For years, I used to skip breakfast, but research shows that if you don't eat breakfast, it can make you hungrier throughout the day. Since breakfast is the first meal of the day, eating a healthy breakfast can help set the tone for your day, and provide you with energy first thing in the morning.
According to Better Health,
Many studies have shown the health benefits of eating breakfast. It improves your energy levels and ability to concentrate in the short term, and can help with better weight management, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in the long term.
You will have more energy if you eat breakfast, and it is important to reach for protein instead of carbs or sugar, or you will want to eat more right away. It is also great to have some fruit, so that you are getting needed vitamins and minerals in your diet.
According to University of Washington, elements of a balanced breakfast include:
For the most nutritious breakfast, try to choose whole, unprocessed foods from each of the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. Try to include proteins from foods like yogurts (look for varieties with less sugar added), eggs, nuts and seeds or legumes. Also try to include complex carbohydrates such as whole fruits and vegetables, and whole grains (i.e. oatmeal) that provide fiber and will help you feel full longer.
You can eat a balanced breakfast each day to help yourself get the day off to a good start. This is one of the easiest healthy habits to incorporate into your day, and it can make a big impact on your long term health.
If you work out in the morning, it is best to eat breakfast prior to working out, so that your food will fuel your workout.
Here are some of my favorite breakfast recipes, so that you can get started with something easy to eat in the morning. It is great to start off with something simple if you aren't used to eating breakfast, that way you aren't adding a ton of time to your morning routine.
Yogurt with Fruit and Granola
All you need for this is a scoop of Greek yogurt, some granola, and your favorite fruit. Some of the healthiest fruits you can use in your breakfast include:
Strawberries - which can boost heart health
Blackberries - which can improve gut health
Pomegranate - which includes antioxidants
Bananas - which help with blood pressure
To make overnight oats, take some old fashioned oatmeal, mix with milk, and put in the refrigerator overnight (use the instructions for the amount of milk). You can add fruits like raisins, cinnamon or brown sugar to season.
Some of the health benefits of overnight oats are:
They contain more protein than most grains (5g per serving).
They’re a rich source of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer (4g per serving).
They are a nutrient dense food, which makes your feel more satiated.
To make an easy berry smoothie, set up your blender add pomegranate juice, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Then blend, and you are all set! This is an easy favorite for moms and kids alike.
To make a green smoothie, blend a banana, pineapple, mango spinach or kale and coconut oil. Then just blend! The Kale has extra iron, which your body needs for growth and development.
Protein Bar and Fruit
If you are really in a hurry in the morning, you can just grab a protein bar and a piece of fruit like an apple, orange or banana that is great for on the go.
My personal favorite protein bars are Luna Bars, which have 7-9 grams of protein, and taste great too! Whatever you buy, try to opt for the bar with the most protein!
We all know that it's difficult to start the morning without your favorite cup of joe, but you may have heard that coffee isn't healthy for you. That's where you are wrong. This favorite morning beverage actually has health benefits in moderate consumption.
According to Harvard Health,
moderate coffee intake—about 2–5 cups a day—is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. It’s even possible that people who drink coffee can reduce their risk of early death.
While coffee is good for you, it is some of the things you add to it that make it unhealthy. Non-dairy creamer has many additives that can be fattening and bad for your health. Try opting for milk or half-and-half instead, as these are much healthier alternatives to processed creamers.
Also, it is healthier to make your coffee at home than getting it from somewhere like Starbucks. My favorite drink there is the White Chocolate Mocha, and a Grande has 430 calories! This is quite a lot, when you realize that a regular cup of coffee with milk and sugar is only about 70 calories.
If you make a cappuccino at home, it will average about 142 calories. Still more than a regular cup of coffee, but less than a coffee on the go! When you drink a lot of coffee, buying your own cappuccino maker can also safe quite a lot of money. If you and your partner have even one cappuccino per day, a cappuccino maker will pay for itself in about 4 months.
I hope these tips for a healthy breakfast help you to get your day off to a great start each morning, feeling energized! What are your favorite go-to breakfasts? Let me know in the comments!