Most people learn early that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite that, about 31 million Americans skip breakfast before their morning commute. Common reasons include:
- They don’t have time to cook and eat breakfast in the morning
- They’re not hungry
- They’re trying to lose weight
While those are important factors to consider when planning your breakfast, they’re not valid reasons to skip the meal entirely. If you’re struggling to find a breakfast that suits your morning routine, we’ve got some suggestions for super foods that can help prepare you for the day.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast
Unless you’re a serious sleepwalker, you’re likely not eating during the night. Depending on how long you sleep, that’s roughly 7–9 hours without food. If you extend that period by skipping breakfast, your metabolism slows, and you become more likely to eat larger portions at your next meal to compensate.
Eating a good, healthy breakfast has several near-instantaneous health benefits that may make it easier to get your morning motivation going. Research has shown that eating a healthy, balanced breakfast promotes better concentration, memory, mood, and energy.
Believe it or not, eating breakfast is also conducive to weight loss. Because skipping your morning meal raises your chances of overeating later in the day, eating breakfast sets you up for healthier portions throughout the day. Plus, if you’re trying to squeeze in a morning workout, you’ll benefit from the breakfast energy boost.
To make the most of your breakfast, you should eat within 2 hours of waking up. An ideal breakfast contains:
- Whole grain
- A fruit or vegetable
The Best Foods to Incorporate into Breakfast
- There’s a reason eggs are a popular breakfast food. Eggs are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D and folate, among many others. They’re a fantastic source of protein, creating lasting fullness that can promote weight management, and they can help improve your “good” cholesterol (HDL).
- Berries are high in antioxidants, as well as fiber, helping you feel full longer. If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor—berries are low in calories. Add them to yogurt, whole grain cereal, or oatmeal, and reap the benefits.
- Chia Seeds
- Highly nutritious chia seeds are another great source of fiber, helpful antioxidants, and nutrients, like omega-3s. Pair them with high protein foods, like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Avocados are the perfect provider of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL). They’re high in fiber, as well as Vitamins C, E, and K. Their high levels of folate also make them a good choice during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet potatoes aren’t typically thought of as a breakfast food, but maybe they should be. They’re packed with a multitude of vitamins, including B, C, D, calcium, and iron—and that’s not even mentioning the fact that they provide 400% of your daily essential vitamin A intake. Try a sweet potato-based breakfast with a hash, or stuff your baked sweet potatoes with other nutrient-rich breakfast foods.