Having a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day.
Here are the 7 best foods you can eat in the morning.
Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious.
Studies have shown that eating eggs at breakfast increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels. In one study, men who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied and took in fewer calories during the rest of the day than those who consumed a bagel 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 very important nutrient for brain and liver health. Though high in cholesterol, eggs don’t raise cholesterol levels in most people.
In fact, eating whole eggs may reduce heart disease risk by modifying the shape of “bad” LDL cholesterol, increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and improving insulin sensitivity. What’s more, three large eggs provide about 20 grams of high-quality protein (9).
Eggs are also very versatile. For example, hard-boiled eggs make a great portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is creamy, delicious and nourishing.
It’s made by straining whey and other liquid from milk curds, which produces a creamier yogurt that is more concentrated in protein.
Protein has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger and has a higher thermic effect than fat or carbs. The term thermic effect refers to 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. What’s more, full-fat yogurt 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 Bifidobacteria, which help your gut stay healthy (15).
To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase contains live and active cultures on the label.
Try topping Greek yogurt with berries or chopped fruit to increase your meal’s vitamin, mineral and fiber content.
Coffee is an amazing beverage to start your day.
It’s high in caffeine, which has been shown to improve mood, alertness and mental performance.
Even small amounts of caffeine can achieve these effects. An analysis of 41 studies found the most effective dose to be 38–400 mg per day to maximize the benefits of caffeine while reducing side effects. This is roughly 0.3 to 4 cups of coffee per day, depending on the coffee’s strength. Caffeine has also been shown to increase metabolic rate and fat burning. In one study, 100 mg of caffeine per day helped people burn an extra 79–150 calories over a 24-hour period.
In addition, coffee is rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, protect the cells lining your blood vessels and decrease diabetes and liver disease risk
Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers.
It’s made from ground oats, which contain a unique fiber called oat beta-glucan. This fiber has many impressive health benefits, including reduced cholesterol.
What’s more, oat beta-glucan is a viscous fiber that promotes feelings of fullness. One study found that it increased levels of the fullness hormone PYY and that higher doses had the greatest effect. Oats are also rich in antioxidants, which protect their fatty acids from becoming rancid. These antioxidants may also benefit heart health and decrease blood pressure. Though 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.
Bear in mind that one cup (235 grams) of cooked oatmeal contains only about 6 grams of protein, which won’t provide the benefits of a higher-protein breakfast (35).
To boost the protein content of an oatmeal breakfast, prepare it with milk instead of water or serve it with a side of eggs or a piece of cheese.
5. Chia Seeds
In fact, 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, which absorbs water, increasing the volume of food moving through your digestive tract and helping you feel full and satisfied.
In a small, 12-week study, people with diabetes who ate chia seeds experienced reduced hunger, along with improvements in blood sugar and blood pressure. Chia seeds are also high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from unstable molecules called free radicals that are produced during metabolism. In another study of people with diabetes, chia seeds decreased the inflammatory marker CRP by 40%. Elevated CRP is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, one serving of chia seeds provides only about 4 grams of protein, which may not be optimal for breakfast
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.
In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup or 120 and 145 grams, respectively .
What’s more, one cup of berries contains only 50–85 calories depending on the type.
Berries also pack antioxidants called anthocyanins, which protect your heart and may help you age better. Berries have been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, prevent blood cholesterol from oxidizing 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.
Nuts are tasty, satisfying and nutritious.
They’re a great addition to your breakfast, as they’re filling and help prevent weight gain.
Even though nuts are high in calories, studies suggest you don’t absorb all the fat in them.
In fact, your body only absorbs about 129 calories of a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds. This may be true for some other nuts as well, though at this time only almonds have been tested.
Furthermore, nuts have been shown to improve heart disease risk factors, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation.
All types of nuts are also high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
What’s more, Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium — just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100% of the recommended daily intake Nuts are also beneficial for people with diabetes. In one study, replacing a portion of carbs with 2 ounces (56 grams) 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.
You can find a great selection of nuts here.