Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Well, it’s a hotly contested question. However, it can’t hurt to kick-start your day with healthy breakfast foods. Eating breakfast can help you increase your fiber intake (which is good for your digestive system) and consume more bone-healthy calcium, according to experts.
Not all of the items on a typical breakfast menu are healthy options, though. Pancakes and French toast are often high in empty carbs and sugar, though some brands are making pancake mixes more nutritious. To help you craft a healthy menu, we rounded up the top items to put in your cart and will walk you through the best ways to enjoy them.
Why they’re good for you: These classic breakfast groceries have a ton of health benefits. People who eat eggs feel more satisfied, making them less prone to overeating later. Other research indicates that egg yolks may also improve eye health.
The quick weekday version: If you need to jet off to the office but still want to take some time to enjoy breakfast, start by coating a pan with no-stick spray. Then, crack open one to two eggs, throw in a stick of reduced-fat cheese for some calcium, and scramble the eggs with a spatula. For a stove-free meal, crack some eggs into a bowl, add veggies, protein, and seasonings, then microwave for 45 seconds to a minute.
The sit-down weekend version: Channel your inner chef with this three-step recipe for restaurant-quality scrambled eggs from the New York Times.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Crack eggs into a bowl and beat them until the yolks and whites combine. Season with salt and pepper, then beat in the cream.
Step 2: Put a medium non-stick skillet on the stove over medium heat for approximately one minute. Add the butter or oil and swirl it in the pan. Switch to low heat once the butter melts (but before it foams).
Step 3: Add the eggs to the skillet and stir occasionally using a wooden spoon. After 10 minutes, the eggs will start forming curds. Continue to stir and break up the curds until they are soft (approximately 30 minutes).
Why it’s good for you: A smoothie is a perfect way to start the day for those who don’t have time to sit down for a meal. Yogurt has protein, which can help control caloric intake and weight, as well as probiotics that aid in gut health. Fruit boasts antioxidants and fiber that can help with everything from skin health to reducing cancer risk.
The quick weekday version: Nix the blender and go for a ready-made smoothie. Just be careful with added sugar — many store-bought smoothies are loaded with the sweet stuff. Dannon’s light ’n fit smoothies have fewer than seven grams of sugar, are fat-free, 80 calories, and boast 10 grams of protein. You may want to grab a piece of whole fruit, such as an apple, on your way out the door to provide some extra fiber and calories to keep you fuller longer.
The sit-down weekend version: If you’ve got some time, opting for a homemade smoothie is a great way to reduce added sugar. This almond, kale, and banana smoothie recipe from Epicurious hits all the right notes.
- ½ orange, peeled
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1 banana, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups torn kale leaves
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut water
Step 1: Put the orange, dates, almonds, and three tablespoons of water in a blender and blend at low speed until the almonds are finely ground. Put speed on high and blend. Stop when the smoothie isn’t grainy anymore, which is typically about one minute.
Step 2: Add banana, kale, almond milk, or coconut water, and 1/2 cup of ice. Blend until the drink is thick and smooth.
Why it’s good for you: Many of our favorite cereals are high in sugar, but oats are typically a safe choice. Beyond helping you decrease your sugar intake, oats can also reduce cholesterol and boast anti-inflammatory effects.
The quick weekday version: If you’re pressed for time, reach for low-sugar instant oatmeal from Quakers. Simply mix in hot water or milk and you’re good to go. We recommend topping your bowl with berries for a strong serving of antioxidants.
The sit-down weekend version: Opt for overnight oats instead of oatmeal, as uncooked oats typically have more flavor. This recipe from the New York Times takes very little prep work — much of the process happens while you’re fast asleep.
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup dried fruit, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon chia, flax, poppy, or sesame seeds
- 1 cup milk or an unsweetened dairy alternative
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped or sliced nuts, toasted, if desired
Step 1: Mix oats, dried fruit, seeds, milk, and salt in a pint jar. Seal tightly.
Step 2: Refrigerate for a minimum of five hours and a maximum of five days.
Step 3: When you’re ready to eat the oats, uncover them, stir, taste test, and enjoy.
Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it doesn’t hurt to start the morning on a healthy note. By eating breakfast, you give yourself more chances to consume vital nutrients like vitamins, calcium, and protein, since popular breakfast groceries include highly nutritious products like fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, and eggs. There are various nutritious breakfast recipes out there, and not all of them have to take hours. You can whip some breakfast meals up in a matter of minutes, giving yourself all the energy you need to take on the day.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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