A balanced breakfast typically includes protein, fiber, and a range of nutrients. If you’re looking for a healthy morning meal, try easy options like eggs, whole wheat toast with toppings, nuts, and green tea.
Breakfast is a great way to start your day. A nutritious breakfast can provide long-lasting energy and keep you full for hours. A good breakfast is typically high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients.
Some commercial breakfast foods can be high in sugar, refined carbs, and additives. Instead, why not try some nutrient-dense fresh options?
Here are 12 of the best foods and drinks to enjoy in the morning.
Eggs make a simple, nutritious breakfast choice.
They provide protein, which is essential for muscle growth and maintenance. It can also keep you feeling fullTrusted Source.
In a 2020 studyTrusted Source, people who had eggs and toast for breakfast reported significantly less hunger than those who had bran cereal, suggesting the higher protein intake — 25 grams versus 11 grams — promoted greater fullness.
The egg group also ate fewer calories at lunch, suggesting eggs support satiety — the feeling of being full — which can help with weight management.
Eggs also containTrusted Source:
lutein and zeaxanthin in the yolk, antioxidants that appear to supportTrusted Source eye health and may have benefitsTrusted Source for skin, liver, eye, and cardiovascular health
choline, a vital nutrientTrusted Source for brain and liver health
B vitamins, including folate
iron, calcium, and other essential minerals
Recent researchTrusted Source indicates that, in contrast with previous beliefs, eggs don’t raise cholesterol levels in most people, despite their high cholesterol content. In fact, there’s some evidence they may have a mild protective effect against heart disease.
Eat your eggs with other nutritious foods, such as whole grain toast, whole fruit, or sautéed vegetables.
2. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great option for a quick breakfast.
It’s made by straining whey and other liquid from milk curds, which producesTrusted Source a creamy product higher in protein than regular yogurt.
It’s also lower in calories than many other protein sources. A 1-cup (245-gram) servingTrusted Source provides 25 grams of protein but only 149 calories.
Other nutrients in Greek yogurt include:
Certain types containTrusted Source probiotics like Bifidobacteria, which support digestion. To ensure your yogurt contains probiotics, look for the phrase “contains live and active cultures” on the label.
If you prefer an even creamier, higher protein product, Icelandic yogurt — known as skyr — is another great option.
Eating Greek yogurt with berries and other fruits may addTrusted Source to its prebiotic or probiotic properties. Topping with dried fruit, oatmeal, or nuts can add texture, fiber, and other nutrients.
Coffee contains caffeine, a molecule that promotesTrusted Source alertness, improves mood, and increases physical and mental performance.
It also may also containTrusted Source a range of polyphenols, compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
StudiesTrusted Source suggest that it’s safe for most adults to drink up to 3 cups (710 ml) of coffee per day — or up to 400 mg of caffeine.
During pregnancy, people should consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day, as caffeine may increase the risk of complications.
Drink your coffee black or with dairy or plant-balanced
Oatmeal is made from rolled or steel-cut oats. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which can help lowerTrusted Source cholesterol and glucose levels, and also has antioxidant and probiotic properties.
Because of the way the body processes oats, they will also leave you feeling fullTrusted Source for longer, reducing the temptation to snack mid-morning.
Oats also provideTrusted Source:
In addition, they contain around 10 grams (g)Trusted Source of protein per cup (81 g) of dry oats. To boost the protein content, make oatmeal with milk instead of water, mix in some protein powder, or serve it with a side of eggs.
Alternatively, mix raw oats with dried fruit nuts, seeds, coconut, and other ingredients for a homemade muesli.
Oats are suitable for people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, but you should choose oats that have been certified gluten-free due to a risk of cross-contamination.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a good source of fiber.
One ounce (28 grams)Trusted Source of dried chia seeds provides close to 10 g of fiber.
This fiber is also soluble, which means it absorbs water and increases the volume of food moving through your digestive tract, making you feel fullerTrusted Source for longer.
The nutrients in chia seeds may also help manage glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and prevent inflammation, among other benefits.
Chia seeds aren’t high in protein, but combining them with Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a protein shake can boost your protein intake, as in the recipe below.
High protein chia pudding recipe
1 ounce (28 grams) of dry chia seeds
1 scoop (25 grams) of whey protein powder
1 cup (240 mL) of coconut milk or almond milk
1/2 cup (74 grams) of berries
stevia or another sweetener to taste, if desired
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Berries — including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries — are delicious and packed with antioxidants.
They provide a sweet treat that tends to beTrusted Source high in fiber and low in calories.
Berries also offer antioxidants called anthocyanins, which provide the characteristic blue, purple, and red colors of berries. A diet high in anthocyanins may help protectTrusted Source against inflammation, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Add berries to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, chia pudding, or a fruit smoothie for a tasty breakfast.