Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day as it kick-starts a person’s metabolism and gets you ready for the day ahead once you get out of bed. See below some of the healthiest foods and drink for breakfast.
Eggs are easy to whip up in the morning, and can be eaten in many different ways. They contain high quality protein, increasing feelings of fullness which reduces calorie intake by removing the urge to eat more, and help maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels.
Eggs are high in cholesterol, but won’t raise cholesterol levels in most people as they contain good cholesterol. In fact, eating whole eggs reduces the risk of heart disease and are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are usually missing from people’s diets.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is light and refreshing to eat and it is high in protein. Protein has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger and has a much high thermic effect than fat or carbs - which basically refers to the increase in metabolic rate that happens after eating.
Certain types of Greek yogurt are rich in probiotics which help your gut stay healthy. Yogurt for breakfast is also very good for weight control as it increases levels of hormones that promote fullness (PYY) as well as conjugated linoleic acts (CLA) which may increase fat loss.
Oatmeal is the best power boosting breakfast, filled with fibre called beta glucan which reduces a person’s cholesterol. Although oatmeal doesn’t look it, studies reveal that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast, felt fuller and full of energy. Beta glucan promotes feelings of fullness by increasing the levels of the fullness hormone PYY.
Oats are also high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium. These antioxidants may benefit heart health and decrease blood pressure. A low GI (glycemic index) means a person’s blood sugar will not increase as much, steel-cut oats are a better option for this as they contain a lower GI.
To boost protein in your oatmeal breakfast, prepare it with milk instead of just water, or serve with something on the side.
Whether you like certain types of berries or all; blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all an excellent way to start the day. You can eat berries as a snack, or mix them in with some oatmeal, cereal or yogurt, or customise them into a smoothie. Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits, yet are higher in fibre, as well as containing disease-fighting antioxidants.
They have also been proven to reduce inflammation, prevent blood cholesterol from oxidizing and keep your heart healthy. Berries are really low in calories, so no need to worry about how many you’re snacking on throughout the day.
Nuts are a great way in getting your body the protein it needs. They contain magnesium, potassium, antioxidants and heart helpful fats. They’re great to snack on throughout the day, but a handful of nuts in the morning is a great breakfast as they are filling and help prevent weight gain. Although they are high in calories, studies show that your body does not absorb all the fat from them.
Nuts are also shown to improve heart disease risk factors, reduce insulin resistance, decrease inflammation, reducing blood sugar, cholesterol levels and is beneficial for people with diabetes. They sound like the cure to everything, right?
You can sprinkle nuts on top of your oatmeal, cereal and yogurt, as well as eat nut butter which is very versatile.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. Tea helps a person stay hydrated, and contains caffeine which improves mood and alertness throughout the day along with raising metabolism rate. Black, green and white teas all contain antioxidants, but green tea is probably the most helpful of all. The antioxidants help protect the brain, nervous system and heart from damage. Green tea is also helpful for people with diabetes as it reduces blood sugar and insulin levels.
Bananas are good for a quick energy boost due to their high sugar content, and will keep hunger at bay for a while. They are easy to eat and come with their own unique packaging, so you can quickly grab one on your way out. They are a great source of potassium, which support healthy blood pressure in some people.
However, bananas contain resistant starch, which the body does not naturally digest, meaning it travels through your body unchanged, as well as a high level of sugar content, leading to a clogged and unhealthy digestive system. The best option is to pair your banana with something high in fibre, such as oatmeal.
A coffee in the morning is a great way to start your day, as it has been shown to improve your alertness and performance. It offers health benefits due to its antioxidants which help fight inflammation, as well as possibly reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and risk in liver disease. Caffeine has also been shown to increase metabolic rate and fat burning.
The best way to drink coffee is plain, without adding sugar or cream as these components will reduce the benefits of coffee.