Make Breakfast the Best Meal of Your Day with these High-Energy Foods
Fatigue is an epidemic. Our schedules are packed – getting kids off to school, getting ourselves off to work, running errands, making dinner, helping with homework, getting to the gym, often going to school ourselves or finding ourselves caring for our own parents as well as our children. It’s no wonder we’re tired. Everyone is tired.
But there are things you can do that will boost your energy levels and turning to food to boost your energy just involves some research on what foods are good for energy and incorporating those foods into your day.
We’ll be looking at some sample meals over the next few weeks – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks – along with some information on what foods pack the biggest punch energy-wise. Let’s start at the beginning – your breakfast.
Starting the Day Out Right
When you’re having to rise and shine before you’d really like to, you need some push to get going. Here are a few food suggestions for your morning:
Eggs have a lot of things going for them, despite the well-known suggestions that only the whites are good for you because the yolks can increase your cholesterol. Most professionals now advise eating the entire egg. Eating eggs in the morning helps to keep you from looking for mid-morning snacks because eggs increase your feelings of fullness. One study shows men who ate eggs for breakfast not only felt fuller longer but also took in fewer calories throughout the day overall. Eggs also help you to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin. Two antioxidants present in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, help maintain eye health – preventing disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs also contain choline, which is an important nutrient for brain and liver health, and they’re excellent sources of protein.
Avocados and bread, like eggs, have gotten a bad rap, for the same reasons – our fear of fat and carbs. For years, the fat content of avocados scared people away. But now we know better. Avocados contain good fat, which is actually very heart-healthy. We also know now that it’s not necessary to cut out bread from our diet. Just be careful what type of bread you’re eating and pay attention to portion control. The healthier breads, such as rye, provide fiber and will wake up your digestive system. Top some rye toast with slices of avocado, add some pumpkin seeds and boiled eggs and you’re good to go!
Coffee Banana Smoothies
We all love smoothies and a lot of us love coffee so put the two together and you have an awesome breakfast drink! As this site suggests, add some oats and chia seeds for fiber.
Yogurt provides protein, which reduces hunger feelings and it helps increase your metabolic rate, more so than carbs or fats. By increasing your levels of satiety hormones, namely PYY and GLP-1, it helps you feel fuller longer which, in turn, results in less eating and therefore, ultimately, weight loss. And again, as with eggs and avocados, we’ve all heard the horror stories about full-fat yogurt but I urge you to rethink that. Full-fat yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which actually helps DECREASE fat levels. Just stay mindful of the sugar content. Top off your yogurt with fruit such as bananas, berries, etc., or with granola, for a high-energy wake-up.
Green tea is the closest thing to the perfect beverage you’re gonna find! Honestly, what can’t green tea do? Green tea contains caffeine, although in lower amounts than regular coffee (not decaffeinated), and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that green tea is useful for maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health. One delicious option is a mint and green tea smoothie. This smoothie has green tea, mint, spinach, pear, pineapple, lemon and ginger.
Smoked Salmon with Eggs
This breakfast bowl contains smoked salmon, boiled eggs, leafy greens, grains and avocados. Mix together with mayo or, for a lighter dressing, Greek yogurt. It’s good also without the dressing with lemon and paprika as a lighter option.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
By using whole wheat flour, eggs and flaxseed you’re taking what can be considered a no-no and making it a healthy option for breakfast. These pancakes definitely give you something to look forward to in those early, rushed mornings!
Broiled Egg, Tomato and Spinach Sandwich
Easy as pie (but better for you), this breakfast sandwich contains hard-boiled eggs, spinach, tomato, piled on a whole wheat muffin or slice of toast. A touch of mayo rounds out the meal with a bit of tanginess.
Yes, taco, and yes, for breakfast. This is a flavor-heavy breakfast meal that will give you healthy veggies such as red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, along with cilantro, scallions, spinach, tomato, beans and cheese. Piled on tortillas this breakfast idea will wake up your taste buds along with the rest of you!
As with pancakes, french toast brings a lot of things to mind but “healthy” probably isn’t one of them. This recipe, however, is full of ingredients that will give your energy level a boost. What makes it healthy is the whole grain bread, the spices, fat-free milk and trans-fat free margarine.
Try some (or all) of these energy-boosting breakfasts – try them alone or combine them – and you’ll have something to look forward to when that alarm goes off way, way too early!
Image Credit: Beauty Haven