Breakfast is a hotly-contested meal. Is it as important as many people think?
Although the idea that eating upon waking revs up the metabolism for the day has been widely debunked, there is much more to breakfast than that. For example, intermittent fasters tend to skip breakfast but then make up for it by eating quality nutrition later in the day. The question around breakfast has moved from whether or not to have it to what to have.
Breakfast provides a great opportunity to include more quality nutrients into your day. And because many Americans lack a well-balanced diet, finding any excuse to add fiber, protein, and healthy fats should be utilized. Therefore, eating things like eggs, avocado, leafy greens, Greek yogurt, and nuts can all be amazing for your health. On the other hand, things like muffins, Danishes, croissants, and donuts are best left on store shelves.
A good breakfast is made up of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These three things can add to overall health and might sway you towards making better food choices throughout the day.
Protein, which is found in foods like eggs, egg whites, and Greek yogurt, can help regulate appetite throughout the day. Some studies have shown that getting between 20-30 grams of protein in the morning can regulate hunger hormones to prevent reaching for sugary snacks later in the day.
Animal protein sources like eggs and dairy are also rich in B-vitamins, while egg yolks are a great source of choline to aid in brain function. In fact, eggs are known as “nature’s multivitamin” because of their nutritional diversity. They are also a great source of potassium, a nutrient essential to heart health.
Fiber is something else most Americans simply don’t get enough of. Getting a few grams with breakfast can go a long way in reaching the daily target of 28-38 grams. Adequate fiber intake is associated with lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol, better digestion, and reduced risk for heart disease.
Like protein, fiber can increase satiety to keep you fuller throughout the day. Adding fruit to your Greek yogurt (particularly high-fiber blueberries), oats, green veggies (in an omelet), or whole grains can all offer valuable servings of fiber. Adding nuts to oats and Yogurt can add even more additional fiber—and healthy fats.
Healthy fats are the third component of a healthy breakfast. Good fats help with nutrient absorption, hormone function, and brain power. Foods like avocado, nuts, and eggs can all hit you with a useful dose of healthy fats in the morning to start your day off right while contributing to lower cholesterol and type-2 diabetes protection. These foods are also rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and selenium, which offer several benefits.
So how does a perfect breakfast look? A little something like this:
A whole egg omelet with avocado and spinach.