It might be the last thing on your morning to-do list, or worse, it might not be on your list at all. But a healthy breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health. Don't skip this important meal.
These quick and flexible options give you plenty of ways to put breakfast back on your daily menu.
The benefits of a healthy breakfast
Breakfast gives you a chance to start each day with a healthy and nutritious meal. Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to:Eat more vitamins and minerals. Control their weight. Research suggests that consuming most of your daily calories in the morning can aid weight loss. Control their blood sugar levels -- which is important in preventing or controlling diabetes. Eat less fat and cholesterol. Perform better at work.
Children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:Meet daily nutrient requirements Be at a healthy body weight Have better concentration and be more alert Miss fewer days of school
The basics of a healthy breakfast
What exactly counts as a healthy breakfast? Here's the core of a healthy breakfast:Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls and bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, whole-grain English muffins, and whole-grain waffles. Lean protein. Examples include eggs, lean meat, legumes and nuts. Low-fat dairy. Examples include milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese and natural cheeses. Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100 percent juice drinks without added sugar, and fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Together, these food groups provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and a small amount of fat -- a combination that packs health benefits and helps you feel full for hours.
Find options from these core groups that suit your tastes and preferences. And try to choose food from at least three of these four food groups to round out a healthy breakfast.