Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps our body take in all the nutrients that should help it function for the rest of the day. Therefore, it’s super important that we be careful and particular in what we eat during breakfast. Here are some foods that should be staples on everyone’s breakfast tables.
- Eggs: Eggs sometimes get a bad reputation, but they contain 13 essential nutrients, says Susan Mitchell, Ph.D., RD, including protein. Research shows that a high-protein morning meal wards off unhealthy snacking later in the day. "A minimum of eight to 10 grams of protein and preferably 20 to 25 not only provides satiety, but helps maintain muscle mass over time," she says.Plus, the yolks are rich in the B vitamin choline, important for memory, as well as carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health. And with seemingly endless ways to prepare them, there's an egg for everyone.
- Bananas: This easy grab-and-go option has been maligned for being starchy and caloric and placed by some on the "to don't" list permanently. That shouldn't be so, says Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD. A medium banana is rich in fibre, vitamin C and potassium, which we don't often get in the typical American diet without a heavy dose of sodium, she says. "A medium banana has 422 milligrams of potassium and no sodium," she says. "That combination helps control blood pressure. We need to shift that by eating foods more high in potassium."
- Grapefruit: Another great source of vitamin C and potassium is the whole family of citrus fruits. They also pack a good deal of fibre, says Upton, to help you feel fuller longer. In fact, a 2006 study found that making half a grapefruit your "appetizer" of sorts (at any meal, but breakfast seems most fitting to us!) can speed up weight loss.
- Oatmeal: This staple of a nutritious breakfast is deserving of its reputation. Loaded with dietary fibre, oatmeal can help keep you fuller for longer, says Upton, and can lower cholesterol. Whether you prefer steel cut, instant or old-fashioned doesn't matter, just skip the flavoured kind, which packs added sugar, she says. In terms of toppings, almond or peanut butter with banana or nuts with berries can help round out the ideal breakfast blend of protein, carbs and fat, says Mitchell.
So next time you’re looking to have a good day in school or at work, remember that your breakfast will play an important role to help you do things the way you want them to and keep you energised for the rest of the day.