9 Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast helps to shape your morning, and eating a well-balanced diet can help to fuel you for the day. Your breakfast should be two things: nourishing and sustaining. It also helps if it's delicious!
I've always believed that a healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's so key to fuelling your body for anything you have planned for the day ahead whether you want to complete an intense workout or just maintain a good focus at work.
Keep reading for some of my favourite healthy breakfast recipes.
Why is breakfast so important?
Ever think of what "breakfast" means? Your body responds to not eating for hours and hours by slowing down its metabolic rate. By eating breakfast, you wake up your metabolism and get your engine humming, burning those calories you need to lose weight. Even if you plan to work out on an empty stomach in the morning, you should follow up with a healthy breakfast to kick your metabolism into gear.
Researchers have repeatedly shown that people who eat breakfast have a better chance of losing weight, and keeping it off. When you skip breakfast, you’re so hungry by lunchtime you want to eat WAY more then what you would normally! When you skip a meal, your body goes into fasting mode which increases your insulin response and in turn causes your body to store more fat.
Concentration & Memory
Choosing the right foods to refuel your body when you wake up can improve your memory and ability to focus. Skipping breakfast may make it more difficult to concentrate.
When you are choosing a morning meal, try to include a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat. This mix of nutrients increases memory and allows your body to get the fuel it needs to focus. Carbohydrates are an especially important inclusion in your morning meal because they have the most impact on long-term memory.
Keep in mind too that not all breakfasts are created equal. Cereal manufacturers are experts in marketing and unless you actually read the labels, you can't be sure exactly how much refined sugar is in them! Sugary breakfast cereals and breakfast danishes can cause a huge blood sugar dip a couple of hours later. You’ll be desperate for something to perk you up not long after you've eaten!
A healthy breakfast helps your mood
People who do not eat breakfast can sometimes suffer from fatigue and irritability throughout the morning. Most people compensate for tiredness by drinking coffee - coffee is not breakfast! Tiredness generally makes people irritated and grumpy. Start your day on a positive note and eat a nutritious and filling breakfast!
Healthy breakfast recipes
Spicy chickpea Shakshuka
Eggs are one of my favourite foods at any time of day, but especially for breakfast! This Middle Eastern baked dish is rich, flavoursome and loaded with nutrients your body needs for a busy day. A chickpea Shakshuka is the perfect hot breakfast for the colder months and I love to eat it with some toasted rustic bread.
Healthy French Toast
Speaking of eggs, it's hard to say no to French Toast for breakfast!
The great thing about French Toast is its versatility - you can have it sweet or savoury. Personally, I like to have it with fruit, cinnamon and a little Maple syrup.
Overnight oats are another fantastically versatile healthy breakfast option. They do require a little forward planning, but one huge advantage is that in the morning all you need to do is take them out of the refrigerator - no cooking required!
You prepare overnight oats by soaking the oats in your favourite milk overnight (or at least for 2-3 hours) and adding any toppings such as fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurt or jam. I like mine with strawberries and pistachios.
Pancakes always make for a quick, easy and delicious breakfast. But before you start loading up your stack with ice cream, maple syrup or lemon and sugar; they can be healthy too!
Banana, yoghurt and oats make a great base for a healthy pancake recipe, and pair well with blueberry compote to serve. Don't believe me? Try my banana pancakes with blueberry compote for yourself and see.
Porridge with Pear and Walnuts
Fruit is always a welcome addition to any breakfast, which is why I love this pear and walnut porridge so much. This is an easy way to get a variety of nourishing nutrients as well as flavours into your bowl first thing in the morning.
Asparagus and Tomato Frittata
It's so important to eat enough vegetables - they're one of the best sources of so many nutrients your body likes - and breakfast is an often overlooked opportunity to eat them! A nice frittata like this asparagus and tomata frittata is a great opportunity to add some veg to your breakfast, and it's the perfect dish for sharing when you have friends or family over for breakfast or brunch.
Chocolate Protein Pancakes
Chocolate is perfect for a special treat or occassional easy snack (especially if it's dark chocolate), but it can have sometimes be part of a healthy breakfast too. One way to get your chocolate fix at the breakfast table is with these chocolate protein pancakes. Serve with your choice of berries and maple syrup for a chocolatey breakfast treat!
Black Rice Pudding
While any kind of rice might not immediately come to mind for breakfast, this black rice pudding provides a tasty alternative to more common breakfast grains like oats, and goes nicely with coconut milk and fruit. Try it with passionfruit and pomegranate seeds.
Banana Caramel Oatmeal
I love this banana caramel oatmeal recipe because even though it's still super simple, it gives you a totally different way to have your oats in the morning. If you haven't had bananas this way before you're in for a real treat!
5 more ways to make your breakfasts healthier
Making small changes can make your breakfast healthier and help to fuel your body for the day ahead. Here are five ways you can make breakfast better for you:
Having a serving of protein in the morning can help you power through the morning. Not only does protein help keep you satisfied, but it may also help you feel more energised throughout the day. Eggs are a good choice for breakfast protein, because you can make them SO many different ways! For anyone who doesn't like eggs, you can use Greek yoghurt, quinoa, oats or cottage cheese instead!
Include some healthy fats
We know there are different types of fats, including some healthy and unhealthy fats. When you include healthy fats in your breakfast, it can help your body absorb vitamins and may keep you feel satiated for longer. Healthy fats can also help to build cell membranes, prevent inflammation and some fat types also help with hormone regulation. To add healthy fats to your breakfast, try adding some avocado to your toast, or include nuts and seeds with your smoothie bowl.
Skip the processed options
While snack bars and pastries might be a faster breakfast fix, they aren’t exactly winning combinations. Because these tend to be highly processed, much of the nutritional value has been removed. Not only can this leave you feeling hungry again soon after eating, but processed foods can affect your mood too. Preparing breakfast the night before can help if you struggle with time in the morning.
Switch the fruit juice for the real thing
During juicing, some varieties of fruit juice remove the majority of the pulp, which can result in a glass of fruit-based sugar. While this is a natural form of sugar, it can cause a spike in your blood sugar and it’s often made using more than one serve of fruit. Opting for a piece of fruit instead means you also get a serve of fibre, which can help make that full feeling last. Plus fibre can help to lower cholesterol levels. Try adding fresh or frozen berries to your smoothie, or top your oats with fruit slices. If you can’t pass up a glass of juice, you can try switching to vegetable-based juices that use less fruit.
Watch your portion sizes
It is really easy to accidentally go over your recommended serving size, especially when breakfast looks amazing!
There are a couple of ways to still get the most out of your breakfast serving: serve it in a smaller bowl so that it looks bigger and sit down to eat. That way you give yourself time to enjoy the food as you go.
Make your breakfast worth waking up for!
A healthy breakfast can help to satisfy your appetite and give you energy to get through the day. If your breakfast could do with a makeover, then these healthy breakfast ideas and tips are a great place to start.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.