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Get a healthy start to your day with these nutrient-dense breakfast foods

Exactly 1 year ago today, one of Sleekgeeks’ most popular blog posts ever was published: 50 Breakfast Recipes for a Healthy Start.

It’s clear to us, based on all the questions that get repeatedly asked in our Facebook Support Group, that figuring out what to eat for breakfast is a widespread issue.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Or should you practice Intermittent Fasting and only eat your first meal at lunch time? What about eggs and their cholesterol or cereal and it’s gluten and sugar?

Well, those are all rather extreme ends of the spectrum and the answer probably lies somewhere in between, depending on your preferences and needs.

According to Authority Nutrition,

“It probably does not matter whether you eat or skip breakfast, as long as you eat healthy for the rest of the day. Breakfast does not “jump start” your metabolism and skipping it does not automatically make you overeat and gain weight. If you feel hungry in the morning and you like breakfast, go ahead and eat a healthy breakfast. A protein-rich breakfast is best. However, if you don’t feel hungry in the morning and don’t feel that you need breakfast, then don’t eat it. It’s as simple as that.”

Skipping breakfast may well be better than eating many unhealthy breakfast foods, however, eating the right foods can give you energy and prevent you from eating too much during the rest of the day.

Therefore, it’s probably best for you to decide for yourself.

I personally like to start my day with a black coffee and then eat a little bit later in the morning, at about 10 or 11am as that is then my “pre-workout meal” 1-2 hours before I hit the gym. It also offers a mid-morning break from work to get up away from my computer and move around a bit.

There will still be those days where I wake up and just feel really hungry or I want to sit down on a Sunday for a family breakfast – in that case, I won’t let my routine or some special diet rule get in the way of me doing what I feel is right. I always have some healthy, easy breakfast options on hand and I’ll share some of those with you below.

12 Nutrient-Dense Foods For A Healthy Breakfast:

1. Eggs.

Eggs are high in protein and several important nutrients. They also promote fullness and help you eat fewer calories.

2. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in protein, helps reduce appetite and may aid with weight loss. Certain types also contain beneficial probiotics.

3. Coffee

Having a cup of coffee is a great way to start your day. The caffeine in it may improve mood, mental performance and metabolism.

4. Oatmeal

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 high in fiber and packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and decrease disease risk.

6. Berries

Berries are high in fiber and low in calories. They’re also rich in antioxidants that may decrease the risk of disease.

7. Nuts

Nuts are filling, nutrient-dense foods that may help reduce heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control.

8. Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits. It contains an antioxidant called EGCG, which has benefits for the brain and nervous system.

9. Protein Shake

A protein shake or smoothie is a great high-protein breakfast choice that promotes fullness and helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

10. Fruit

Fruit is a good source of vitamins, potassium and fiber. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce disease risk.

11. Flaxseeds

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 high in protein, which promotes feelings of fullness and increases your metabolic rate.

Source: Authority Nutrition.

Please note that this is not a be-all and end-all list. There are so many other healthy foods out there – like avocado, or fish, or whey protein, or green smoothies – many of which may arguably be even healthier than the ones listed above.

But that’s the thing, health is not narrowed down to one or two very specific foods. It is more of a “big picture” kind of thing, spread across many meals, days , weeks, months, and even years – all of which slowly add up over time.

This list is just a starting point for ideas and to get you do something, because some kind of positive action (even if not perfect) is so much better than the perfect action that never gets taken.

Don’t think this is another “only eat this and nothing else” diet. Build a solid foundation of nutrition using these foods and then round out the rest of your nutrition with other foods that you like or think are also healthy.

Health Hack: Don’t Forget About Left-Overs:

Never underestimate the power and convenience of left-overs from the previous day’s dinner/lunch for breakfast. If you are cooking a nice homemade dinner or lunch, always consider if it is something that you can cook a bit more of so you can eat it the following morning.

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