Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it can be one of the hardest to make sure is healthy. We often start with the best of intentions but our busy lives can make grabbing the right thing difficult. Here are seven things to keep in your kitchen for a quick and healthy breakfast.
Fruit can provide you with many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients that are an essential part of a balanced diet. Most fruit is high in fiber which helps to process the nutrients the fruit contains and to aid the body in maintaining proper blood sugar levels and increasing protection against certain types of cancers. Fruit is filling, but can also be low in calories compared to other breakfast foods (with the exception of higher glycemic index fruits like mango and banana).
Greek yogurt has some very real advantages over its traditional yogurt partner. While both versions provide a good source of digestive enzymes, calcium and protein; the thicker Greek yogurt has also been strained to remove some lactose, whey and sugar. This means that Greek yogurt has a lower caloric count, lower sugar amount and more protein than the normal fare. It can be a great base (plain greek yogurt) to add in your fruit and protein powder to make a quick meal.
Using egg whites instead of the whole egg is a good way to cut the fat and carbohydrate levels in your diet. Egg whites can be prepared in the same way you would prepare a whole egg and retain much of the natural egg flavor. One thing to be aware of is that egg whites only have about half of the protein of the whole egg, so consider adding a protein powder to your breakfast or having some sliced avocado with your egg white if keeping a high protein intake is important. That said, egg whites remain a much higher source of protein than many other foods as the whole egg is a high protein source item as well.
Adding protein powder to milk or a milk substitute such as almond milk can help to add power to your morning. Protein is used for energy in the body to sustain major functions such as muscles, nerves and cognitive processes. Protein cannot be stored in the body so by the time you wake up, you are running low. Protein powders come with all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to properly synthetize the protein and many are also fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. Protein powders can also be very filling but most come in at under 250 calories per 8 ounce serving. Add them to yogurt, smoothies, eggs and more.
Don’t want to give up bacon? Turkey bacon can be an important way of cutting down on salt and fat at breakfast without losing all of the traditional breakfast taste and flavor. It is very important that you read the nutritional label on the turkey bacon as not all of them offer a healthier serving than pork bacon. Check to make sure they are low in sodium and polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats are necessary parts of your diet so don’t worry about them too much. If gluten is a concern for you, there are varieties of turkey bacon available that are made gluten free as well.
A good way to serve vegetables in the morning is raw. You can dip them in your Greek yogurt or carry them with you as a good solution for what to eat when you just don’t have time for breakfast. One of the many benefits of starting your day with a serving of vegetables, besides the vitamins and nutrients they provide, is they also provide you with a source of hydration and fiber. One cup of cut veggies can be as filling as pancakes, but without the unhealthy side effects. Add them to your eggs and omelets as well.
Whole grain cereal
Choosing a whole grain cereal is an important way to start changing your diet. Whole grains as more filling and fiber rich. A diet rich in fiber is important for more reasons than just aiding digestion. Recent studies have shown that diets that lack fiber can contribute to the development of certain types of diabetes and are a suspected contributing factor in promoting some cancers. Whole grain cereals are often a good source of minerals and antioxidants as well. You can fulfill your sweet tooth by topping the cereal with fruit too.