Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it revs up your metabolism, builds up your energy for the day and makes you just feel good. The key? Eat a high-protein and low-carb balanced breakfast. When you sleep, your body is in fasting mode. So the moment you wake up, you need to pump it up with energy, otherwise it will enter starvation mode, and store more fat, versus burn it. The next step is eating a consistent meal every morning, which studies have shown to reduce the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases.
Wondering about ideal morning beverages? Try grapefruit juice, instead of orange juice. Grapefruit juice is the morning rival to orange juice. It’s packed with potassium, Vitamin A and C, it’s a healthy choice among other citrus morning beverages. Grapefruit technically isn’t a negative-calorie food, but it’s still fairly low in calories, delivering only 74 calories per cup. Grapefruit contains naringenin, an antioxidant derived from the bitter flavor of grapefruits, which triggers the liver to break down fat.
Eating a healthy breakfast each morning will keep you fuller longer and throughout the day, keeping you from snacking. Those who don’t eat breakfast reduce their metabolic rate by 10 percent.
Skipping breakfast can also lead to low energy. We rely on breakfast to kick start our metabolism after a good night’s sleep. The body continues to burn through food and nutrients even as we sleep, leaving our stores depleted by morning. A meal shortly after waking up is important to replenish these depleted energy stores and energize the body.
Breakfast Ideas to Try This Week
Egg Cupcakes: These are super easy to make, divided in a muffin tin and perfect for reheating on-the-go. And it’s a muffin without the carbs. Get the recipe here.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal: If you have a microwave or hot water at your disposal, try these customized oatmeal packets. Purchase pre-made oatmeal packets, assemble in Ziploc baggies and use rolled oats, cinnamon and add-ins like raisins and nuts.
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie: Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie recipe for the morning rush. Blend 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen fruit (banana and berries work very well) with ½ cup liquid (milk, juice, coconut water—whatever you like). Freeze overnight and thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon, or blend up in the morning.
Breakfast Quinoa Bites: Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, 2 eggs, 1 cup your favorite veggies (spinach or zucchini work well), 1 cup shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Portion into a lightly-greased mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. These are easy to bring along and delicious to enjoy warm or cold.
Pumpkin/Yogurt/Avocado Smoothie: A great smoothie for healthier looking skin, and you’ll be full throughout the morning. Canned pumpkin boasts 17mg of beta-carotene and 12mg of alpha-carotene per cup. Both of these carotenoids are converted by the body into retinol, one of the precursors to vitamin A. The retinol combines with fat molecules from the avocado and yogurt, forming vitamin A, an essential skin nutrient, which helps cell growth and replenishment.
Dr. David Samadi is the chairman of urology and chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel.