There are many benefits of eating breakfast, including fueling the body after a night of fasting. Arguably the most important meal of the day, there are many more benefits of a morning repast. Some of these other benefits include:
Provides that boost of energy to get you moving through the morning
Refills blood glucose stores to help keep blood sugar levels stable
Boosts concentration and focus (priceless for promoting focus at school and/or work!)
Offers opportunity to fuel up with important nutrients
Helps maintain a healthy body weight
The Making of a Healthy Breakfast
Of course, it matters what you choose. In fact, a healthy breakfast can help set the stage for food choices the rest of the day. Just as with other meals, breakfast should ideally include fiber-rich carbohydrates + heart healthy protein.
Fiber-rich carbohydrate(s): Carbohydrates provide the fuel that your body–including your brain!–run on. Choosing fiber-rich carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits and whole grains helps ensure that you maximize you’re getting important nutrients in the calories you’re consuming. Plus, dietary fiber helps fill us up and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
Think dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, bell peppers, berries, apples, orange, bananas, mango, oatmeal, corn tortillas and whole grain toast, waffles, pancakes, muffins, cereals, granola and granola bars
Heart-healthy protein: Protein provides the amino acids necessary for building and repairing tissues (including muscle!) and enzyme and hormone production. Protein-rich foods also help provide staying power, which can help with satiety. However, it’s important to include protein-rich foods throughout the day, not just at lunch and dinner.
Think eggs, salmon, beans, yogurt, low-fat milk and cheese, cottage cheese, tofu, quinoa, nuts and seeds
Most of us face a time-crunch in the morning. So, just remember that breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated… egg and red pepper muffins, kale and blueberry yogurt smoothie, banana walnut oatmeal, tofu and veggie scramble, whole wheat toast with smoked salmon, whole grain granola with skim milk, cottage cheese with blueberries and quinoa with apples and pecans.
The bottom line is that breakfast is essential to good health… and a productive day. For more protein- and fiber-rich breakfast ideas, check out recipes and tips from me and other nutrition experts in Women’s Health.
PLEASE SHARE: What are your favorite protein-rich breakfast meals?