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12 Incredibly Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

12 Incredibly Easy and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Many people try to excuse away their poor eating habits by saying that in the mornings, they haven’t the time or inclination to eat healthy, and it’s just “easier” to shove an instant pastry in their faces before trudging onwards with their day. It doesn’t take much effort to make these simple, healthy breakfasts, and enjoying some of these instead of grease-laden fast food takeout items will do wonders for your health, energy level, and overall well-being.

1. Granola/Muesli Parfait

Granola Parfait

    This only takes a minute or so to prepare, and can be eaten either at home, or at the office. To make a portable version, just use a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid instead of a mug or glass. Keep a healthy store-bought muesli or granola like Kashi Go-Lean on hand, or make your own with a mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut flakes, toasted oats, etc. Pour a layer of this cereal into your jar/glass, then a layer of low-fat yoghurt, and a layer of fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, peaches, whole blueberries, etc.) Add layers like this until the glass is full, grab a spoon, and dig in.

    2. Breakfast Wrap

    This is one of the most versatile meals out there: just take a whole wheat wrap and fill it with what you have on hand. One great-tasting, high-protein filling is scrambled eggs with fried onions and peppers, but you could just as easily fill yours with tofu and veggies, or low-fat/vegan cream cheese and sliced fruit.

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    3. Pita Pocket

    Whether you prefer a sweet or salty breakfast, you can make this work for you. Just take a whole wheat pita and slice it in half so that you have two happy little pockets. If your morning preferences lie on the sweeter side, spread the insides of the pockets with almond butter (or other healthier PB alternative) and add in some sliced fruit such as bananas, apples, and pears. For a savoury version, slap some hummus into the pockets and add in tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, sprouts, lettuce, and grilled tempeh.

    4. Porridge

    Porridge

      You have a few different options for this one, depending on which way your personal preferences lie:

      • Steel-cut oats prepared in a crock pot overnight
      • Grain porridge made with a mixture of oats and barley
      • Macrobiotic porridge made with any whole grain (brown rice, oat, barley, or millet), with vegetables like radish, celery, broccoli, and seaweed, and garnished with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Serve with a bowl of miso soup

      5. Smoothie

      If you’re the type of person who likes to have breakfast in liquid form, skip the coffee and aim for a smoothie instead. These combinations of fruit, vegetables, juices and/or non-dairy milks aren’t just super-simple breakfast options—they’re powerhouses of nutrition and energy that also keep you hydrated. Toss in some leafy greens like spinach into a banana-blueberry smoothie, or brighten your morning with a drink made with frozen strawberries, orange juice, and grapefruit wedges.

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      6. Breakfast Bars and Cookies

      No, these aren’t the fat-laden, sugar-coated, empty-calorie bars and cookies you can get from the supermarket, but rather healthy, protein-packed energy bars and “cookie-shaped-mini-meals” that you make ahead and keep on hand for breakfasts and mid-afternoon snacks. Skip the sugar and add in plenty of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and you’ll have a fibre-rich snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

      7. Egg White Tostadas

      Toast a small corn tortilla, top it with scrambled egg whites, sliced avocado, maybe some salsa and chopped cilantro, and dig in. You can crumble in a bit of queso fresco or feta, or use tofo and peppers instead if you’re aiming for a vegan version, but either way, these tostadas come together quickly and are as delicious as they are good for you.

      8. Quinoa Bowl

      Quinoa Bowl

        This amazingly tasty pseudo-grain is also one of the healthiest, and most versatile. Many people use it in lunch and supper recipes, but you can also use quinoa in both savoury and sweet breakfast dishes. Mix it with fruit, cinnamon, non-dairy milk, a drizzle of honey and some toasted nuts for a hearty sweet breakfast, or add in tofu or tempeh, chick peas, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, sliced cucumber, toasted seeds, and a bit of tahini for a savoury version.

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        9. Congee

        A rice-based porridge, congee (also known as “jook”) can be made overnight in a crock pot or rice cooker, and is fantastic comfort food. It’s usually eaten with savoury additives, such as shredded meat, chopped green onions, soy sauce, and peanuts, but you can also have it with soy milk and fruit if you so desire.

        10. Frittata

        This halfway-point between an omelette and a quiche pairs sauteed vegetables with beaten eggs and spices for a light, protein-packed, and low-fat breakfast. Try combinations like caramelized onion and Swiss chard, mushroom and spinach, tomato-zucchini, red pepper and goat cheese, or countless other pairings.

        11. Fruit Salad

        Fruit Salad

          Create a salad of your favourite fruits and store it in the fridge to keep it nice and cool. Douse the fruit with a bit of orange or lemon juice to stop it from turning brown, and enjoy a full rainbow-like serving for breakfast. Feel free to top it with wheat germ or oat bran for extra fibre, and depending on the type of fruit that you used, a bit of low-fat yoghurt or cottage cheese would work with it for a protein boost.

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          12. Low-Fat Huevos Rancheros

          Believe it or not, this scrumptious breakfast can actually be healthy. Toast a whole wheat or corn tortilla, and instead of a fried egg, top it with scrambled egg whites. Skip the shredded cheese, add plenty of pico de gallo (or other salsa of choice), some refried or mashed beans on the side, and a dollop of fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream, and you’ll begin your day with a well-rounded, delicious meal that will fuel you for hours.

          Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and with these tasty, healthy ideas at hand, you have no reason to skip it anymore.

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          Catherine Winter

          Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on August 12, 2019

          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

          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 and brain power:

          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.

          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.

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          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.

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

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          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 About Boosting Brain Power

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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