© Vlad Nikonenko | Dreamstime.com
Most people start the day with a breakfast full of sugar-laden foods that interfere with hormones and that lower energy levels. By mid-morning, you’re reaching for more caffeine or a sugary snack as a pick-me-up. That’s why it’s so important to have an arsenal of healthy breakfast ideas that will satisfy your hunger, keep you full, and provide your body with proper nutrition.
The typical American breakfast includes a combination of these common food items:
- Whole wheat toast
- Muffins or bagels
- Egg whites
- Cold cereal
- Coffee with sugar and cream
- Pancakes with syrup
The result? A hefty dose of sugar and carbs that combine to cause a major energy crash and an altered appetite throughout the day. Here are four healthy breakfast ideas that can provide a morning boost—prevent you from crashing.
Healthy Breakfast Idea #1. Eat Organic Eggs
Many people have been taught that processed or pasteurized egg substitutes are healthy. But in reality, organic eggs are very nutritious as long as they’re properly prepared. Recommended: sunny-side-up or hard-boiled. When an egg is overcooked—as when it is scrambled—the cholesterol in it becomes oxidized; this oxidized cholesterol causes inflammation and can lead to numerous health problems.
Additionally, the fats in whole eggs serve as a matrix to help the body absorb fat-soluble supplements such as vitamin E, fish oil, or CLA. In fact, it is highly recommended you take your healthy omega oils in the morning with your breakfast.
Learn more here:
- “Lowering Cholesterol Naturally: An Egg a Day is Okay!”
- “Know Your Fats: Balancing 3-6-9 Omega Ratio”
Healthy Breakfast Idea #2: Try Oatmeal with Cinnamon
Instead of eating cold cereal, grits, toast, or muffins, have a bowl of oatmeal. You hear of people lowering their cholesterol numbers just by eating a bowl of oatmeal each day—it’s the fiber content that makes that work.
Fiber helps to flush out of your digestive track the bile salts and excess cholesterol the body does not need. Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to your oatmeal for more benefits. Harvard Medical School suggests that consuming as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon each day can reduce your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by as much as 12 to 30 percent.
Healthy Breakfast Idea #3: Replace Dairy and Sweeteners
Healthy Breakfast Idea #4: Make Gluten-Free Pancakes with Organic Maple Syrup
If you’re craving a sweet treat, try gluten-free pancakes and add a little “green” to your batter (see recipe below). Use organic maple syrup instead of the regular syrups on the grocery shelves. Maple syrup is very sweet like sugar but unlike sugar it contains several minerals and vitamins: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B6, zinc, and healthy linoleic fatty acids. However, if you suffer with blood sugar issues like diabetes, it is best to skip the maple syrup altogether.
Additional Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Here are a few alternative healthy breakfast ideas you and your family can enjoy:
- Grapefruit: Eating a grapefruit first thing in the morning can help boost your metabolism for the day.
- Turkey bacon or sausage
- Whey protein smoothies
Share Your Experience
Do you skip breakfast? For reasons to why that’s not such a good idea, check out “Why Is Breakfast Important? 5 Reasons You Should Eat a Morning Meal.”
If you have other healthy breakfast ideas—especially “kid-friendly” recipes—share with us in the comments section below. Other readers who are wanting to improve the healthiness of their family’s breakfast menu without giving up flavor and satisfaction will be most appreciative!
SUGAR AND CARBS MAKE YOU FEEL HUNGRIER AND LESS ENERGETIC
The digestive system has two main hormones that control hunger and appetite: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin tells the brain when the body is “full” and has had enough to eat. When you eat excessive carbohydrate-rich foods, especially sugars, high fructose corn syrup and refined (white) grains and bread, your body releases too much leptin into the blood stream. This overexposure inhibits the body’s ability to understand leptin’s messages, so the feeling of satiety is never achieved.
Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach; its job is to increase appetite. When the stomach empties, it sends ghrelin out, requesting more food. Sugar and other sweeteners never shut off ghrelin, so a person is constantly receiving messages that the body is still hungry. Too much ghrelin and altered leptin signals is a terrible combination, especially if you want to lose weight! This often leads to obesity as well as diabetes.
The release of leptin is also controlled by another hormone—insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and controls the level of the sugar glucose in the blood. Insulin permits cells to use glucose for energy; therefore, a person experiences an energy crash when insulin levels fluctuate.
Sugars and carbs spike blood sugar levels quickly and cause a surge of insulin that plunges blood sugars too low, this in turn alters leptin levels and causes a person to feel hungry again. And as you grab for a mid-morning candy bar, the vicious cycle ensues.
Learn more about insulin here:
HEALTHY HAPPY GLUTEN-FREE PANCAKE RECIPE
3 organic eggs
1 to 2 cups baby spinach
1 to 2 bananas
½ cup chopped pecans or almonds
1 cup almond meal (you can also use rice flour, almond flour or coconut flour)
Fruit (if desired)
- Combine eggs, spinach and bananas in blender or food processer.
- Pour this mixture into a bowl and add almond meal.
- Stir in the chopped pecans or almonds.
- Stir in fruit, if desired, such as blueberries or strawberries
- Heat a few teaspoons of coconut oil in the frying pan and when hot, dollop the pancake mixture into the pain.
- Cook until bottom is brown; flip to the other side and cook until brown.
- Serve with organic maple syrup, organic butter and/or fruit topping.
 “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating”; Walter Willett and P. J. Skerrett; 2005.
Originally published in 2013, this post is regularly updated.