Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it sets your metabolism, energy levels and can provide a fulfilling start to your day. However, whilst Nutella on toast might seem like a delicious breakfast treat (“containing two whole hazelnuts!”), it’s important to ensure your breakfast contains the right vitamins and nutrients to set you up for the day. Healthy meal planning is convenient because you can plan on these breakfasts. If you have the ingredients and the meal idea at the ready, you won’t be tempted to reach for that hazelnut death trap.
Use these simple recipe ideas for a satisfying and healthy breakfast.
Boiled egg with whole wheat toast
Eggs are rich in protein and vitamin D. Boiling eggs is the best way to maintain the nutrients as frying and scrambling often require too much unhealthy oil. One large boiled egg contains, on average, 23 mg of calcium, 86 mg of phosphorus and 44 international units of vitamin D. The high calcium content will promote healthy bone growth, whilst the vitamin D is proven to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, making it particularly important as we get older. Remember to eat with whole wheat toast as a fiber-rich alternative to white bread.
Serve up with some wilted spinach to an added iron-boost and sprinkle with black pepper for some added flavor.
Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts
Oatmeal or granola is a nutritious and filling way to start the day. It offers high levels of insoluble fiber which may help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. If preparing oatmeal, make it with water or skim milk to reduce the amount of fat and be careful to choose oatmeal or granola with low fat and sugar content because some manufacturers add unhealthy ingredients. Add a handful of blueberries for a portion of your 5-a-day. In addition, blueberries offer various health benefits including powerful phytonutrients which may ward off chronic diseases. The antioxidants can also maintain healthy cells in the body, essential for maintaining overall health. If you miss the sweetness of an ordinary breakfast cereal, try adding a drizzle of honey.
Try swapping blueberries for bilberries which are famed for their super eye health-boosting properties and were once eaten by air fighter pilots to improve their visual accuracy.
Whole wheat toast with almond butter
Whole wheat toast is preferable to white toast because it contains more fiber and it is very easy to make homemade bread buns that are perfect for breakfast. Almond butter is quickly becoming a popular alternative to peanut butter because it contains mono-unsaturated fats for heart health. In addition, nuts contain vitamin E and can prevent inflammation to promote healthy vision. In a study involving over 3,000 people, people taking a regular vitamin E supplement were found to show a lower incidence of cataracts and macular degeneration. Spread a tablespoon of almond butter on whole wheat toast for an early morning health fix. When buying almond butter, be careful to read the ingredients list carefully; avoid brands with lots of added ingredients and try to choose one that has not been heated to a high temperature.
Try experimenting with whole wheat crackers or Ryvita snack biscuits with your almond butter for a quick lunchtime snack.
Granola with low-fat yogurt and berries
For a tasty alternative to breakfast cereal, try adding a handful of crunchy granola to some low fat natural yogurt. Avoid “fat-free” versions because these can contain high amounts of sugar and try making your own easy homemade yogurt. If you prefer to buy cheaper granola with fewer ingredients, try mixing it up by adding chopped walnuts and mixed seeds. Seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain a high quantity of zinc which can help to protect the delicate eye tissue from harmful light. In addition, nuts and seeds offer a healthy helping of fiber, calcium and magnesium to support healthy digestion and boost the immune system.
Try using dried fruit for a cheaper, long-lasting version of your favorite berries.
Ensuring we get a healthy breakfast is one of the most important ways to ensure we start the day right. The key things to remember are to prepare breakfasts that are nutritious, fulfilling and of course delicious! Eating a protein breakfast will keep the munchies away!
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