It’s so important to start every day off on the right foot. There are many reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps jump-start our metabolism, allowing us to burn calories easily.
The food we eat early in the day also helps to replenish blood sugar levels, which have dropped overnight. The calories in our breakfast, plus the vitamins and minerals from each ingredient help give us the nutrients we need to begin our day with energy.
It’s so easy to skip breakfast, or satiate your hunger with high-calorie processed foods that are rich in added sugar and fats. To help you make better choices, let’s learn more about what makes a healthy breakfast.
What is a Healthy Breakfast?
This important meal should contain protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat, and fiber. This combination gives you energy for the day ahead without spiking your blood sugar and helps keep you full for longer.
Ideally, your healthy breakfast should be made from ingredients that are unprocessed, rather than highly refined. Avoid reaching for breakfast items with lots of added sugar and refined carbohydrates, like most breakfast cereals or energy bars.
Although these breakfast items are common on tables across North America, they don’t offer much in the way of protein, fiber, or healthy fat, and will simply encourage you to snack on unhealthy items throughout the day.
Our Favorite 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
If you often rely on sugary cereal to get you through till lunch, you might be struggling to come up with ideas of what you should be eating instead. Here are 10 of our favorite healthy breakfast ideas, to make it easier for you to make good choices first thing in the morning.
A bowl of oatmeal contains lots of fiber, and enough carbohydrates to help get you through the morning. Since oatmeal is a whole grain, every bowl is incredibly nutrient-dense. One serving gives you tons of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, folate, magnesium, and vitamins B1 and B5.
2. Overnight Oats
Don’t have time to cook a bowl of oatmeal in the morning? The night before, whip up a pot of overnight oats. All you need to do is mix oats and chia seeds with milk milk or non-dairy milk, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, enjoy fresh from the refrigerator with your choice of berries and nuts. You’ll get all the benefits of a bowl of oatmeal without having to work for it.
3. Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a unique superfood that’s rich in nutrients, but low in calories. They have plenty of antioxidants, which helps limit oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body.
Since they can absorb both water and fat easily, it doesn’t take much to turn these protein and omega-3-packed seeds into a pudding. Simply mix with liquid, and let it sit until completely cohesive. Then eat and enjoy!
4. Egg White Omelet
Eggs are very healthy, but the yolk is where most of the egg’s fat and cholesterol are located. To get the protein and amino acid benefits of the egg without the fat, use only the egg white. You can turn egg whites into a healthy omelet with a handful of veggies, cheese, and herbs.
5. Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Love the flavor of a breakfast sandwich but don’t love the sodium and fat of regular pork bacon? Opt for turkey bacon, which contains fewer calories, fat, and cholesterol.
6. Fruit Salad
A fruit salad offers the chance to consume tons of different vitamins and minerals in one fell swoop. To make it as healthy as possible, use a wide variety of fruit in different colors, and serve it with a protein source like non-fat yogurt.
7. Homemade Granola
Love granola, but don’t love the added sugar and fat of store-bought versions? Make your own! When you make your own granola with whole rolled oats, it’s easy to reduce added sugar or unhealthy fats.
A smoothie gives you the option to make a healthy, balanced breakfast in one cup. Simply blend fiber-rich fruit, vegetables, and a protein source like nut butter, protein powder, tofu, or yogurt. Then add in anything else you like, blend, and enjoy.
9. Avocado Toast
Avocados are rich in healthy, unsaturated fats, along with vitamins like vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. To enjoy, simply mash them with lemon juice and a small pinch of salt, and spread it on a piece of whole-grain bread. This breakfast is rich in fiber, healthy fats, and even contains a small amount of protein. Increase the protein and omega-3 fatty acids by topping with a soft-boiled egg.
10. Sweet Potato Toasts
Instead of opting for bread, switch out your morning toast with a baked sweet potato slice. They can be cooked ahead of time, then toasted and topped with a variety of healthy additions like peanut butter, banana, avocado, or hummus.