What is a Healthy Breakfast?
You probably have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day that shouldn’t be skipped. While this might be true, it doesn’t mean that you should eat just about anything. You need to eat healthily. Generally, a healthy breakfast consists of carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and proteins.
It’s not only meant to make you fuller but to also fuel your body for the day. Unhealthy breakfast, on the other hand, can only make you sluggish and contributes to weight issues and cardiovascular complications. So, choose to eat healthy at breakfast and start enjoying a healthy life. Here’s an elaborate guide to use.
Foods Considered Healthy for Breakfast
In general, these foods are considered healthy for breakfast, thus highly recommended:
Although eggs can be taken at any time of the day, they are more effective during breakfast. One study shows that eggs can regulate blood sugar, especially after a sharp rise. They also contain antioxidants that promote better cognitive functions, eye health, and heart fitness. The protein content is enough to make you fuller.
2. Homemade Smoothies
Homemade smoothies are a quick option for concentrated nutrients. They aid in weight loss since they make you fuller quicker and are effective in reducing cravings. The advantage of making smoothies at home is that you have absolute control of your nutrients intake.
3. Greek Yogurt
Studies show that Greek yogurt is packed with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), known to aid in fat shedding and offers protection against breast cancer. It also makes you fuller quickly and improves your metabolism. There are also a few Greek yogurts that come with live cultures (probiotics), known to boost gut health.
4. Fresh Fruits
Fruits are generally delicious for breakfast. The interesting part is that they are also nutrient-packed, thus a healthy choice. Top options for breakfast include:
- Citrus fruits – High in fiber and Vitamin C and are great in hydrating the body.
- Berries – Rich in antioxidants and fibers, known to promote good heart health.
- Grapefruits – Low in calories but high in fiber to aid in weight management.
5. Whole-Wheat Bread
You need carbohydrates for breakfast and there’s no budget-friendlier healthier option than whole-wheat bread. It’s packed with dietary fiber that’s essentially meant to make you fuller quickly. More importantly, fiber promotes better digestion and heart health.
Coffee is a popular beverage at home and workplaces. It contains caffeine which promotes mental alertness, better mood, and brain vitality. Research shows that caffeine can also boost metabolism and may aid in weight loss. So, if you are the workout type, coffee can help a great deal. It fuels your muscles to help you train more effectively.
If you are a cereal fan, then you should go for oatmeal. It originates from oat, which means it’s packed with enough fiber to help reduce cholesterol levels and antioxidants to fight hypertension and Heart Disease. Moreover, oatmeal makes you fuller quickly and so it’s great for promoting better weight management.
8. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is one of the healthiest and most nutritious beverages on earth. It contains enough caffeine, known to improve mood and mental sharpness. It also has beneficial antioxidants like EGCG that’s good for your heart and brain. A cup of herbal tea a day may go a long way in fighting chronic conditions.
Foods Considered Unhealthy for Breakfast
The following foods are considered the worst for breakfast and thus should be avoided:
1 Toaster Pastries
Though toaster pastries are a common option for breakfast in most places, they are not healthy. Recent studies show that they are low in protein and this makes you hungrier during the day. As a result, you may end up eating more leading to fast weight gain.
Waffles have one major issue – they are made from highly refined flour. This implies they are low in fiber and may contribute to weight gain as they are slow in making you fuller. Most waffle options are also topped with syrup, which means more sugar in your diet.
Pancakes have the same issues as waffles. They are made from refined flour and can be topped with artificial sweeteners. So, they don’t offer protection against obesity or diabetes. The secret is to just avoid them.
4. Fat-Free Flavored Yoghurt
Even though whole milk Greek yogurt is good for breakfast, fat-free flavored yogurt is not. For one, flavored fat-free yogurt comes sweetened with sugars and this is a risk for diabetes. The absence of fat also means that it takes time to get fuller when taking fat-free flavored yogurt.
5. Fruit Juices
Unlike fresh fruits, fruit juices are more of high-fructose syrup than natural fruit. So, they are a risk for diabetes and obesity. This makes them a poor choice for breakfast. What’s more, they make you hungrier throughout the day.
Key Steps to a Healthy Breakfast
To stick to a healthy breakfast plan, you need these key steps:
- Make it a routine – Your family needs to value the importance of a healthy breakfast. So, it should be a daily thing. Kids, especially, need to be trained to appreciate healthy breakfast when they are still young. It makes it easier for them to continue the routine when they grow up.
- Consider budget options – There are so many healthier breakfast options you can go for. For example, cheese only cost $2-$3 per containers but is low in fat and high in protein. Cereals, on the other hand, only cost $4 per box and comes fortified with valuable minerals. You should also note that fresh fruits are cheaper than processed fruit juices.
- Look for nutrients fortification – If you are shopping for your kids, look at food products that are fortified with essential nutrients like Vitamin D, iron, calcium, and omega 3. Such nutrients are great for boosting physical and mental development in kids.
- Include wholegrain – Whole-grain meals are a perfect substitute for processed grains. They contain enough fiber to offer protection against cancer, diabetes, and heart issues.
- Don’t forget to hydrate – You should not forget to take fluids in the morning. Including a healthy drink like coffee, herbal tea or water can help tremendously in preventing issues like headaches, grumpiness, overeating, and tiredness.
It’s undeniable that we need breakfast to start our day, so, skipping it is not an option. The only sensible option is to consider healthy choices. Besides, not all healthy breakfast food options are costly. Others are budget-friendly but very beneficial for your health. For this reason, you have no excuse to eat unhealthily during breakfast.