11 healthy morning foods

Jill Bridges, SATI STAFF

One of the most popular maxims related to human health is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While many people believe this fact, there is actually little supporting evidence that eating breakfast improves your health in any meaningful way. In fact, some even suggest that people can lose weight and boost their overall health, particularly if they’re avoiding breakfast as part of intermittent fasting.

While not everyone needs to eat breakfast, people that do choose to enjoy this early morning meal need to make sure that they’re eating the right foods. If you choose nutrient-rich, filling foods for breakfast, you can maximize your energy level and reduce the amount of calories that you eat during the rest of the day.

Learning about a few of the healthiest breakfast foods in the world is a great way to make sure that you’re starting your day the right way: with a nutritional meal. Here a are few of the most healthy morning foods you can eat if you’re interested in a better diet that will promote your long-term health.

1. Choose eggs

When most people think of breakfast, they think of a plate filled with delicious eggs. In addition to being one of the most popular breakfast foods that a person could choose to eat, eggs are also extremely beneficial to human health[1], and several studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast can help your body in a variety of ways[2].

The primary reason to make eggs your morning meal is that research has shown eating eggs early in the day keeps you feeling full longer into the day, resulting in a reduction of your overall calorie consumption, which is crucial when you’re trying to lose weight[3].

Eating eggs can also help you maintain proper nutrition. For example, eggs contain antioxidants the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which can help protect you from vision problems due to cataracts and macular degeneration later in life[4]. Eggs are also one of the best sources of protein, with three large eggs contain an impressive 20 grams.

Many people avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content. Fortunately, research has found that eggs won’t raise cholesterol in most people, and may even boost healthy HDL cholesterol while altering the harmful shape of LDL cholesterol[5].

2. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a frequent choice for people interested in eating a lighter, healthier breakfast. Unlike some other types of yogurt you could eat, Greek yogurt is much creamier because it is produced by straining curds and whey. Besides better flavor, the straining process used to create Greek yogurt makes this common breakfast food much richer in protein and other nutrients[6].

One of the most surprising benefits of eating Greek yogurt has to do with your body’s metabolism. Eating Greek yogurt has been shown to induce a much greater thermic effect than other breakfast foods[7]. The thermic effect of food is an increase in your natural metabolic process that is triggered by eating. Foods that cause a higher thermic effect can help you more effectively burn calories and lose weight.

Another reason to eat Greek yogurt in the morning is adding beneficial probiotics to your diet[8]. Probiotics are a type of healthy bacteria that can maintain a healthy digestive system and may lower your risk of developing very serious diseases[9,10]. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of probiotics, make sure that any Greek yogurt you purchase is labeled as containing “active and live cultures”.

3. A cup of coffee

Even if you don’t regularly eat breakfast, chances are you can’t start your day without a rich, hot cup of coffee. Possibly the most popular breakfast drink worldwide, a cup of coffee is one of the best ways to start your morning[11]. Contrary to what people once believed, drinking coffee, particularly if you drink multiple cups, can boost your health in some surprising ways[12].

Obviously, the most beneficial part of drinking coffee is that it contains large amounts of caffeine. When you drink a mug of coffee and the caffeine that it contains, you will give yourself a boost of energy, improve your mood, and maximize your cognitive abilities[13]. Some studies have found that drinking between 1 and 4 cups of coffee per day can give you all the benefits of this drink with none of the side-effects[14].

Drinking coffee can also help you lose weight, as research has shown that 100 milligrams of caffeine can boost your metabolism and cause you to burn up to 150 extra calories in a day[15]. Coffee can also inhibit inflammation, decrease your risk of liver disease, and help you control your diabetes thanks to its antioxidant content.

4. A bowl of oatmeal

Your main goal when you’re choosing a healthy breakfast food should be finding an item that will help keep you full for a longer period of time while supporting major areas of your health. In this regard, there is almost no better breakfast option than a steaming bowl of oatmeal[16]. Made using ground oats, oatmeal provides a unique type of fiber called beta-glucan, which is well-known for its countless health benefits[17].

The main benefit of the beta-glucan that you’ll find in oatmeal is its ability to reduce cholesterol levels, likely because it speeds digestion and reduces the amount of fat absorbed during the digestive process[18]. Also, because beta-glucan is considered a viscous fiber, eating oatmeal can help prolong feelings of satiation.

