Healthy morning meals can improve your energy, productivity and motivation during the day. Here are some healthy recipes you can try ! Whether you are a student or working, having a healthy breakfast is very essential if you are to perform well the whole day. This article delves into having some healthy and nutritious morning meals.
The best breakfast foods for health
Many people believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it breaks the nighttime fast and kick-starts a person’s metabolism.
However, popular American breakfast foods, such as donuts, pastries, and pancakes, are laden with saturated fat and sugar and contain little protein or fiber.
A healthful breakfast is one that contains nutritious foods that provide energy and make a person feel full, which can help prevent overeating later in the day. In this article, learn about the best foods to eat in the morning.
Oatmeal is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains beta glucan, which is a thick, sticky fiber that helps a person to feel full for longer and may also lower cholesterol.
One study revealed that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast felt fullerTrusted Source and ate less at lunchtime than people who ate cornflakes. This was particularly true in people who were overweight.
Oats are also rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Steel-cut oats, which contain more protein and fiber than other types of oats, are a good option because they have a lower glycemic index (GI). A low GI means a person’s blood sugar will not increase as much.
Eggs are a popular breakfast food. They are nutritious and contain high-quality protein.
Some people think that eggs are unhealthful because of the amount of cholesterol they contain. However, researchTrusted Source has shown that the dietary cholesterol from eggs has only a minor impact on bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), in the blood.
A small studyTrusted Source on people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease found that eating whole eggs and moderately reducing carbohydrate consumption resulted in improvements in blood cholesterol levels. It also reduced waist circumference, weight, and body fat.
3. Nuts and nut butter
If a person does not eat animal products, eating nuts is another excellent way to get enough protein. Nuts also contain antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthful fats.
According to a 30-year-long study in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who consumed nuts seven or more times per week had a 20 percent lower risk of death compared to people who did not eat nuts.
Nut butter is very versatile. People can spread nut butter on whole grain toast, mix it into oatmeal or yogurt, or use it as a dip for fresh fruit.
Healthful kinds of nut butter include:
- peanut butter
- almond butter
- cashew butter
- unsweetened cocoa and hazelnut butter
Drinking coffee with breakfast is popular due to its caffeine content. Coffee also offers other health benefits due to its antioxidants, which help fight inflammation.
One review from the American Diabetes Association suggests that drinking either regular or decaffeinated coffee could decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers also suggested that some components of coffee improve glucose metabolism.
However, adding cream or sugar will reduce the beneficial effects of coffee. It is best to reduce or avoid adding sugar to coffee and choose nonfat or plant-based milk instead of cream.
Berries of all kinds, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are an excellent way to start the morning. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain disease-fighting antioxidants.
A study from the American Heart AssociationTrusted Source showed an association between a higher intake of the antioxidants found in berries with a lower risk of heart attack in young women.
Sprinkle berries on cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt, or blend them into smoothies. If fresh berries are expensive or not in season, buy frozen berries, which are just as nutritious. However, it is best to choose frozen berries without any added sugar for optimal health benefits.
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
The health benefits of flaxseed include lowering blood levels of cholesterolTrusted Source, improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar, and even protecting against breast cancerTrusted Source.
People can sprinkle flaxseeds on yogurt or oatmeal, or blend them into smoothies. It is essential to purchase ground flaxseed or to grind the seeds at home, as whole flaxseeds will pass through the body without breaking down.
7. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is another excellent source of protein to eat in the morning. Greek yogurt is thick and creamy and contains more protein than regular strained yogurt.
Greek yogurt is also rich in calcium and contains probiotics that help support a healthy gut and immune system.
People can pair this low-fat, high-protein food with other foods on this list, such as berries or nut butter.
Fast Breakfast Recipes
Quinoa and Chia Porridge
Cooking quinoa in milk (dairy, soy, or almond) with healthy spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric infuses flavor into this great substitute for a classic hot breakfast cereal. Plus, it’s high in protein.
Simply put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer, stir, and top with your favorite seasonal add-ons.
Banana Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
Try this superfood twist on the classic combo of PB and banana. It tastes like breakfast for dessert, if dessert were healthy. All you need is love — in the form of chia seeds, a banana, some PB, and milk of your choice. And time: The pudding can rest in the fridge for four hours, but overnight is better.
Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Turn a classic summer quick bread into oatmeal with this recipe. Adding shredded zucchini and chia seeds to the simmering oatmeal pumps up the nutritional value and starts your day with a serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts for added crunch.
Breakfast muffins and bars
Coconut Yogurt Quinoa Muffins
By this point, it’s obvious we think quinoa makes anything better. So when it comes to muffins, it’s a no-brainer (especially if you add flaxseeds, oats, banana, and applesauce, too). Try these moist little bites for breakfast or an after-lunch treat.
Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please. While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, these soft, thick, chewy cookies are a top-notch choice. The recipe calls for carob chips, but you can substitute semisweet chocolate chips.
Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix in for flavoring — go for almond butter and raisins in one batch and peanut butter and chocolate chips in another.
Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Cups
With oats, shredded zucchini, and maple syrup, this vegan breakfast will start your day with veggies and grains. Make a batch of these baked oatmeal cups in advance, keep them in the fridge, and grab one for breakfast on your way out the door.
Apple Crisp Oatmeal Squares
Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it more convenient and portable? Bake it into squares! In this recipe, a crisp topping covers a layer of apples over a base of banana and oats.
Tip: Individual servings can be frozen and later thawed or warmed in the microwave.
Morning Glory Muffins
These oat-based muffins (pssst… it’s a Martha Stewart recipe) are packed with healthy carrots and zucchini and lightly sweetened with raisins and a pinch of sugar. Use a mini muffin tin for smaller portions and cut back on the brown sugar or choose a healthier substitute).
Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
These tasty, easy no-bake granola bars will remind you of your morning oatmeal, but you can eat them anywhere you like. This recipe calls for honey, but we like to replace it with maple syrup to make the bars vegan.
Zucchini, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Any recipe that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in our book. These muffins are jam-packed with better-for-you ingredients — coconut oil, zucchini, banana, and whole-wheat flour — plus chocolate chips for an extra bit of sweetness.
Breakfast Egg Muffins
Finally, a muffin without allllll that sugar. These are simple to make ahead of time, and they last all week — great for grab-and-go breakfasts. Blend or whisk eggs with spinach, bacon, and cheese, and then pour the mixture into muffin tins. Bake for 15–20 minutes before serving.
Tip: Once they’ve cooled, store them in the fridge. They’ll warm up nicely in the microwave in your office (sorry it smells so good, co-workers).
Spinach and Cheddar Microwave Quiche
Yes, it’s possible (and easy) to make a quiche in the microwave! Cover half a cup of spinach with water in a mug and microwave it for a minute. Drain the water and add an egg, milk, cheese, and a crumbled slice of bacon. Mix thoroughly, and then microwave for three more minutes.
Transfer it to a container to eat later or enjoy it right away.
Slow-Cooker Sausage and Egg Casserole
Wake up to a house smelling like sausage and effortlessly put breakfast on your plate, all thanks to the beauty and benefits of a slow cooker.
Layer the vegetables, sausage, and cheese in the slow cooker; top with a mix of eggs and cream (you’d be fine using regular or nondairy milk for a lighter option); and you’re just one sleep away from a delicious and hearty meal. (And yes, of course you can omit the sausage.)
Healthy Breakfast Foods
There’s a reason this dish has become a favorite in recent years—it’s fast, filling, and most importantly, delicious. Choose whole grain toast for the extra fiber and then pair it with a protein source for increased satisfaction. Younkin recommends two eggs, cooked however you like them. Smoked salmon is another great option. For a plant-based version, try hemp seeds and a squeeze of lime or black beans and salsa. The possibilities are endless, but if you want some inspiration, we have lots of healthy avocado toast recipes.
Whether you follow a vegan diet or just like to make some of your meals plant-based, a tofu scramble is a great way to get more plant-based protein in your diet, which is tied to many different health benefits. Add your favorite vegetables, herbs, and spices and pair with whole grain toast topped with nut butter or avocado for a well-balanced filling breakfast. Or, wrap it up in a tortilla with black beans, veggies, salsa, and avocado for a super filling plant-forward breakfast burrito.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Another fast breakfast for busy mornings is to make a Greek yogurt parfait. Greek yogurt contains more protein than regular yogurt, making it more filling. Choose plain over flavored yogurts and add your own fruit to limit added sugar. Finish it with some chopped nuts for some healthy fat and a sprinkle of your favorite granola for added flavor. You can change it up throughout the year by choosing whatever fruit is in season.
Whole-Grain Waffles or Pancakes with Fruit and Nuts
Weekends can be a great time to whip up a batch of waffles or pancakes that can be eaten throughout the week. Whole-grain options, whether made from whole wheat flour or oats, are the best choice to keep blood sugar stable and keep you satisfied longer. Instead of reaching for traditional sugary toppings like syrup and whipped cream, go for something more nutritious like Greek yogurt, chopped nuts and fresh berries.
These are just a handful of the many ways you can build a healthy breakfast. The key is to think outside the traditional cereal, bagels, or pastries, and choose options that are well-balanced and can add nutrients to your day.