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You can read about the worst breakfast foods here: 10 Worst Foods to Eat in the Morning. However, eating the right foods can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day.
Here are the 12 best foods you can eat in the morning.
Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious.
In one study, men ate either eggs or a bagel for breakfast. They felt more satisfied after the eggs and took in fewer calories during the rest of the day (3).
Eggs are also one of the best sources of choline, a nutrient that's very important for brain and liver health (6).
They're also high in cholesterol, but don't raise cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, eating whole eggs may reduce heart disease risk by modifying the shape of LDL, increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity (7, 8).
What's more, three large eggs provide about 20 grams of high-quality protein.
Eggs are also very versatile. For example, hard-boiled eggs make a great portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is creamy, delicious and nourishing.
It is made by straining whey and other liquid from the curds, which produces a creamier yogurt that is more concentrated in protein.
The term “thermic effect" refers to the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after eating.
Certain types of Greek yogurt are good sources of probiotics, like Bifidobacterium, which help your gut stay healthy. To make sure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures" on the label (14).
Bottom Line: Greek yogurt is high in protein, helps reduce appetite and may aid with weight loss. Certain types also contain beneficial probiotics.
Coffee is an amazing beverage to start your day.
It's high in caffeine, which has been shown to improve mood, alertness and mental performance.
An analysis of 41 studies found the most effective dose to be 38–400 mg per day, to maximize the benefits of caffeine while reducing side effects (17).
This is roughly 0.3 to 4 cups of coffee per day, depending on how strong it is (17).
The healthiest way to consume coffee is plain or with small amounts of heavy cream.
Bottom Line: Having a cup of coffee is a great way to start your day. The caffeine in it may improve mood, mental performance and metabolism.
Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers.
In addition, beta-glucan is a viscous fiber that promotes feelings of fullness. One study found that beta-glucan increased levels of the “fullness hormone" PYY and that higher doses had the greatest effect (27, 28, 29).
Although oats don't contain gluten, they're often processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains. Researchers have found that most oats are indeed contaminated with other grains, especially barley (33).
One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 6 grams of protein, which won't provide the benefits of a higher-protein breakfast. Oatmeal made from steel-cut oats provides about twice as much protein.
Bottom Line: Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucan fiber, which lowers cholesterol and increases feelings of fullness. It also contains antioxidants.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are extremely nutritious.
They're also one of the best sources of fiber around.
In fact, one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds provides an impressive 11 grams of fiber per serving.
What's more, a portion of the fiber in chia seeds is viscous fiber.
In a small study, people with diabetes who ate chia seeds for 12 weeks experienced reduced hunger, along with improvements in blood sugar and blood pressure (36).
In another study of people with diabetes, chia seeds decreased the inflammatory marker CRP by 40 percent. Elevated CRP is a major risk factor for heart disease (40).
However, one serving of chia seeds provides about 4 grams of protein, which is too low for breakfast.
Here is a recipe for chia pudding that contains more than 25 grams of protein.
High-Protein Chia Seed Pudding
- 1 ounce (28 grams) dried chia seeds.
- 1 scoop whey protein powder.
- 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk.
- A half cup of berries.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover bowl and leave in refrigerator for at least one hour.
Berries are delicious and packed with antioxidants.
They're lower in sugar than most fruits, yet higher in fiber. In fact, raspberries and blackberries each provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup.
What's more, one cup of berries contains only 50–85 calories, depending on the type.
A good way to add berries to your breakfast is to eat them with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Bottom Line: Berries are high in fiber and low in calories. They're also rich in antioxidants that may decrease the risk of disease.
Nuts are tasty, satisfying and nutritious.
Even though nuts are high in calories, studies suggest you do not absorb all of the fat in them.
This may be true for some other nuts as well, although at this time only almonds have been tested.
All types of nuts are also high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
In addition, Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. In fact, just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of selenium (59).
Nuts are also beneficial for people with diabetes. In one study, replacing a portion of carbs with 2 ounces of nuts led to reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels (60).
Topping Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts provides crunch and flavor, while increasing your breakfast's nutritional value.
Bottom Line: Nuts are filling, nutrient-dense foods that may help reduce heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control.
8. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
Green tea provides only 35–70 mg of caffeine per cup, which is about half the amount in coffee.
Green tea may be especially helpful against diabetes. A review of 17 studies found that green tea drinkers had reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels (61).
Bottom Line: Green tea has many health benefits. It contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which has benefits for the brain and nervous system.
9. Protein Shake
Another great way to start your day is with a protein shake or smoothie.
However, whey protein is absorbed the most quickly by your body (66).
One study compared four high-protein meals. They whey protein meal reduced appetite the most and led to the lowest calorie intake at the next meal (69).
Regardless of the type of protein powder used, a high-protein shake can be satisfying and filling. Add fruit, greens, nut butter or seeds to provide fiber and antioxidants.
Bottom Line: A protein shake or smoothie is a great high-protein breakfast choice that promotes fullness and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Fruit can be a delicious part of a nourishing breakfast.
All types of fruit contain vitamins, potassium, fiber and are relatively low in calories. One cup of chopped fruit provides about 80–130 calories, depending on the type.
Citrus fruits are also very high in vitamin C. In fact, a large orange provides more than 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Fruit is also very filling, due to its high fiber and water content (73).
Pair fruit with eggs, cheese, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for a well-balanced breakfast that will sustain you for hours.
Bottom Line: Fruit is a good source of vitamins, potassium and fiber. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce disease risk.
Flaxseeds are incredibly healthy.
Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds contain 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
Try adding flaxseeds to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or a smoothie to increase the fiber and antioxidant content of your breakfast.
Just make sure to choose ground flaxseeds or grind them yourself, because whole flaxseeds can't be absorbed by your gut and will simply pass through your system.
Bottom Line: Flaxseeds are high in viscous fiber, which helps you feel full. They may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
12. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a fantastic breakfast food.
In fact, cottage cheese has been shown to be as filling and satisfying as eggs (79).
Full-fat cottage cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may promote weight loss (12).
1 cup of cottage cheese provides an impressive 25 grams of protein. Add berries and ground flaxseeds or chopped nuts to make it even more nutritious.
Bottom Line: Cottage cheese is high in protein, which promotes feelings of fullness and increases your metabolic rate.
Take Home Message
Whether or not you eat breakfast is a personal choice.
If you do eat in the morning, make sure to start your day off right by fueling your body with these healthy and nutrient-dense foods.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Julia Conley
Climate campaigners on Friday expressed hope that policymakers who are stalling on taking decisive climate action would reconsider their stance in light of new warnings from an unlikely source: two economists at J.P. Morgan Chase.
Tensions are continuing to rise in Canada over a controversial pipeline project as protesters enter their 12th day blockading railways, demonstrating on streets and highways, and paralyzing the nation's rail system
Colorado River Has Lost 1.5 Billion Tons of Water to the Climate Crisis, 'Severe Water Shortages' May Follow
California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to early fire conditions. With no rain predicted for the next week, it looks as if this month will be only the second time in 170 years that San Francisco has not had a drop of rain in February, according to The Weather Channel.
The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.
"This hasn't happened in 150 years or more," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to The Guardian. "There have even been a couple [of] wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter."
While the Pacific Northwest has flooded from heavy rains, the southern part of the West Coast has seen one storm after another pass by. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor said more Californians are in drought conditions than at any time during 2019, as The Weather Channel reported.
The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.
"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.
Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.
"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.
NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.
As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.
"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.
The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.
"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."
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