7 Best Breakfast Foods

1. Egg Breakfast

Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious. Studies have shown eating eggs at breakfast increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels (1, 2, 3). In one study, men ate either eggs or a bagel for breakfast. They felt more satisfied after the eggs, and took in fewer calories during the rest of the day (3). Additionally, egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help prevent eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration (4, 5).Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline, a nutrient that’s very important for brain and liver health (6). It is ture that eggs are high in cholesterol, but don’t raise cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, eating whole eggs may reduce heart disease risk by modifying the shape of LDL, increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity (7, 8). What’s more, three large eggs provide about 20 grams of high-quality protein. Eggs are also very versatile. For example, hard-boiled eggs make a great portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.


2. Oatmeal Breakfast

Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers. It is one type of quality complex carb, made from ground oats, which contain a unique fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber has many impressive health benefits, including reduced cholesterol (9, 10). In addition, beta-glucan is a viscous fiber that promotes feelings of fullness. One study found that beta-glucan increased levels of the “fullness hormone” PYY and that higher doses had the greatest effect (11). Oats are also rich in antioxidants, which protect their fatty acids from becoming rancid. These antioxidants may also help protect the heart health and decrease blood pressure (13). Therefore, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should choose oats that have been certified as gluten-free. This is a very healthy breakfast food type. One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 6 grams of protein, which won’t provide the benefits of a higher-protein breakfast. Oatmeal made from steel-cut oats provides about twice as much protein. To boost the protein content of an oatmeal breakfast, prepare it with milk instead of water or serve it with a side of eggs or a piece of cheese.


3. Breakfast Berries

Berries are delicious and packed with antioxidants. Popular types include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits, yet higher in fiber. In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup. What’s more, one cup of berries contains only 50–85 calories, depending on the type. Berries also contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which 14). Berries have been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, prevent blood cholesterol from becoming oxidized and keep the cells lining your blood vessels healthy (15).


4. Breakfast Nuts

Nuts are tasty, satisfying and nutritious. They’re a great addition to breakfast because they are filling and help prevent weight gain (16). Even though nuts are high in calories, studies suggest you do not absorb all of the fat in them. In fact, your body only absorbs about 129 calories from a 28-gram (1-ounce) serving of almonds (17). This may be true for some other nuts as well, although at this time only almonds have been tested. Furthermore, nuts have been shown to improve heart disease risk factors, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation (18). All types of nuts are also high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. In addition, Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. In fact, just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of selenium (19). Nuts are also beneficial for people with diabetes. In one study, replacing a portion of carbs with 2 ounces of nuts led to reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels (20).Topping Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts provides crunch and flavor, while increasing your breakfast’s nutritional value.


5. Breakfast Fruit

Fruit can be a delicious part of a nourishing breakfast. All types of fruit contain vitamins, potassium, fiber and are relatively low in calories. One cup of chopped fruit provides about 80–130 calories, depending on the type. Citrus fruits are also very high in vitamin C. In fact, a large orange provides more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Fruit is also very filling, due to its high fiber and water content (21). Pair fruit with eggs, cheese, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for a well-balanced breakfast that will sustain you for hours.


6. Cottage Cheese for Breakfast

Cottage cheese is a fantastic breakfast food. It’s high in protein, which increases metabolism, produces feelings of fullness and decreases the “hunger hormone” ghrelin (22). In fact, cottage cheese has been shown to be as filling and satisfying as eggs (23). Full-fat cottage cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may promote weight loss (24). 1 cup of cottage cheese provides an impressive 25 grams of protein. Add berries and ground flaxseeds or chopped nuts to make it even more nutritious.


7. Breakfast Shake

Another great way to start your day is with a protein shake or smoothie. Several types of protein powder can be used, including whey, egg, soy and pea protein. However, whey protein is absorbed the most quickly by your body (25). It has also been studied the most, and provides several health benefits. Additionally, it seems to reduce appetite more than other forms of protein (26). One study compared four high-protein meals. They whey protein meal reduced appetite the most and led to the lowest calorie intake at the next meal (27). In addition, whey protein can help lower blood sugar levels when consumed as part of a carb-containing meal. It can also preserve muscle mass during weight loss and aging (28).Regardless of the type of protein powder used, a high-protein shake can be satisfying and be filling. Add fruit, greens, nut butter or seeds to provide fiber and antioxidants. Overall, there are many health benefits to eating breakfast and you have many healthy breakfast options. Try them out and see which healthy breakfast option works best for you.

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Andy is a weight lifting enthusiast with a passion for nutrition. He lives in the bay area with his family.

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