Let’s face it — getting out of bed can sometimes feel impossible. If you frequently feel groggy in the morning, keep in mind that the food you eat can make a big difference in giving you the energy and motivation to get through your day.
A balanced breakfast includes protein, slowly digested carbohydrates, and healthy fats, along with some fruit or vegetables. Here’s why they’re important:
- Proteins. These are used to build and repair tissue in your body, transport and store nutrients, and provide your body with energy.
- Carbohydrates. These are the main source of energy for your body. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in digestion.
- Fats. These supply energy and also help your body absorb some vitamins. Get plenty of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
Adding the following foods or a combination of these items to your breakfast can give you the energy boost you need to power through your day.
Your body processes food to release the energy it contains. Foods high in carbohydrates may be the easiest to convert into fuel. For long-lasting energy, add a complex carbohydrate, like oats and grains, to your breakfast. Oatmeal without added sugar is one of your best options. Oats are a whole grain food and a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, along with some protein and fat.
Oats are also loaded with vitamins and minerals, including:
- vitamin B1
Due to their fiber content, oats will make you feel fuller longer. In other words, oatmeal will provide long-lasting satiety to get you through your day.
Oatmeal can be eaten by boiling oats with water to make a porridge. You can then add a wide variety of toppings or mix-ins, including:
- protein powder
- cocoa powder
2. Almond Butter
Almonds are a good source of fats, antioxidants, iron, calcium, and vitamin E. Almond butter is high in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat linked to a reduction in heart disease and better blood sugar control. Two tablespoons of almond butter have roughly 3.3 grams of fiber and 6.7 grams of protein, which can mean you’ll feel full for longer. Almond butter can be incorporated into a smoothie or mixed into a hot bowl of oatmeal. When shopping for almond butter, be sure to buy a brand that doesn’t have any added sugar, trans fats, or artificial ingredients.
Eggs are a great option to form the base of a super healthy breakfast. One egg contains 75 calories, along with 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fats. They can be made into an omelet with vegetables, scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and more.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which help your gut stay healthy. You can add a variety of power foods on top, including berries, nuts, oats, granola, seeds, honey, apples, papaya, mango, coconut, and over a dozen other fruits.
Papayas are an excellent addition to breakfast, high in fiber and antioxidants known as carotenoids, as well as vitamins A and C. They can be added to a smoothie with coconut milk, added to yogurt, or eaten on their own as a side dish.
6. Ground Flaxseed
Ground flaxseed is high in soluble fiber, which can help slow digestion and lower blood sugar. You can sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed onto your oatmeal or yogurt, or add it to a smoothie or baked goods.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are often considered superfoods. They’re high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Berries can be easily incorporated into smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.
8. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a high source of fiber, which can help you feel satiated for much longer. You can add them to milk to create a pudding-like consistency or sprinkle them on top of your breakfast foods.
Avocado is a fruit containing healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. You can add it to an omelet or spread it on whole-grain toast or include it in a smoothie.
Coconuts provide mostly fat, but they also have several important minerals and small amounts of B vitamins. The high fiber content of coconut meat can help slow digestion and regulate blood sugar levels. Flaked or shaved coconut adds a pleasant flavor to sweet breakfast dishes, such as on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese along with other fruits, like mangoes or berries.
Adding any of these foods to your breakfast may give you the extra boost you need to make it through a busy day. Many of these foods contain a healthy dose of fiber to slow down digestion and keep you satiated. The vitamins and antioxidants combined with protein and healthy fats are sure to make you feel energized as you go about your day. To get the most out of your morning meal, aim for a breakfast that includes a protein along with slowly digested carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruits or vegetables.
Boost Your Energy Naturally with Breakfast
As you sleep, your body is hard at work digesting yesterday’s dinner. By the time you wake up, your body and brain are demanding fresh fuel. “Breaking the fast” is a key way to power up in the morning. Do it right and the benefits can last all day.
If you miss the day’s first meal, you may start off with an energy deficit and have to tap into your energy reserves.
What’s a good breakfast? One that delivers some healthful protein, some slowly digested carbohydrates, and some fruit or vegetables. A vegetable omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast qualifies, as does a bowl of high-fiber cereal topped with fresh fruit and reduced-fat or soy milk, along with a handful of almonds or walnuts.
Try these 4 tips for creating your own energy-boosting breakfast:
- Choose whole grains. High-fiber, whole-grain cereals and breads can help keep your blood sugar on an even keel and avoid a mid-morning energy crash. To choose the healthiest breakfast cereal, read the label and look for:
- 5 grams or more of fiber per serving
- less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving
- less than 5 grams of sugar per serving
- whole grain as the first item on the ingredient list
- Include protein. Yogurt is a good choice; Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. Eggs are okay for healthy people. They are high in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.
- Eat in, not out. You can enjoy a healthful breakfast out if you stick to oatmeal. But much of the traditional fare will start your day with loads of refined carbohydrates and saturated fat
- Blend up a breakfast smoothie. Combine fruit, juice, yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, and other ingredients to make a refreshing, high energy breakfast.
Foods to Boost Your Brain Power
Whether or not you agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you probably know that a healthy morning meal can serve as fuel, making you feel more energetic and sharper.
When it comes to boosting your brain power, your goal should be to get the right amount of calories (or energy), plus a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Consider adding these foods to your breakfast plate:
- Berries, which contain flavonoids that have been linked to slower rates of cognitive decline.
- Fatty fish is especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have long been understood to protect and bolster cognition.
- Leafy greens provide brain-boosting nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin K, and folate.
- Eggs are a great source of choline, which has been shown to improve brain health throughout life.
- Nuts provide protein, and walnuts, in particular, have tons of omega-3s and are associated with healthier brains.
An ideal brain-boosting breakfast could include a half-cup of oatmeal, a two-egg omelet with veggies, and some berries. The Mediterranean diet is also a good guide to cognition-enhancing breakfasts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What makes a balanced breakfast?
A: A balanced breakfast includes protein, slowly digested carbohydrates, healthy fats, and some fruit or vegetables.
Q: Which foods can boost energy in the morning?
A: Foods that can boost morning energy include oatmeal, almond butter, eggs, Greek yogurt, papaya, ground flaxseed, berries, chia seeds, avocado, and coconut.
Q: How can I boost my brain power through breakfast?
A: To boost brain power through breakfast, include foods like berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, eggs, and nuts in your morning meal.
Q: What are some healthy breakfast tips?
A: Choose whole grains, include protein, eat in, not out, and consider blending up a breakfast smoothie to start your day on a healthy note.