16 great ways a great breakfast can kickstart your day

July 28, 2015

There's a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day. Those who eat it are less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don't. Donuts won't cut it — choose healthy foods. Here are some great ideas to help.

16 great ways a great breakfast can kickstart your day

1. Make a smoothie

  • Whirl 250 grams (one cup) of strawberries and a banana in the blender, add 250 grams (one cup) of crushed ice, and you've got a healthy, on-the-go breakfast filled with antioxidants.
  • Toss in some plain yogurt and you've just added a bone-strengthening dose of calcium, too.

2. Buy omega-3 eggs

They're not much more expensive than regular eggs but are much higher in all-important omega-3 fatty acids, shown to benefit everything from mental health to heart health.

4. Sprinkle flaxseeds

  • Add them to cereal, yogurt, smoothies or eggs.
  • Next to fish, flaxseeds are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Grind the seeds before adding them.

5. Peanut butter instead of butter

Whether you prefer smooth or crunchy, peanut butter is lower in saturated fat and has far more good monounsaturated fat, which your body needs.

6. Eat grapefruit

  • It contains a good amount of folate and vitamin C, believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Grapefruit can interact with medicines that have to be processed through the liver, so check with your doctor first.

7. Sip green tea

In addition to its heart-protective benefits, green tea may also have some weight-loss benefits; it appears to raise the rate at which your body burns calories and uses fat.

8. Pour soy milk

  • Packed with potent phytoestrogens, soy has been credited with everything from protecting your heart to promoting stronger bones.
  • Be sure it's fortified with calcium for more bone-building stuff.

9. Have a breakfast sandwich

Top a whole-wheat roll with melted low-fat mozzarella, a sliced tomato and a sliced, hard-boiled egg.

10. Go vegetarian

Veggie bacon, sausages and burgers are good sources of protein for breakfast without the saturated fat of their meat alternatives.

11. Sprinkle blueberries

They're loaded with antioxidants that slow down brain aging and protect your memory. Try mixing them into whole-wheat pancake batter.

12. Drink orange juice

A 150-millilitre (2/3-cup) glass of unsweetened OJ counts as one of your five-a-day fruit portions.

13. Eat strawberries

  • Packed with vitamin C, they have numerous health benefits, including protection for your eyes.
  • Like other berries, they're also rich in antioxidants, low in calories and even have a low glycemic index to keep blood sugar levels steady.

14. Put Kiwis in a smoothie

A British study found that every 30 grams (1 1/2 ounces) of these vitamin C-rich fruits you eat a day reduces your risk of premature death by 10 per cent. Just slice the top off and scoop out.

15. Get fibre at breakfast

  • If you don't get off to a good start with your daily fibre intake, you'll never reach the recommended amount of 24 grams per 2,000 calories.
  • You can get five grams in a few bites of a large apple, 80 grams (three ounces) of blackberries or two slices of whole-grain rye bread.

16. Add dark chocolate to yogurt

  • Shave 30 grams (one 1/2 ounces) of dark chocolate over 250 grams (one cup) of fat-free yogurt.
  • The calcium-rich yogurt can actually help you to lose weight, while the antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate can help to reduce the effects of "bad" LDL cholesterol, keeping your arteries more flexible.
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