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Having the Perfect Breakfast to Start Your Day

An assortment of the perfect breakfast foods, including foods high in protein, carbs, or fruits.

Breakfast is the single-most important meal of the day yet, many individuals skip or eat improperly for this meal. Eating a good, hearty breakfast has been found to have many health benefits including decreasing your metabolism, regulating your food intake for the rest of the day, and provide your body with the nutrients to energize you. So, what is the perfect breakfast?

A perfect breakfast is one that is balanced and that will keep you feeling full for at least a few hours after eating. This perfect meal is composed of three things: carbohydrates, proteins, and fruit. Ideally this meal would be high in protein and carbohydrates with a touch of fruit.

Carbohydrates:

You will want to choose whole grains for your carbohydrate source. Things such as oatmeal or whole-grain cereal are ideal, just be sure to watch the sugar content on the cereal. You will want to look for cereals with at least five grams of fiber and less than six grams of sugar per each serving.

Oatmeal is especially good for you, because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, folate, potassium, and fiber. If you want to try making your oatmeal more flavorful, try topping it with honey, fruit, and nuts. Or, you can mix in yogurt and/or peanut butter for added flavor. You can also make toast using whole-wheat bread, which is a good source of fiber. However, just be careful to not cancel out the health benefits by applying too much butter or jelly. Instead try topping your toast with cottage cheese, avocado, egg, or almond butter.

Proteins:

Adding a lean source of protein is also important to make sure that you remain full for an extended period of time. Protein will keep you feeling full for longer than carbs or fat will, and will prevent you from overeating. Some good sources of breakfast protein include: eggs, tofu, peanut butter, fish, lean meats, milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Cottage cheese, in particular, has twenty-five grams of protein per cup and mixes well with fruit or spreads nicely on toast. Eggs are another good source of protein, supplying six grams and containing choline, which is essential to brain and liver health.

Fruits:

Whole fruits are recommended since they contain fiber, however you can also satisfy this requirement with a glass of fruit juice. Bananas are a common breakfast fruit since they can be sliced and easily added to oatmeal or cereal. This fruit is beneficial because it is high in both potassium and resistant starch, meaning that it will keep you full longer.

Berries are another popular choice. Blueberries in particular have many health benefits of their own. They have been found to have a low calorie content while having high concentrations of antioxidants that help improve memory, motor skills, blood pressure, and metabolism. Strawberries have a similar low calorie content, with high antioxidant content. In addition, they also have high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.

Some other beneficial breakfast fruits include cantaloupe for its vitamin C & A content; kiwi for its vitamin C, potassium, copper, and fiber content; and raspberries for their cancer-fighting properties.