When you get out of bed each morning and get ready for the day, what foods do you gravitate toward for breakfast? An easy bowl of cereal with fruit? A hearty meal of pancakes, eggs, and bacon? A quick smoothie for the commute to work? Pastries from the local café? Nothing at all?
The foods you eat for breakfast could affect your energy levels, mood, stress, metabolism, and concentration throughout the day. Therefore, it might be time to rethink your go-to breakfast foods and try something a bit healthier and more natural.
What Makes a Breakfast Healthy?
The best foods for breakfast are whole, unprocessed, and incorporate as many food groups as possible. Many people focus their breakfasts on grains and carbs, saving fruits and vegetables for later when they make lunch salads and dinner recipes. But fruits and vegetables have an important place in breakfast, too and can set your day up for success from the very beginning. If you often feel rushed for time in the morning, preparing foods the night before can be helpful, such as preparing overnight oatmeal and cutting up pieces of produce in advance.
Examples of Healthy Breakfasts
Everyone’s tastes and dietary needs are unique, but a few food combinations work well for breakfast for many people. Here are some examples:
- Oatmeal with blueberries and chia seeds
- Whole wheat toast with egg, avocado, tomato, and pesto
- DIY breakfast cereal with bananas and almond milk
- Skillet breakfast with eggs, spinach, sweet potatoes, and salsa
- Veggie smoothie for on-the-go nutrition
What to Cut Out of Your Breakfast
In contrast to these healthy options, there are certain breakfast foods that you should limit, eat in moderation, or skip entirely. Here are some examples:
- Sausage and bacon
- Bakery pastries and doughnuts
- Processed, sugary cereals
- Hash browns
- Biscuits and gravy
- Processed granola bars
More Healthy Foods to Try for Breakfast
If you feel like you are eating the same thing every day in a breakfast rut, it may be time to switch things up with some new items for your fridge and pantry. Stock up on these foods so that you have good options to choose from in the morning and can add variety to your diet with a mix of protein, healthy fats, carbs, fruits, and vegetables each day:
- Eggs for protein
- Whole grain bread for healthy carbs
- Peanut butter for protein
- Berries for antioxidants and vitamin C
- Plain yogurt with no added sugar for protein
- Nuts for potassium and magnesium
- Avocados for health fats
- 100 percent fruit juice
- Coffee or tea for an energy boost