Breakfast is considered to be one of the most important meals of the day. It is the first meal we break our overnight fast with, and what we eat can help set your metabolism tone for the day. It has been shown that those who eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast even tend to eat less throughout the day. Not sure what you should be eating to help support your weight loss and muscle-building efforts? Try these seven nutritious foods.
You may think avocados are too fattening, but they’re packed with goodness and make a perfect part of a healthy breakfast. For one, avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, and those fats can help protect us from the onset of disease. Not to mention, fats are highly satiating, which means they can help keep hunger away. But that’s not all. A recent study found that those who consumed about 40 grams or 3 tablespoons of monounsaturated fats for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent compared to those eating polyunsaturated fats. Another study showed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats could help reduce body fat distribution on the belly! Avocados provide 15 grams of fat, including 10 grams of monounsaturated fat per 100 grams. Have avocado on toast, or try baking an egg in its center for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast.
You might be tired of this breakfast item, but oatmeal is not only versatile— eating it can help reduce waistline. In one study, a group that consumed oatmeal for six weeks experienced decreases in waist circumference, along with decreases in cholesterol, compared to the control. Oatmeal’s high fiber content helps sustain energy levels, reduce hunger between meals and help remove toxins and metabolites from the gut that can impact hormone levels. Try making an overnight oatmeal recipe using your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds and even whey protein— the combinations are endless.
They may seem like a no-brainer, but eggs could be considered a perfect food, and great for anytime of the day, not just breakfast. Eggs provide a complete source of protein and a good source of fats including cholesterol— something your body needs to make hormones and keep them balanced. One study showed that eating eggs over bagels for breakfast on a weight loss diet resulted in significantly more weight loss, greater reduction in waist circumference and greater reduction in body fat percentage. The greater thing about eggs they’re versatile— have them scrambled, as an omelet, sunny side up or hard-boiled!
4. Chia Seeds
These mighty seeds pack a ton of nutrition, including 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat, plus they’re a good source of antioxidants, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and B vitamins. They’re high fiber content means they’re providing very little sugar or other carbs. One of the most unique properties of the chia seed is its ability to swell in the gut and become a gel-like solution in your stomach, helping slow down digestion of other food. One study showed that eating chia seeds can help reduce appetite. Sprinkle these powerful seeds on your oatmeal, or yogurt for added healthy benefits.
5. Almond Butter
Almonds deliver a source of protein, fat, fiber and are high in vitamin E. Their high-energy content can help reduce hunger, but it’s their high fiber content that can help elevate resting energy expenditure— the amount of calories you burn at rest. Have almond butter with your oats or over whole-grain sprouted bread.
Tired of oatmeal? Have quinoa instead. Quinoa packs not only a good source of complex carbs, it is also high in protein and is gluten-free for those who are intolerant. One cup of quinoa provides 8 grams of high-quality complete protein, 5 grams of fiber, and is high in magnesium, phosphorous and manganese, not to mention a good source of B vitamins and zinc. One study showed that eating quinoa reduced blood sugar and insulin response, meaning it can provide a sustained energy release and reduce hunger between meals. Try a quinoa bowl for breakfast by adding your favorite fruits, nuts and seeds, or use it in your protein pancake recipes instead of oats.
Eating greens is an important part of any healthy diet, although they might not be your first choice for breakfast. Spinach contains not only plenty of iron, it also provides phytonutrients called thylakoids, which can help ward off hunger. Thylakoids help increase the production of satiety hormones. One three-month study showed that having a green drink containing thylakoids, from 5 grams of spinach before breakfast reduced cravings. What’s more, the control group lost an average of 3.5 kilograms while the group that was given thylakoids lost 5 kilograms, while also experiencing decreases in cravings. Start your morning with greens— blend spinach with your favorite berries for a hunger-reducing green smoothie!
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