Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and for good reason.
It is associated with improved mental focus and acuity and is an excellent opportunity to consume healthy foods that you may not consume at other times of the day.
Not to mention the fact that Breakfast is what I call a “healthy person habit” because those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less and have a lower risk for certain types of chronic disease.
So, what makes the ultimate Breakfast Of Champions??
There are four main components you are looking for.
In order for your breakfast to be considered a Breakfast of Champions, you should have at least two to three of these components present.
1. Fruit or Vegetables: The two most important food groups in the human diet. Although veggies may be challenging for some to visualize at breakfast ( omelettes aside) there is no excuse not to have a piece or 1/2 cup of fruit in the morning.
2. Whole Grain: Steel cut oatmeal, whole grain bread or a nice high fibre whole grain cereal all count here. These foods are ideal for providing sustained energy in the morning. Although not technically a grain, I generally also lump in potatoes and sweet potatoes ( skin intact) in this category.
3. Healthy Fat: The “it” word in nutrition. I used to hate using this word but I don’t mind it as much now because it is pretty clear that the fat in nuts, seeds and avocados is much more useful to us than the fat in other commonly consumed foods like butter. Your breakfast can meet this requirement by including half an avocado , 1/4 cup of nuts or 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter.
4. Protein: A true breakfast of champions should also include a protein source such as milk/yogurt ( cow or soy based) or some form of egg or even tofu scramble ( plant-based egg alternative). These foods are all high in protein and also are rich in nutrients which may not be found a densely in the other categories.
So, does your breakfast pass the breakfast of champions test?
In all fairness, a healthy breakfast could contain as few as two of these four components, especially if you are someone who snacks and eats frequently throughout the day.
But a true breakfast of champions, especially for those who only consume a few square meals daily, would ideally contain all four components.
Doing so will keep you physically and mentally energized, while also providing you the vitamins, minerals and healthful compounds you need to maintain good health.
Seems like a lot of food? Just remember the satiety that a good breakfast provides will carry you a long way during the day and help prevent unhealthy snacking, which is a major issue for most people.
Hope this helped!
Until next time,
Andy De Santis RD MPH