The meal that almost 31 million Americans skip every morning is actually the most beneficial to your health. We’ve been told since a young age that a good breakfast is the best way to kick-start your day, but many times it’s a struggle to just get out the door in the morning, let alone feeding yourself something nutritious. However, there are countless benefits to eating a good first meal that breakfast cannot go ignored any longer.
Studies have shown just how beneficial eating breakfast is. For example:
So what components make up a good breakfast? Here are the things you need to keep in mind when preparing an early morning meal.
Whole grain breakfast cereals are important because they contain corn, whole wheat or brown rice, which are rich in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. As a rule, stay away from refined grains because they can cause an increase in blood sugar. You can also get whole grains by eating oatmeal, whole grain bagels, toast or english muffins.
Fiber is good for your health because it lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It is suggested that an adult woman have 21-25 grams of fiber per day and a man 30-38 per day. You can add this to your diet by purchasing fiber-rich cereal or eating any variety of fruits.
Breakfast sugar intake should be limited to five grams per serving cereal – always read the nutritional facts label on the cereal box to find out how much sugar you’re getting.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 1,500 grams per day, and no more than 200 mg of sodium per serving in your cereal. If you’re opting for something more hearty than cereal such as eggs, make sure you only use a small amount of salt.
Calcium and Protein
These two dietary items are essential for a well-rounded breakfast. You can find high amounts of calcium in eggs, milk and cheese.
Calories should be spread out through the day. Your breakfast should be less than a third of your daily caloric intake, and cereal specifically should have less than 150 calories per serving.
One of the best quick-and-easy breakfasts you can prepare for yourself is whole-grain cereal that is low in sugar and topped with fruit. It requires little preparation time and touches on almost all of the nutritional elements mentioned above.
However, if you find yourself with extra time to prepare breakfast in the morning, what are some healthy options to start with? Here are two of our favorites:
The daily habit of eating a healthy breakfast is not only important to help improve your day, but it can help improve your entire life.