It’s no exaggeration that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a full, healthy breakfast will set you up for the whole day by giving you all the energy you need to make it through the morning and satisfying your appetite, preventing cravings and overeating later on.
The ideal breakfast combines fibre, good carbohydrates and protein, and that give you plenty of freedom to experiment. If you’re feeling bored with your regular breakfast routine, try out these healthy and tasty alternatives that are quick to prepare:
A breakfast classic that includes omega-3 fatty acids and cholesterol-lowering beta-glucan, oats come in many forms and all of them are good for you – as long as you avoid flavoured and sugary varieties. If you’re looking for increased fibre, check if your nearest supermarket stocks steel-cut oats rather than rolled or instant options.
You can make your own instant oatmeal packs to take to the office by combining whole rolled oats, cinnamon and your choice of fruit and nuts in sealed bags, then just add hot water. For another portable option, bake your oatmeal into squares.
Attitudes to eggs have taken a U-turn in recent years, and are now widely recommended as a good source of protein and vitamin D. As long as your regular diet is not high in cholesterol and fat, the cholesterol content in eggs won’t have a negative impact on your health.
Eggs are one of the most versatile of breakfast ingredients, whether you enjoy them fried, scrambled or baked with veggies and cheese to cut down on the oil.
3. Fruit and yoghurt smoothie
Greek yoghurt boasts twice the protein of standard yoghurt along with plenty of calcium, and offers lots of flexibility for quick morning snacks and drinks. Just add fruit for sweetness and a vitamin boost, or blend with frozen fruit and milk or juice to enjoy a refreshing smoothie.
4. Whole grain and bran cereals
Not all cereals are good for you, but whole grain and bran cereals such as shredded wheat are usually a safe bet, packed with important nutrients like folic acid and riboflavin. Check the nutritional labels to find products containing less than 5g sugar and at least 5g fibre, then top with skimmed milk and fruit for a source of protein and antioxidants.
If you’re looking for an alternative to cereals, this superfood skips the gluten and is packed with fibre, protein, minerals and amino acids, not to mention its satisfying crunch. Cook quinoa in your choice of milk and sprinkle spices, fruit and nuts to create a hot cereal substitute that will satisfy even the pickiest taste buds.
A great source of resistant starch that will keep your stomach feeling full for longer, bananas are one of the most effective fruits for curbing cravings. They are also a major source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure.
Adding banana slices to oatmeal or cereal adds natural sweetness, meaning you can skip the sugar. Bananas are also one of the most versatile ingredients for fruit smoothies and can even make a healthy frozen snack when coated in almond butter and topped with seeds.
That morning cup of coffee could be useful for more than just waking you up, with research linking coffee consumption to a reduced risk of diabetes and prostate cancer, among other conditions. Coffee is the primary source of antioxidants in many peoples’ diets – just don’t get too dependent on the caffeine fix or add too much cream and sugar, which will do more harm than good.