Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Some of the healthiest foods to start your day with

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s not just a common saying, it’s the truth. A good breakfast keeps your appetite sated until lunch, but it also gets your metabolism running so that you’re burning energy as efficiently as you should be throughout the day. Of course, the benefits of breakfast are much better felt when you’re eating a better breakfast, too. 

If you’re wondering about some of the healthiest foods you can start your day with, then wonder no more. Here are some of the best breakfast picks and why you should be eating more of them first thing.

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Nuts (also nut butter)

If you’re looking for a great way to get protein early in the day, but you don’t want to eat any animal products that early (or are vegan), then nuts such as peanuts, almonds, and cashews are all great non-animal protein sources. What’s more, while saturated fats are high in the list of things you should try to avoid having too much of in your diet, nuts are full of healthy unsaturated fats (both mono- and polyunsaturated fats) that can actually lower your cholesterol level, not to mention fiber to keep your digestion working well and omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health and a whole host of other things. Making your own nut butter can go great with things like rye bread or crackers, too.


Aside from being delicious and versatile enough to feature in a wide variety of early morning meals, from poached on toast to scrambled up in a mug, eggs are incredibly healthy for a range of reasons. For one, it’s filling enough without being super high in calories that it makes for a good meal to keep you sated until lunch without needing to load on the carbs. Eggs also have the benefit of increasing the levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as the “good” cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, without raising the level of the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. Eggs make for great sources of protein, too. Just bear in mind that it’s best to eat both whites and yolks. However, if you’re looking to calorie control your diet, you can take just the whites to much of the same benefit.


Sometimes, the traditional breakfast choices do pop up amongst the healthiest, as well. Just as eggs have always been part of a good breakfast, oats and oatmeal have always had a place at tables first thing in the morning, as well. With a look at some easy to understand oatmeal nutrition facts, it’s not too difficult to see why, either. Like many wholegrain foods, it is relatively low in calories. What’s more, while simple carbs are worth trying to keep low, complex carbohydrates are a much more efficient way to fuel your body. What’s more, oats contain plenty of fiber but, unlike many high-fiber grain products, contain no gluten. Add to that plenty of folate, potassium, and even omega-3 fatty acids, and you have some great breakfast food.

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From raspberries to blueberries to cranberries, practically all fruits with “berry” in the name are practically cheating when it comes to making sure that your breakfast is rich with vitamins and minerals. A good berry smoothie is a great accompaniment to the more savory foods for breakfast, or you can combine it with a bowl of oatmeal and soy milk for your breakfast cereal. Like oats, berries are also high in fiber, which is great for your digestion, but they are most famous for being full of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent the spread of free radicals, harmful compounds that can damage cells, leading to inflammation, as well as aging, and even cancer. Free radicals are released naturally when turning food into energy, but if you have berries and their antioxidants amongst those foods, then they can counteract the harmful effects of these compounds. Beyond that, a bowl’s worth of berries can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Greek yogurt

Having risen in popularity to become one of the “superfoods” that is much talked about as of late, Greek yogurt is a nutritional powerhouse for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s light, has good calcium (which is vital for your bone health), and goes very well with some of the other foods mentioned here (oats and berries especially.)  It’s lower in fats than most dairy products, but it also has protein, iodine, and potassium, which can help boost your metabolism (especially helpful for any weight-loss efforts) and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. One of the benefits that are rarer in other foods, however, is the probiotics in Greek yogurt. Effectively, it can help foster the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and stomach. This, in turn, can aid your digestion, not only helping against the development of issues such as irritable bowel syndrome but also helping your body’s antibody responses among other functions.


For the days that you want to get away from the oats and nuts of the world, seeds can be a great replacement as well. A flaxseed and greek yogurt bowl can make for a perfect breakfast snack for a variety of reasons. Aside from being very low in calories, a spoonful of flaxseeds is rife with polyunsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, folates, calcium, and as much as 7% of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, which is a vital component of muscle function, nerve function, and energy production. And that’s just one tablespoonful. One underrated compound found in flaxseed is lignans, which have antioxidant properties, meaning that they can reduce your risk of cancer. Chia seeds have much the same properties, which means that they can also work as a replacement for flaxseeds if you prefer them.

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While any health professional, dietician, or personal trainer worth their salt will warn you about the dangers of drinking too much coffee, there’s no denying that it’s the perfect thing to start your day. Not only does the caffeine help you kick into gear for the day, increasing your alertness which can make it easier to get productive for the day, but it is also shown to have some fat-burning qualities, too. Coffee can increase your metabolism enough to help you burn up to 100 calories more than you would without. What’s more, there are antioxidants in coffee, which can reduce inflammation, improve your immune system, and even fight the first signs of aging. All you need is under 400mg of caffeine, which is usually somewhere under four cups of coffee, depending on what type you drink.

Soy milk

Whether you take it in your coffee or your cereal, soy milk has a host of proven health benefits. Soybeans are amongst some of the most versatile foodstuffs we’ve ever grown, and you can take them in other forms, such as tofu. However, since soy milk goes well with so many breakfast foods, we will focus on that. First of all, it’s not high in the saturated fats that you find in dairy milk, but instead high in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids, which are found in some of the healthiest foods in nature, can lower blood pressure, slow the growth of cholesterol plaque in the arteries, decreasing the risk of heart attacks, and even help fight against the right of conditions like Alzheimer’s. What’s more, soy milk does not contain estrogen, as some people have made out, so it has very little proven impact on hormone balance in the body. What it does contain is phytoestrogens, a plant-based estrogen-like compound that the human body does not process, so don’t worry too much on that front.

Green tea

Not much of a coffee fan? Well, that’s okay, because green tea might be even healthier. Aside from containing caffeine, much like coffee, it’s also chock full of antioxidants, which means it can improve your immune response, prevent the signs of aging, and protect the heart, brain, and nervous system. Green tea is also relatively commonly recommended for those who are looking for any kind of fat-burning supplement, as it can help increase fat burning and increase your metabolic rate for hours after drinking it. There is even the possibility that the catechins in green tea can also improve your oral health, reducing the growth of bacteria that can help fight bad breath and reduce the chances of infections and decay. Of course, this doesn’t mean it should replace brushing your teeth and flossing, but it’s a good addition.

Make sure that your breakfast sets you up for a day of eating right. The best way to follow healthy habits is to make sure that you have a healthier start, too. All the foods mentioned above can be prepared in a variety of ways, whether together or apart from one another. Start stocking them in your pantry alongside fruits and you can easily make breakfast the most delicious and nutritious meal of your day.


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

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