Like many of the items on this list, the oats and oatmeal have a large amount of antioxidants[19]. In addition to preserving your heart health and helping you control your blood pressure levels, the antioxidants and oats inhibit their fatty acids from going rancid. Oats also contain some amount of protein[20].

If you want to get the most out of your oatmeal, you should make it using milk instead of water, and refrain from adding sugar.

5. Chia seeds

If you’re the type of person that likes to stay on the cutting edge of human health, then you might have noticed that health-minded people are increasingly consuming chia seeds. The reasons for this is very simple: chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet[21,22]. By eating chia seeds, which is easier than you might believe, you can address virtually every important area of your health.

Chia seeds are one of the most fibrous foods that you could choose to eat[23]. For example, a single ounce of chia seeds provides a massive 11 grams of fiber, some of which is advantages viscous fiber. When consumed, viscous fiber absorbs a large amount of water, making you feel fuller for longer periods of time and allowing you to lose weight[24].

There has also been research suggesting chia seeds can help improve blood sugar and blood pressure when consumed regularly[25]. Luckily, chia seeds are extremely easy to eat. Dry chia seeds, for example, can easily be added to smoothies, puddings, yogurt, and oatmeal. With a little experimentation, you should be able to add chia seeds to your diet and improve your long-term health.

6. Berries

Fruit is an important part of any balanced diet, providing a wealth of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. However, if you want a fruit that is almost guaranteed to make you healthier, your best option is to eat more berries[26]. Berries are some of the healthiest fruits available today, and whether you prefer raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries, you should be able to boost your nutrition[27].

A great reason to choose berries over other types of fruit is that they have much smaller amounts of sugar and calories. Berries are also extremely high in fiber, with some types of berries offering as much as 8 grams of fiber per cup[28].

Most types of berries contain a beneficial family of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These antioxidants have been linked to better heart health and may even slow the aging process[29]. Eating berries can provide you with a variety of other benefits, including a lower risk of blood cholesterol oxidation, fewer markers of inflammation, a healthier blood vessel cells[30].

if you’re interested in eating one of the healthiest breakfasts possible, you can add your berry of choice to a bowl of nutritious Greek yogurt.

7. Nuts

Most people think of nuts purely as a snack food. However, nuts are one of the best foods that you can add to your morning meal. While nuts can’t serve as a meal on their own, they can be combined with other healthy breakfast foods in beneficial ways[31].

As with many health breakfast options, the advantage of eating nuts in the morning is that they are extremely filling, helping you to prevent weight gain by reducing your overall calorie consumption[32,33]. While some nuts are high in calories and fat, evidence suggests that your body does not absorb the entirety of their fat content. For instance, research shows your body only absorbs 129 out of the 162 calories contained in a 1-ounce serving of almonds[34].

Studies have also found that eating nuts reduce inflammation throughout your body, lower insulin resistance, and decrease your risk factors for heart disease[35]. Whatever type of nut you choose to eat, you will be getting beneficial amounts of healthy fats, potassium and magnesium.

To benefit from eating nuts, you only need to add a small amount to your morning meal, such as topping a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt with two tablespoons of nuts.

8. Drink green tea

Choosing the right beverage is a crucial part of eating a healthy breakfast. While some people opt for coffee, other people choose a delicious mug of green tea. All tea can improve your health, but the biggest benefits are found in green tea, which has been linked to better overall health[36].

Much like coffee, green tea contains caffeine. This means that drinking a cup of green tea in the morning can spark your metabolism, provide you with energy, and elevate your mood[37]. However, green tea only contains about half the amount of caffeine as coffee, making it a better choice for anyone that is concerned with their daily caffeine consumption.

Green tea is a great morning drink for anyone that is currently suffering from diabetes or is at risk for the condition[38]. A variety of studies have found that people who regularly drink green tea are able to reduce both their insulin and blood sugar levels[39]. Green tea is also known to contain an antioxidant called EGCG. Some evidence suggests that ingesting EGCG can protect your brain and may limit damage to your heart[40].

