Experts claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. By eating in the morning, we fill our bodies with nutrients and replenish our supply of glucose that boosts our energy levels for the day.
Having a proper breakfast is generally associated with good health. Studies have shown that this first meal of the day stimulates the brain, improves both our memory and concentration, lowers the level of bad cholesterol in our bodies and prevents heart disease. It also speeds up our metabolism, helping our bodies burn more calories throughout the day.
If all this wasn’t enough, a good breakfast is also associated with a greater level of happiness. But while breakfast is really important, not all foods will have the same benefits. Newsweek talked to nutritionists to find out which breakfast foods make you happier.
What to eat for breakfast to make you happier
Corinne Zaffarese Elbourne is a pharmacist, state registered nutritionist and the wellness coach behind Miverbo. She told Newsweek that breakfast should make you “excited for the day.” She likes to call it the ‘mindset meal’ because she truly believes that a good breakfast sets you up for a great day ahead.
Elbourne said: “Everyone should find that healthy breakfast option that gets them excited about living a healthy life. Some of my favorite breakfasts to eat to make me feel happier include a delicious protein berry smoothie, hearty overnight oats or a cleansing kiwi and lime smoothie All of these options can help make you feel happier as they’re packed with mood-boosting ingredients that are ideal for kicking things off on the right note and giving your body what it needs to to get up and go.”
Elbourne always recommends starting the day with a breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and fibre. It will provide sustained energy throughout the morning and help keep your blood sugar stable.
“This will help reduce energy crashes and mood swings later in the day and prevent you from reaching for a sugary snack around 11 a.m.,” Elbourne said. “I like to make breakfast a bit of a ritual and make it a moment of self-care to set the stage for a happier, healthier day. Breakfast serves to remind us that every day is a new opportunity to make choices , which nourishes our bodies, fuels our activities and nourishes our spirits.”
A registered dietitian Alex Larson said Newsweek that for a healthy breakfast you should aim for a combination of at least 20 grams of protein, some complex carbohydrates, fruit and/or vegetables.
His examples of healthy breakfasts include: “Open bagel sandwich with smoked salmon, diced avocado and an over-easy egg on top. A three-egg omelet with assorted vegetables and a side of toast with jam. Fruit smoothie made with 1 cup Greek yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, berries and spinach.”
Allie Echeverria, a nutritionist in Atlanta, Georgia, told us Newsweek that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can help lower depression, and vitamin B-12 has been linked to a positive mood.
Echeverria said, “Try a breakfast salad for an unexpected but delicious breakfast. Choose a leafy green like spinach, kale, or cabbage (or mix of different greens) as your base. Add two eggs (scrambled, poached, or sunny side up). works best ) and 2 to 3 slices of lox. Eggs and salmon are good sources of vitamin B-12. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Add a handful of blueberries (trust me on blueberries with salmon and eggs) for fiber and vitamin C . You can add a handful of nuts for texture and extra healthy fat.”
Which breakfast food should you avoid?
Larson said to avoid a breakfast that only offers a high amount of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars. While it will give you a quick source of energy, it won’t be the sustained kind that will get them through the morning.
“Combining carbohydrates with quality protein and healthy fats will provide the balanced, more stable energy for a successful morning,” added Larson.
Other foods that experts agree you should avoid for breakfast include: refined, sugary grains; waffles and pancakes; buttered toasts; muffins; fruit juice; and cakes. Also avoid breakfast bars, processed meats, low-fat yogurt and fried foods like hash browns.
Other breakfast habits that will improve your day
Best time to eat breakfast
To maximize the benefits of a healthy first meal, eating it at the right time is just as important as what you eat. The experts say that the best time to eat your breakfast is within two hours of getting up, the sooner the better.
Drink water before you eat breakfast
Another good breakfast habit is to drink water before eating your food. That is because, according to sciencehydrating first thing in the morning helps your body recover from overnight dehydration, and when you do it on an empty stomach, your body absorbs it faster.
There are countless benefits to drinking water first thing in the morning. These include, among others: better skin, as water reduces wrinkles and enhances your natural glow; and better hair, as water increases its shine and strength. Drinking it also helps speed up your weight loss. This is because your metabolism can increase by up to 25 percent when you drink water on an empty stomach.
Among the many other benefits of drinking water when you wake up, you will also have increased energy levels, a boosted immune system, fewer kidney stones and fewer headaches.