Many doctors, including us, agree: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long night of fasting, breakfast is the meal that helps your body’s systems return to full functionality. Not only does breakfast help us get up and moving in the morning, but people who eat breakfast are also less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
However, it’s important to note that these positive benefits come from eating a healthy, balanced breakfast. Grabbing a candy bar at the gas station in the morning before work simply won’t cut it. So, what does a healthy, balanced breakfast look like? It includes something from all of the major food groups: grains, protein, dairy, and fruits/vegetables.
Something like a whole grain bagel would be a perfect starter to your breakfast. When you wake up in the morning feeling hungry, whole grains will help you feel full again. And since whole grain breads are packed full of fiber and carbohydrates, they’ll help you feel full for longer so you aren’t looking for a snack an hour after breakfast.
If you think your bagel tastes a little dry, this could be the perfect opportunity to add some dairy into your breakfast. By spreading a serving of low fat cream cheese onto your bagel (or other similar breakfast item), you increase the amount of calcium you get for the day. And calcium is a must for a healthy body, as it plays a big role in keeping your bones healthy and reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Protein is just as important for getting you up and moving in the morning as whole grains. Because protein stimulates orexin neurons in the brain, it helps you feel more focused throughout the day. For your protein, we suggest reaching for an egg; eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be served in many different ways depending on your preference. Worried about your cholesterol? Don't worry too much - as long as you don't overindulge each morning, you'll be a-ok, according to new dietary cholesterol guidelines.
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are a must for a healthy diet, as different fruits and vegetables provide numerous vitamins and minerals. Take a grapefruit, for example - grapefruit is full of vitamin C, which aids your immune system and helps your natural healing processes. Fruits and vegetables are also a great source of fiber, just like whole grains. Adding a side of fruit to your breakfast will help you start your morning off right. And by the way, while they may not always be your first choice, there’s no excuse not to eat vegetables with your breakfast! There’s lots of ways you can add them right into your meal so that you can eat a normal but nutritious breakfast.
As you can see, eating a healthy, balanced breakfast in the morning provides you with a great jump start for all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function properly. A few quick Google or Pinterest searches, guided by the advice from your doctor, may be all you need to create personalized healthy breakfast recipes that will keep you on the right track for months to come.