The next time you rush out the door in the morning without something to eat, consider this: Skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day. A healthy morning meal, on the other hand, provides energy, satisfies your appetite, and sets the stage for smart decisions all day long. You want to aim for a breakfast that combines good carbs and fibre with protein.
Old-school breakfast option oatmeal isn’t just low in calories and high in complex carbs. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that’s been shown to help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Need another reason to dig in? Oats are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium.
Steel-cut oats, which take about 15 minutes to cook, contain more fibre than rolled oats or instant varieties, but any type of oatmeal is a healthy choice. Just avoid the flavoured kinds, which can be packed with sugar. Instead, sweeten your bowl with milk and a bit of honey, and top with fruit and nuts.
This tangy, creamy type of yogurt is loaded with calcium and boasts plenty of protein—nearly twice as much as regular yogurt—to keep you feeling full throughout the morning. Choose a plain, nonfat variety, and add some fruit to give it some flavour and nutrition.
A little wheat germ goes a long way. Just two tablespoons provides about 15 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 10 percent of your daily folate. Vitamin E is often a little low in people’s diets, so this is a good way to add in some extra—especially if you don’t eat a lot of nuts or seeds, two other big sources.
There’s nothing like a banana at breakfast to keep those mid-morning cravings at bay. The yellow fruit—especially when they’re still a touch green—are one of the best sources of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that keeps you feeling fuller longer.
Thanks to a healthy dose of potassium, an electrolyte that helps lower blood pressure naturally, bananas are a particularly good choice for people with hypertension.
Once shunned for being high in dietary cholesterol (one yolk contains about 60 percent of your daily allotment), eggs are now embraced as a healthy source of protein and nutrients like vitamin D. Research has shown that the cholesterol in our food has less of an impact on blood cholesterol than previously thought.
Fresh or frozen, these tiny superfruits pack a big antioxidant punch. Studies suggest that eating blueberries regularly can help improve everything from memory and motor skills to blood pressure and metabolism. (Wild blueberries, in particular, have one of the highest concentrations of the powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins.) Blueberries are also lower in calories than a lot of other fruits (they contain just 80 per cup).
Espresso doesn’t just wake you up. Drinking coffee has been linked to a lower risk of several diseases (such as diabetes and prostate cancer), and it may even help you live longer. Researchers suspect the combination of caffeine and antioxidants are responsible for many of the observed health benefits.
Of course, loading coffee up with cream and sugar may erase any potential benefits. So skip the fancy flavored drinks, and stick with skim milk
Tea has a pretty impressive résumé of health benefits, too. Because it has less caffeine, it hydrates you more effectively than coffee, and it’s also a rich source of the immunity-boosting antioxidants known as catechins.
All tea (black, green, and white) provides antioxidants, but green tea may be healthiest of all. Research suggests that drinking five cups a day can increase your body’s metabolism and help you lose more weight around the middle.
Any fruit is a good addition to your breakfast and cantaloupe is no exception. A six-ounce serving (roughly a quarter of a melon) contains just 50 calories and a full 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of both vitamin C and vitamin A, an important nutrient for smooth, younger-looking skin.
Like most melons, cantaloupe has a high water concentration, which means it will help you stay hydrated and keep you feeling full until lunchtime.