9. Drink a protein shake

If you’re someone who wants to eat breakfast but lives a busy lifestyle, you need a meal option that you can grab on the go. Fortunately, if you want a quick, nutritious meal, you can start your morning with a protein shake[41]. Protein shakes are one of the best drinks you can start your day with, and contrary to what you may believe, they aren’t only for bodybuilders.

Before you can drink a protein drink, you need to choose the right protein powder for your needs. While there are several types of powder available, including pea, egg, and soy, the most beneficial in terms of health is whey powder[42,43]. Unlike with other powders, your body very quickly absorbs the protein in whey powder, providing you the energy you need for peak physical performance[44].

Research has shown that whey protein also helps you manage your appetite better than other types of protein. By adding a whey protein drink to your diet, you may also be able to preserve muscle mass while losing weight, reduce our blood sugar levels, and improve aging[45]. Best of all, protein shakes take only seconds to make and can be drunk while you’re on the move.

10. A piece of fruit

As mentioned in a previous section, berries are the most beneficial type of fruit that you could choose to eat for breakfast. However, this doesn’t mean that other types of fruit can’t also contribute to your health. In fact, virtually any type of fruit that you could choose to eat can serve as a major component of a nutritious breakfast[46].

When you add fruit to your morning routine, you’ll be getting a food that is both extremely filling and provides advantageous amounts of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Additionally, fruit is extremely low in calories, with a cup of fruit generally providing between 80 and 130 calories[47].

If you choose to eat a citrus fruit, you’ll be getting a tremendous amount of vitamin C, which has been shown to boost your immune system and reduce the severity of colds. A large orange, for instance, provides well over 100 percent of the amount of vitamin C that you need in a day[48].

The best way to eat fruit in the morning is to combine it with another healthy breakfast food like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Eat fruit on a regular basis and you will likely see a drastic improvement in your health.

11. Flaxseed

Seeds are some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. In addition to chia seeds, which we’ve already discussed, you should think about adding flaxseeds to your morning meal if you want to improve your health as fully as possible. Like many healthy seeds, flaxseed is extremely high in viscous fiber, which slows your digestion and makes you feel full for hours after these seeds have been eaten[49].

In addition to helping you lose weight by prolonging satiation, flaxseeds have been shown to improve multiple areas of human health. For instance, studies have shown that using flaxseeds can lead to lower blood sugar levels, better insulin sensitivity, and may even prevent the development of breast cancer[50].

Because flaxseeds are so powerful, you don’t need to use much to improve your health. By using only two tablespoons of flaxseed, you’ll be getting 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. To use flaxseeds effectively, they need to be ground so that they won’t be absorbed by your digestive system. Once ground, they can be added to other foods like smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Foods to avoid

As you can now see, there are several foods that you can eat for breakfast that can help you feel better and improve their long-term health. Naturally, this means that there are also certain foods that you need to avoid in the morning. Eating unhealthy foods in the morning can make you feel sluggish throughout the day and may negatively impact your health.

When choosing your morning meal, you should be careful that you’re avoiding added sugars. Added sugars have been demonstrably proven to harm your health, and can cause serious conditions like diabetes. This means that you should refrain from eating sugary cereals, foods like donuts, and fruit juice, which can contain nearly as much sugar as soda.

You should also avoid eating foods for breakfast that are high in carbohydrates. Carb-heavy foods will only keep you full for a limited amount of time, and have the ability to cause rapid weight gain. Make good choices by opting for natural, low-calorie foods, and you might be able to improve your health by eating breakfast.

The sati line

While it may be a myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it doesn’t mean that you should skip this meal entirely. In fact, eating a filling, nutrient-rich breakfast can be an excellent way to start your day, providing you with ample energy and allowing you to eat fewer calories so that you can lose weight. However, this means you need to choose healthy breakfast foods.

The best foods that you can eat for breakfast contain beneficial nutrients and help you stay satiated. Eggs, for example, are extremely high in protein and have been linked to reduced calorie consumption during following meals. Foods that are high in fiber like fruits, berries, and various types of seeds are also great foods to eat in the morning, as they keep you full by slowing digestion.

Certain beverages can also contribute to your health when consumed in the morning, including green tea and coffee. Choose the right foods for your morning meal and you can use breakfast to boost your health.

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