What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. The healthier your morning habits, the more primed you are to make healthier, more beneficial decisions in the afternoon and evening. And perhaps one of the most important healthy habits you can establish in the morning is eating an energizing breakfast.
“Energy” is a broad word. It can be obtained by eating… well, literally anything. It’s true that the body specializes in extracting energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in particular. But whatever you ingest, the body will do its best to break it down, digest it, and transform it into energy.
It’s getting good energy that’s the hard part. Today’s society has made it admittedly difficult to avoid eating food that doesn’t give you too much energy, not enough energy, or just overall crappy energy.
Or, if you’re eating the right stuff, you’ll feel full, energized (in a non-jittery way), and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
I think it’s obvious which state we’d rather be in. It’s getting there and maintaining it that’s the tough part. To make it a bit easier, we’ve lined up some healthy and energizing breakfast options for you to add to your morning routine.
Kicking off the list is cottage cheese. This low-calorie food lands squarely into the fats and proteins category of energy. As such, we recommend it to those who are shooting for a bit more protein in their breakfast. Its high-protein, low-calorie nutrition profile means it works great for athletes or those looking to lose weight. And being that it’s high in protein, the energy it provides you is going to be relatively clean.
Taste-wise, cottage cheese has a mild flavor compared with aged cheeses, but it’s just punchy enough to help you satisfy those morning cravings for something savory. Just like yogurt, you can toss in nuts, seeds, or different types of berries to add more flavor if you’d prefer, although cottage cheese alone is more than flavorful enough for some people.
Cottage cheese can be worked into most diets, although vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant should steer clear. We recommend using it as a supplementary addition to your breakfast to be prepared with or mixed into some of the other items on the list.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a nutritious choice for any breakfast and provide multiple health benefits. Fruits contain sugars, but the natural kind, meaning they won’t make you bounce off the walls or enter a sugar coma an hour after eating. Certain fruits, like bananas, contain a strong amount of complex carbs and fiber, which will not only provide you with clean, long-lasting energy but also keep you feeling full for longer. Meanwhile, Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, which are also great sources of energy.
Fruits and vegetables make great sides to your meals and are even enough by themselves when eaten in larger portions. There are endless combinations you can try out for breakfast. You can add fruits to a smoothie, yogurt, cottage cheese, or even oatmeal. Vegetables go great mixed into an omelet or smoothie and are also a perfect snack to tide you over to lunch if you tend to get hungry before then.
Yogurt is a tart, delicious dairy product that can be made from all types of milk. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals (like B12, calcium, and magnesium), and supports healthy blood pressure, bone health, and metabolism as a result. Being a dairy product, it also comes loaded with protein, which will provide a further boost to your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout your day.
Quick disclaimer: There are a ton of commercial brands that add sugar and artificial flavors and additives to their yogurt. We recommend steering clear of these and aiming instead for yogurts that are free of additives. Consuming the artificially enhanced versions might provide some of the health benefits of eating yogurt, but you’ll also experience the drawbacks of eating excess sugar.
Eggs have been part of the human diet for millennia, and for good reason. They’re a great source of high-quality protein, and come loaded with a wide array of vitamins and minerals (13 total), as well as antioxidants.
The high protein content in eggs means they’ll fill you up and provide your body with lasting energy, all while adding fewer calories to your overall diet than a carb-based breakfast would. Because of this, they’ve become quite the staple of many weight-loss diets and of healthy diets in general.
Another great perk of adding them to your breakfast roster is the sheer amount of ways they can be prepared. You can make them scrambled, over-easy, sunny-side up, or put them in a breakfast burrito, just to name a few. Consider tossing some veggies into your next omelet for an even more nutritionally complete breakfast.
Add an Avocado
Oh, the beloved Avocado. This “super-fruit” is loved and lauded the world over for its taste and nutritional value.
Unlike most other fruits, which consist primarily of carbohydrates, Avocados are high in healthy fats. These make them an excellent addition to your breakfast if you’re typically going for the protein- or carb-heavy options, such as eggs, grains, or veggies.
What they do have in common with other fruits, however, is that they’re an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas and come loaded with fiber and antioxidants as well. There are countless other health benefits of avocados—too many to list here.
We could write a whole article on Avocados because of how well they fit into a healthy diet. They’re also extremely versatile and can be added to a number of different breakfast dishes to delicious effect.
Adding a direct source of protein to your breakfast is useful if you’re having trouble getting it in other areas of your diet. If that sounds like you, then protein powder is the way to go.
Protein powder can come from several different sources, most commonly whey and peas. Some prefer it in whey form because of its taste, as well as the fact that it’s considered a “complete” protein. But if you’re on a vegan diet or if you’re just trying to avoid dairy in general, then pea protein is still a great option.
Protein powder can be added to your shakes in the morning, mixed with fruit for an extra boost, or mixed easily in other meals. If you’re seeking an easy source of protein-based energy, give protein powder a shot.
Oatmeal is a fantastic whole-grain breakfast that’s high in nutrients and low in cholesterol. Oats themselves are built of protein and complex carbs and are an excellent source of both. Because of this, they’re a fantastic source of energy all on their own.
But of course, one of the great things about oatmeal is the sheer amount of ways it can be prepared. Add some fruit, some protein powder, maybe even some avocado if you’re feeling adventurous, The possibilities are endless.
Oats Overnight makes it easy for you. Simply add your milk or milk substitute of choice the night before and eat it in the morning. Boom, there’s your next few hours of clean, healthy energy.