. Use plain Greek yogurt as a base for your fruit, add your favorite nut butter or hemp seeds, and drop in a scoop of unsweetened protein powder. Your breakfast drink will be transformed into a filling, protein-rich meal offering lasting energy.

a young woman makes a protein cocktail in the kitchen at home. Functional Power, Sports Power Ulza/ Getty Images

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Shakshuka

Made with minimal ingredients, this Middle Eastern one-pan wonder takes minutes to make. Each serving contains around 14 grams of protein. Simply crack a few eggs and let them simmer in a subtly spicy sauce made from lycopene-loaded crushed tomatoes and immunity-boosting fresh garlic.

Serve over slices of crusty bread if desired, and be sure to sprinkle on some feta (or cheese of your choice) to pump up the protein even more.

Shakshuka on kitchen counter alvarez/ Getty Images

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Smoked Salmon Roll-Ups

Spoon some cottage cheese mixed with freshly chopped dill over a sliver of smoked salmon, add a few sprigs of peppery arugula, and roll it up like a burrito. Drizzle lemon juice over the top, and enjoy an elegantly easy protein-packed breakfast.

Each roll-up provides about 20 grams of protein per serving, as well as brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

smoked salmon and arugala wrap with cream cheese on platter, on top of blue table cloth with lemons in the background rez-art/ Getty Images

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins

We all know sugary, white flour muffins should be a special treat and not a regular breakfast go-to, but that doesn’t mean you have to retire your muffin tin altogether. Egg muffins are perfectly portioned savory snacks that make an ideal grab-and-go protein source.

Like mini omelets, they’re easy to make, and you can customize them to your liking. Calcium-rich goat cheese and folate-filled baby spinach are a scrumptious start, but you can also try variations like ham and ricotta or Colby jack and salsa.

Home made chicken and egg muffins, with spinach, capsicum and feta cheese tbgrant/ Getty Images

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Disclaimer

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.

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