8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Better Mornings
Up the nutritional ante with these simple breakfast tricks from a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Steal these healthy breakfast ideas
A healthy breakfast is uber important to your day: It can fuel you to prevent pre-lunchtime hangriness and can provide important nutrients to help your health and fight disease. Think your morning meal needs an amp-up, or simply need inspiration for healthy breakfast ideas? Here's what I recommend.
Blend coffee into a smoothie
Not a natural breakfast eater, but love your morning coffee? Combine your java with a fueling smoothie. Add a shot or two of espresso to a mix of frozen fruit—try bananas or berries—along with unsweetened almond or soy milk, a spoonful of almond butter and a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon. This spin on Bulletproof coffee offers a nutritious option with less saturated fat. Or adapt one of these healthy smoothie recipes.
Sprinkle salt from above
A small amount—just 11 percent—of salt is added to food either during cooking or at the table, per the American Heart Association. (Most of our salt intake comes from processed foods). Decrease your salt per bite by sprinkling with your hand, not the saltshaker—and at a height that’s ten to 12 inches above the food. This allows your salt to disperse more equally, decreasing the amount needed.
Stir in cinnamon
Add a dash to your coffee, yogurt, or oatmeal to help stabilize blood sugar. Preliminary research shows that daily cinnamon intake can help lower blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. This is especially helpful for people with prediabetes or diabetes. Many types of cinnamon exist: Cassia is the most common type in the United States, although Ceylon cinnamon (with a warm floral flavor) is safer at higher doses due to its lower coumarin content. Make sure you're not making one of these healthy breakfast mistakes.
Swap jam for nut butter
The fuel provided by a slice of toast with sugary jam will speed through your body faster compared with the version topped with cashew or peanut butter. This could mean the difference between 10:30 a.m. hunger pangs and feeling full all morning. Choose whole-grain bread so you have a combo of fiber and healthy fats to help keep you satiated for longer. Pair with a hard-boiled egg and a sliced pear or apple for a satisfying breakfast meal. Consider trying one of these high-protein breakfast ideas next.
Un-sweet your yogurt
A six-ounce serving of plain low-fat Greek yogurt contains about six grams of sugar, while a fruit-flavored, sweetened version has a whopping 19 grams. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend capping added sugar intake at 10 percent of daily calories—so your morning yogurt is a good place to start. Add mix-ins, such as sliced mango and pecans, to your plain yogurt bowl. Top with a dash of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice, and you won’t miss that sugary flavor one bit.
Eat the whole egg
While a 2019 suggests that eating two eggs per day may increase your risk of heart disease, experts say eggs are still part of a balanced diet, especially one that's plant-based and rich in fiber. Just don't go overboard when incorporating egg into your healthy breakfast ideas. Find out the breakfast foods you should stop eating.
Always include fruit or veggies
Finally, let’s just state the obvious: Fruits and veggies are rich in health-promoting vitamins and minerals, as well as cholesterol-helping fiber. Plus, produce is largely water—so it adds volume to help your breakfast fill you up. Some healthy breakfast ideas: Fill an omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes, top a slice of egg-and-avocado toast with onion and radish slices, or heap your go-to oatmeal with blueberries and raspberries. Now, take a look at these 27 healthy breakfast recipes you can use today.
- American Heart Association: "Sodium sources: Where does all that sodium come from?"
- Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Do Cinnamon Supplements Have a Role in Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes? A Narrative Review."
- Health.gov: "2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans"
- JAMA: "Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality"