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Missing Breakfast is Not Good For You! Here Are 10 Best Breakfast Foods and Quick Recipes For a Good Morning

Missing Breakfast is Not Good For You! Here Are 10 Best Breakfast Foods and Quick Recipes For a Good Morning

Chances are, you have heard someone tell you not to skip breakfast. This is usually followed with, “it’s the most important meal of the day!” But when you slept through your alarm and you need to wash your hair, finding five minutes to get dressed beats finding five minutes to grab something to eat. Sure, you will hear your stomach growling before you get to work or class, but it’s no big deal, right? You can just eat a big lunch and you’ll be fine. Well it turns out that isn’t the case. In fact, skipping breakfast can lead to more than hunger. According to one study, men who skip breakfast increase their risk of heart attack by nearly 30% [1]. And women who skipped their first meal of the day put themselves at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by about 54%.

But even if you know how important breakfast is, we live in a fast-paced world. Often times, there just doesn’t seem to be any room to make a meal when you first wake up. And going through a drive through or getting one of those suspicious breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks usually leaves you with more guilt than nutrition. So you go without. This seems like a smart move. After all, if you eat nothing, it’s better than eating something fattening or sugary probably. Well, that’s a myth, too!

Why you need to eat breakfast.

You’ll gain weight if you skip breakfast.

Though it can be tempting to skip breakfast due to a lack of time, appetite or options, skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain, not loss. This seems completely unfair, I know. But skipping breakfast makes your body freak out and crave sugary and fatty foods to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Therefore, when you do eat, you’re probably not going for that salad covered in vegetables. Because your hunger level is so high, you’ll be more likely to eat a lot, and none of it will be especially healthy. Before you know it, this habit of skipping breakfast and having an unhealthy lunch results in a shopping trip for bigger pants.

You’ll be “hangry.”

Hangry: A bad mood caused by hunger.

We’ve all been there. When you’re hungry, you get frustrated. When you don’t eat, your energy levels dwindle, causing everything to seem like more of a chore. In summary, EAT.

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    One study found that men who ate breakfast had a more positive mood than those who skipped. When you skip the most important meal of the day, your blood sugar drops suddenly which can lead to irritability, fatigue and even headaches. And if you’re sitting at school or work with a headache and an empty stomach, it doesn’t take long before you hate the world. Eating regularly helps to support a good attitude. So do yourself, and those around you a favor and don’t skip breakfast [2].

    You put your heart at risk by skipping breakfast.

    Skipping breakfast may not feel like a big deal. After all, you ate dinner. But when you sleep, your body goes into fasting mode. Therefore, when you wake up, you need to reset your metabolism and hormones by ingesting healthy food. Prolonged fasting, like that done during sleep, leads to increased blood pressure and cholesterol. This decreases the concentration of HDL-cholesterol. What do all these medical terms mean? It means you’re setting yourself up for heart disease. If you regularly skip breakfast, it strains your body so much that it can lead to insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia and blood pressure problems. And all of these lead back to, you guessed it, heart disease [3].

    Quick breakfast recipes that your body needs:

    I have a hectic schedule all the time, so I know most all of you do, too. So here are ten breakfast recipes that don’t take long to prepare but will get you through to lunch with steady energy and heart health.

    1. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie.

      Why do I love smoothies so much? Because you can make them the night before and drink them on your way to work/school! It’s an easy way to get veggies, fruits, etc.

      This recipe includes frozen berries and a banana for natural sugar your body can burn off steadily. Greek yogurt and non-dairy milk keep your calcium level high without much fat. For extra benefit, sprinkle in some chia seeds before you head out the door!

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      2. Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad.

        I love quinoa because it’s packed full of goodness. Don’t let those tiny seeds fool you! I especially love to have it on hand because it’s so versatile; you can truly include it in any meal. This fruit salad has tons of antioxidants (thank you, berries!), vitamins and fiber (quinoa) as well as anti-inflammatory properties (lime and honey). Use local honey to help avoid allergies!

        3. Greek Yogurt with fruit and granola.

          This is definitely the easiest recipe on the list. While you can make your own greek yogurt if you’re feeling productive, store bought works just as well. Go for organic and plain though. You’ll get loads of calcium and even protein. I love to add a scoop of protein powder to mine for extra flavor and nutrition. Top it off with chia seeds, fruits and granola to really pack in the nutrition.

          4. Boiled Eggs.

            Eating eggs at breakfast increases that full feeling, and helps maintain steady blood sugar. This means when it’s time for lunch, you won’t be tempted to get a huge burger. Egg yolks also have lots of antioxidants and even nutrients like choline that help your brain and liver stay healthy. Plus eggs are versatile. Put a couple on your avocado toast for a real powerhouse breakfast that doesn’t take much time to make!

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            5. Cardamom and Peach Quinoa Porridge.

              Yum! This recipe has 6g of fiber and 8g of protein! This will help you feel full longer while you steadily burn off 10g of natural sugar. Almond milk is used to keep it suitable for dairy free diets.

              6. Berry Omelette

                You may think omelettes take a long time to make, but they really don’t. Crack the eggs in a pan, walk away, come back, flip, repeat. This one-egg omelette is high in protein, and the berries have antioxidants and all sorts of goodness for your brain!

                7. Breakfast Muffins.

                  Make these muffins on the weekend to grab a healthy breakfast on your way out the door all week long! These fluffy muffins are made with mashed banana and apple sauce to take the place of sugar and flour. The blueberries and seeds make for a satisfying texture without taking away any health benefits.

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                  8. Nut Butter, Banana and Chia Seed Toast.

                    This recipe requires hardly any effort, making it perfect for this list. Choose a good-for-you bread (look for organic options with nuts and fruits, or opt for gluten-free) and top with sliced bananas and chia seeds. The fiber, protein and natural sugar will keep you full without using up your calorie allowance for the whole day!

                    9. Slow Cooker Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole.

                      Crock pot recipes are the best, especially when it comes to breakfast. You wake up to a house that smells delicious, and your breakfast is already waiting for you! We already know why eggs are great, but now you get the protein from the sausage. If you’re not into meat, opt for a vegetarian version.

                      10. Chia Seed Pudding.

                        This is one of my go-to breakfast recipes on days when I know I won’t have time to make breakfast. You can make it in advance and just grab it on your way out the door! This recipe offers tons of fiber, reduced hunger, antioxidants and decreased inflammation. It’s basically perfect.

                        Do you have other go-to recipes for hectic mornings? Make sure to share!

                        Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via stocksnap.io

                        Reference

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                        Heather Poole

                        Technical writer

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                        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                        12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                        12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                        Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                        But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                        I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                        Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                        1. Nuts

                        The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                        Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                        Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                        Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                        2. Blueberries

                        Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                        When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                        3. Tomatoes

                        Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                        4. Broccoli

                        While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                        Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                        Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                        5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                        Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                        The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                        Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                        6. Soy

                        Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                        Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                        Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                        7. Dark chocolate

                        When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                        Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                        15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                        8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                        Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                        B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                        Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                        Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                        To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                        9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                        Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                        Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                        Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                        10. Gingko biloba

                        This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                        It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                        However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                        11. Green and black tea

                        Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                        Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                        Find out more about green tea here:

                        11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                        12. Sage and Rosemary

                        Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                        Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                        When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                        More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

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