Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That mantra seems to ring over and over again in my head. I think I heard it from nearly every authority figure growing up. But, I don’t think I understood the value of it until I became an adult.
Nowadays, I can’t get through my day without starting off with a balanced, and nutritious breakfast.
Five Ways to Increase The Health of Your Breakfast
1. Include Protein
The most satisfying nutrient is protein. Recent studies suggest that the effects of dietary protein on ghrelin secretion in humans. What is ghrelin you ask? When the stomach is empty, ghrelin is secreted. When the stomach is stretched, and secretion stops, it acts on brain cells both to increase hunger and to increase gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal motility to prepare the body for food intake.
One study determined that a high protein breakfast was more satisfying because it quieted the ghrelin outputs. Some easy foods you can add are hard boiled eggs, a scoop of protein powder, organic peanut butter, nuts, or yogurt.
2. Add Fat
Adding some healthy fats to your meal can help you feel fuller for longer, and it also gives you a much-needed energy boost in the morning. I know, I know like you needed an excuse to eat some fat first thing in the morning. Keep in mind that you only want to add healthy fats like coconut oil or avocados, not greasy high-calorie foods. You can also try flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds, or almond butter.
How much should you add? Keep it simple, and start by adding roughly 1-2 tablespoons of fat to your breakfast. You don’t want to go overboard here, remember less is more.
3. Swap Rolled Oats for Steel Cut Oats
Steel cut oats differ from rolled oats in one essential way. They are not rolled flat into flakes. Instead, the whole toasted oat grain, or groat, that is used to produce rolled oats is cut into thirds to yield steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are nearly identical to old-fashioned, rolled oats in nutrition.
The reason you want to make this switch in the morning is because steel cut oats maintain the ability to keep you feeling fuller longer. The low glycemic make-up of steel cut oats prolong satisfaction after eating and stop rapid increases or decreases in blood glucose levels. Since they make you feel fuller longer oats can be an effective weight-loss resolution.
4. Add Veggies
Don’t be afraid add vegetables to your breakfast. I know they’re not typically associated with the meal but they actually boost fiber content and get things moving in your bowels. Adding a serving of vegetables first thing in the morning can help you reach the recommended 2 ½ cups per day, which some people find difficult to reach in a busy weekday.
There are many ways you can add veggies but the easiest way is to incorporate them into your meal. This is especially easy if you’re eating eggs. Stir some spinach, peppers, or onion into your egg and you can create something that checks all your breakfast boxes.
5. Go Savory Instead of Sweet
Sweet breakfast’s like muffins, cereals or loaf breads are particularly high in sugar and tend to send your blood sugar level skyrocketing. If you’ve ever been one of those people to heat up a bowl of last night’s meatball marinara then you are ahead of the game. These balanced meals don’t tend to spike blood sugar as much and also leave you feeling fuller longer.
Not to mention the fact that it is much less work in the morning to heat up yesterday’s dinner than to make a whole new breakfast meal.
Change up your breakfast routine with these five suggestions and you are sure to find yourself feeling fuller longer, gaining various health benefits, reaching your recommended servings, and maybe even losing a little weight.
Try it for yourself.