We’re all familiar with the adage “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But not all breakfasts are created equal. Wondering how you know if your breakfast is healthy? Keep reading!
Before we dive into how to craft a healthy breakfast, let’s talk about why breakfast is so important. Breakfast is what the name implies - the meal that breaks your nightly fast. Breakfast replenishes your glucose stores, which gives you a boost of energy and alertness. It helps keep glucose levels balanced throughout the day, and can give you a dose of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients your body needs. Some research also suggests that regularly eating a healthy breakfast can help reduce your risk for heart disease and manage your weight.
There’s the key word again - a healthy breakfast has numerous benefits that help you get your day off on the right foot. But what is a healthy breakfast? Let’s take a look at the key foods to include in your breakfast.
A complex carb, or whole grain
Carbohydrates are our brain and body’s favorite source of energy. In fact, your brain requires at least 130 grams of carbohydrates per day to function at its best! A lot of typical breakfast foods are rich in carbohydrates, but foods like waffles, pancakes, English muffins, muffins, sugary cereals, hash browns and white toast have simple carbohydrates. This means they break down more quickly in the bloodstream. They also lack fiber, which helps aid in digestion and blood sugar maintenance.
Try incorporating whole grain cereals like oatmeal, whole wheat breads and bagels, and fruits and vegetables into your week. These will help keep you feeling satisfied for longer, provide fiber, and will help keep blood sugars in check. Pure Plates adds complex carbohydrates to their breakfasts by using brown rice tortillas, sweet potatoes, and even black beans in their breakfast dishes for an early dose of energy, fiber, and other nutrients.
Protein is key for breakfast because it helps you feel satisfied and full to fuel you until your mid-morning snack or lunch! Lean proteins are great because you get high quality protein without saturated fat. Some great breakfast choices for protein include eggs, ground turkey and turkey sausages, and chicken links. Vegetarian sources of protein can come in the form of eggs, tofu scrambles, or mock-meats. You can even add nuts, seeds, nut butters, and beans to breakfast dishes for some added protein. Pure Plates offers all of these options, setting your day off on the right foot.
Top your breakfast dish with avocado, nuts and seeds, nuts butters, a little bit of cheese, or chia seeds. Healthy fats help your body absorb vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, and help keep you full until lunch time. Pure Plates uses healthier oils like canola and extra virgin olive oil in their breakfast dishes, so you can be confident you’re keeping your saturated fat intake in balance! They also use lean proteins and plant-based proteins in order to reduce saturated and trans fat in their meals, making their breakfasts more heart healthy.
Fruits and Veggies
Breakfast is the perfect time to fit in some fruits and veggies. Top your toast or oatmeal with fresh berries or a banana, or enjoy an apple along with your breakfast sandwich. A smoothie made with frozen berries, yogurt, and spinach packs a nutritious punch, giving you lots of vitamins and minerals, protein, and flavor! If you prefer savory meals in the morning, try making breakfast scrambles, burritos, or omelettes with mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, and more. With Pure Plate’s breakfast choices, you can select scrambles made with lots of veggies, fresh blueberry pancakes, or veggie-packed omelettes.
A note on juices - juice can sometimes get mistaken for a healthy breakfast choice. Fresh squeezed juice is great, but be sure to check the label on store-bought juices for sugar content. Many juices are packed with added sugars and have the nutrients from the fruits removed. When in doubt, try having a piece of fresh fruit instead whenever possible.
A balanced breakfast
A healthy, balanced breakfast includes each of the three macronutrients - protein, carbs, and fat. This will ensure you start your day off energized and ready to go. A healthy breakfast will look a little bit different for everyone, depending on your individual preferences and access. Pure Plates designs their meal delivery breakfast options to be balanced, with lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats at the center of each breakfast. Crunched for time? Let Pure Plate’s meal delivery service deliver your healthy breakfasts each week so you no longer have to wonder if your breakfast is as healthy as it could be!