Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, yet most Americans skip this meal. Eating a healthy and well-balanced breakfast can fuel the body for starting the day, maintain overall health and aid in controlling weight. A healthy breakfast consists of carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle coordination and fiber for healthy digestion. When planning healthy breakfast meals, consider personal medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart conditions, that require modifications in sodium and sugar intake.
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Just the act of eating breakfast supplies the body with energy and fuel by replenishing glycogen levels after an evening's rest. Some breakfast meals can offer an additional increase in energy levels from healthy carbohydrate sources such as whole grains and fruits. Try a toasted whole-grain bread, such as a bagel or English muffin topped with with a serving of low-fat cheese, and add a whole grapefruit boiled egg. Whole-grain breads offer sustained energy from carbohydrates and fiber, cheese provides a serving of dairy and the boiled egg offers a protein source. The grapefruit, another form of carbohydrate with natural sugars, also supplies a good source of morning energy. Drink a glass of water for hydration or choose skim milk for added calcium.
A protein-packed breakfast stimulates the muscles and brain for maintaining focus for the day. Choose lean meats such as skinless chicken breast or low-sodium turkey bacon as the main protein source for breakfast. Include two scrambled eggs topped with low-fat cheddar cheese, a cup of low fat yogurt or one piece of celery coated with organic peanut butter. Add a serving of dairy and a vegetable, as well, and a slice of wheat toast or a bran muffin to balance the meal.
Low-Calorie and Quick
Healthy breakfast on the run is possible with the right supplies on hand. Cereal and cereal bars are a good source of fiber, grain and energy for breakfast. Some cereals provide fruit and nuts in the mixture, which adds servings of other food group. Take care not to choose high-sugar, refined cereals; these tend to have higher calories and cause a sugar crash, resulting in mid-day fatigue. Cereal bars that contain oatmeal, bran and fruit offer sensible options on the go. Grab a piece of fruit such as an apple, orange or banana to pair with the cereal.
Fresh fruit smoothies with added protein powder provide a high-energy and high-protein breakfast option. The sugar supplied by the real fruit is a natural carbohydrate. Blend the smoothie with fruit juice, sherbet or frozen yogurt for flavor. Try a whole wheat pita or tortilla stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese for a quick and healthy option. A bowl of oatmeal topped with blueberries or a side of dried cranberries offers protein and carbohydrates. The key is to choose whole grains and natural fruits and avoid refined, sugar-filled junk foods.