Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it’s your first meal and it can provide you with the proper nutrition to have energy to make it through the day. If you skip breakfast or don’t have a nutritious meal, you drastically decrease your chances of fueling your body for an energetic day. Consistently eating a nutritious breakfast each day can positively impact your overall health and well-being.
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults who regularly eat a nutritious breakfast will be more likely to consume more vitamins and minerals, control their weight and intake less fat and cholesterol. There are 4 basic ingredients that you should try to incorporate into your daily breakfast meal planning in order to maximize the nutritional value of your food intake. This article will address what those four ingredients are and provide some examples of nutritious breakfast foods.
The 4 basic ingredients: fruits & vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy will provide your body with the necessary complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and proper level of “good” fats that will enable you to have the energy to face the day.
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1. Fruits & Vegetables
The best type of fruit to eat is organic-based. However, if you cannot eat organically, be sure you thoroughly wash your fruits before eating them. If you opt for juice drinks, look for ones that are natural and do not have added sugar. Additionally, beverages should be low in sodium content. Consider some of the following ideas to add fruit to your breakfast meals.
- Fresh Fruit – like apples for fiber or grapes that have antioxidants like resveratrol
- Frozen Fruit & Veggies – that can be added to smoothies with a protein mix
- Juice Drinks – orange juice has a high concentration of vitamin C
2. Lean Protein
Proteins are essential as the basic “building blocks of life.” All of your cells contain protein and are involved in the chain reaction of amino acids. You need to eat protein-rich foods each day so that your body will be able to repair cellular damage and create new cells. Consider the following examples of protein-rich foods to add to your breakfast meal.
- Lean meats – low in fat, provides you with the protein to manage your weight properly
- Peanut butter – contains protein and potassium, which can lower the risk of heart disease
- Poultry or fish – ess fat than red meat and have Omega-3 fatty acids for heart health
- Eggs – raw eggs are best, but hard-boiled or eggs with runny yolks are very nutritious
3. Whole Grains
It is important to incorporate whole grains into your diet so that you reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, a diet rich in whole grains contains fiber that assists in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and reduces constipation. When you eat whole grains, you also provide your body with the proper nutrition necessary for weight management. Take a look at the following suggestions that can be incorporated into your breakfast diet.
- Whole wheat bread, rolls and bagels
- Cold or hot whole grain cereals or oatmeal
- Low-fat bran muffins or crackers
4. Low-fat Dairy
Dairy fat is rich in oleic acid that is also the main factor that makes olive oil so healthy. Additionally, it contains another fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which assists in weight loss. Consider adding some of these types of low-fat dairy foods into your breakfast diet.
- Milk – can be low-fat or whole milk, but look for organic or non-GMO dairy
- Yogurt & Kefir – is useful for the probiotics it contains with help with proper digestion
- Cheese – is another good source of protein, but try the low-fat or reduced fat options
Incorporating these 4 ingredients into your breakfast meal plan is simple if you follow some of the suggestions discussed. What nutritious foods do you include in your breakfast meal during the week?