Eating foods that are good for a healthy breakfast is so important for your hormones, brain health, weight and metabolism, and your heart health! We all know that a good breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, with some people saying it is the most important. I believe every meal should be a chance to get in a good source of protein for proper brain function, along with a little healthy fat, and some quality carbohydrates for staying power. To get the best benefits, check out these tasty foods that are good for a healthy breakfast, and be sure you pick one of these over those sugary donuts at the office lounge.
Eggs are one of the best foods that are good for a healthy breakfast. They are called nature’s perfect source of fuel by many, because they’re rich in healthy fats, just enough protein, and vital brain and hormone-boosting nutrients like B vitamins, Vitamin E, choline and Omega 3 fatty acids. Eggs can also help prevent depression and stave off hunger longer than carbohydrate-rich foods. Though eggs do contain cholesterol, they have been proven to be safe and even beneficial, by eating one per day. Choose organic eggs, and even local eggs, whenever you can, which is better for you, the animals, and the environment. Organic eggs usually taste better too, as an added bonus!
Oats are one of my favorite sources of low GI complex carbs, which means they have a smaller effect on your blood sugar than more sugary carbs or refined grains like boxed cereal or bread. Oats are rich in brain-boosting nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins and they even have a little protein. Oats are also rich in fiber, which staves off hunger for hours on end. I love pairing gluten-free rolled oats with some walnuts, flaxseeds and almond milk with blueberries on top for a beautiful, healthy breakfast that keeps me going for hours! If you're not into oats, quinoa makes a great substitute and cooks up very similarly!
Where was my life without chia seeds? I love chia seeds and they make a great breakfast food! Chia seeds are so powerful and are like nature’s magical little seeds. Eating chia seeds first thing in the day ensures your energy levels are high and sustained, plus chia gels up once soaked in liquids, which make them expand and keep you full once inside your stomach. Chia is also rich in potassium, which helps to battle bloat, B vitamins to regulate and enhance your metabolism and hormones, along with a little protein to keep you satiated. Chia seeds are also a top source of Omega 3 fatty acids as well. Add 1-2 tbsp. to your smoothie, overnight oats or even yogurt! You can eat them anywhere you like and even alone, soaked in one cup of water per ¼ cup of chia seeds. Chia seeds are a meal within themselves and ones of the best, tasteless additions to almost any food out there.
Hemp is one of my favorite sources of vegan protein. Hemp seeds are rich in nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, fiber and B vitamins. They are wonderful for your digestive system, brain health and energy levels. They also feed your muscles too, with 11 grams of protein per three tablespoons! I love having these delicious nutty seeds over oats, yogurt or in my morning smoothie. They are also great in raw energy bars if you enjoy making those like I do. You can also buy hemp protein, which I recommend buying raw and organic. Hemp protein makes a great protein powder to use in smoothies and shakes, or to stir into oats and foods like yogurt. You could also sweeten it and mix it with a little almond milk to make a pudding as well for an on-the go option.
We all know yogurt is rich in probiotics and great for us, plus it is delicious! No matter if you like regular dairy yogurt, or nondairy yogurt, starting your day with probiotic-rich yogurt is a great way to fuel your body. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that lives in your gut, and they help ward off disease, sugar cravings, help with nutritional deficiencies and increase your gut health, which helps increase your brain health. Yogurt is usually rich in protein too, and my favorite varieties include calcium- rich nonfat Greek yogurt, or sugar-free organic soy yogurt.
6. Whey Protein
If you exercise, whey protein can be a great after-workout breakfast food to add to a smoothie or shake. Whey protein, which comes from high quality proteins from dairy milk, helps the body recover from stress very quickly. It also aids in muscle formation and preservation, plus it is rich in nutrients that prevent aging and it fuels your metabolism. Whey protein is great to use if you’re looking to lose or maintain weight, or can help you gain weight if you add it to your regular meals. Whey protein builds lean muscle, and I love choosing grass-fed, hormone free whey protein to get the most bang for my buck. Delicious vanilla and chocolate flavors make a great addition to smoothies, or even made into protein bars and puddings. Whey protein is also rich in glutamine, which is an amino acid that heals your gut, helps your muscles recover, and aids in anti-aging and weight loss.
7. Green Smoothies
Ah! This is my favorite breakfast food of all. I adore green smoothies, and usually have one of these once or twice a day, but my favorite time to enjoy them is at breakfast! Green smoothies are rich in leafy greens, and low GI fruits like berries, which won't affect your blood sugar as much as higher sugar fruits will. Though you don’t have to include fruit if you don’t want to, it does create a thicker smoothie, though there are some fruit-free alternatives out there. Green smoothies used for meal replacements also usually include a healthy protein source like protein powder, or even yogurt, nuts or seeds. You can also add superfoods like goji and acai berries, fiber-rich seeds like flax and chia, and even fun additions like cocoa and cinnamon. Blend all this with some almond milk or your favorite milk and ice, and you’ve got a delicious, green beverage that you’ll hardly believe is healthy! I like using spinach, romaine and kale for less of a “green” taste instead of more bitter greens like mustard and collards. You can even check out my blog if you want in the source below, which contains tons of great green smoothies recipes, or feel free to share yours with me!
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. I always savor that time in the morning to nourish my body and provide it fuel for my day. What’s your favorite breakfast food to give you a healthy dose of energy?