Eating very first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone and doesn’t even have any more weight loss benefits than eating your first meal later in the day. What is crucial though is eating the best foods that can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day.
Here are the 10 Best Foods to make part of your first meal and why:
Eggs are extremely healthy and delicious. Studies have shown eating eggs increases the feeling of fullness, reduces appetite and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels
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.
What’s more, three large eggs provide about 20 grams of high-quality protein and are also very versatile. For example, hard-boiled eggs make a great portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great choice for people that may favour a less savoury option than eggs. It is made by straining whey and other liquid from the curds, which produces a creamier yogurt that is more concentrated in protein. Protein has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger by increasing the feeling of fullness.
Certain types of Greek yogurt are good sources of probiotics, which help your gut stay healthy. To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures” on the label.
Try topping Greek yogurt with berries or crushed nuts to increase the meal’s vitamin, mineral and fibre content.
Coffee is a great way to start your day if you don’t like having a solid meal first thing. Coffee contains caffeine, which has been shown to improve mood, alertness and mental performance. Even small amounts of caffeine can achieve these effects.
Caffeine has been shown to increase metabolic rate and fat burning. In one study, 100 mg of caffeine per day helped people burn an extra 79–150 calories over a 24-hour period. This amount can certainly add up over the long run. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, which reduces inflammation. For some people, coffee is the only source of antioxidants people get.
Salmon is probably the best source of nutrition available. It is high in protein as well as heart health omega 3’s. The protein content gives it the same satiety benefits that come with eggs and the added omega 3’s help to keep your whole body healthy and reduce inflammation. Wild salmon is an absolute super food and having it once or twice a week for breakfast is a great choice for overall health and well-being.
Berries are delicious and packed with antioxidants. Popular types include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. Berries are lower in sugar than most fruits, yet higher in fibre. In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fibre per cup. Better still, one cup of berries contains only 50–85 calories.
Berries also contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which protect your heart and may help you age better. Berries have been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, prevent blood cholesterol from becoming oxidized and keep the cells lining your blood vessels healthy. A good way to add berries to your breakfast is to eat them with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Nuts are tasty, satisfying and nutritious. They’re a great addition to breakfast because they are filling and help prevent weight gain. Even though nuts are high in calories, studies suggest you do not absorb all the fat in them. In fact, your body only absorbs about 129 calories from a 30-gram serving of almonds
Furthermore, nuts have been shown to improve heart disease risk factors, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation. All types of nuts are also high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
Topping Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts provides crunch and flavour, while increasing your breakfast’s nutritional value.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet other than water. Like coffee, it contains caffeine, which improves alertness and mood, along with raising metabolic rate. Green tea provides only 35–70 mg of caffeine per cup, which is about half the amount in coffee. Green tea may be especially helpful against diabetes. A review of 17 studies found that green tea drinkers had reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. It also contains particularly powerful antioxidants which make it a great drink to start any day.
8. Protein Shake
Another great way to start your day is with a protein shake or smoothie. There a several types of protein powder can be used, including whey, egg or even rice and pea protein.
Whey has been studied the most, and provides several health benefits. Additionally, it seems to reduce appetite more than other forms of protein. One study compared four high-protein meals. The whey protein meal reduced appetite the most and led to the lowest calorie intake at the next meal.
Regardless of the type of protein powder used, a high-protein shake can be satisfying and filling. Add fruit, greens, nut butter or seeds to provide fibre and antioxidants.
9. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a fantastic food for any time of the day. It’s high in protein, which increases metabolism, produces feelings of fullness and decreases the “hunger hormone” ghrelin. In fact, cottage cheese has been shown to be as filling and satisfying as eggs.
1 cup of cottage cheese provides an impressive 25 grams of protein. Add berries and chopped nuts to make it even more nutritious. Cottage cheese is a great substitute for Greek yogurt and a good way to mix things up in your diet.
Red meat isn’t for everybody first thing but it’s extremely nutritious and a very filling way to start the day. Red meat contains lots of protein as well as vitamins and minerals like zinc and iron which make it a suitable to eat any time of the day.
A lot of people probably haven’t thought about eating red meat in the morning but it’s probably just more of a mind-set that stops people from considering it a breakfast food. A good way to start having meat in the morning is to make a mince type bolognaise as this tends to be a bit easier to get down if you’re not used to having animal protein as your first meal.
So whether you eat breakfast or not is a personal choice. If you do eat in the morning, make sure to start your day off right by fuelling your body with these healthy and nutrient-dense foods.
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