Start the day off right by giving your first meal a healthy boost!

If there’s one habit that dieticians and nutritionists want you to get into, it’s eating a balanced breakfast. Starting your morning with a healthy meal can set you up for better choices during the rest of your day, and it can also help you to meet the daily recommendations for certain food groups and nutrients. Not to mention, studies have shown that people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower BMI than those who skip it and also tend to burn more calories throughout the day. Which is why having a few healthy breakfast tips in your back pocket is important for starting your day off right.

But before you grab a fistful of sugary cereal on your way out the door, keep this in mind: eating breakfast is only healthy if you’re choosing the right foods. In order to reap these benefits, you’ll need to think about the quality of your breakfast by incorporating ingredients that are energising, satiating, and packed with a wide variety of important nutrients.

On hectic mornings when you’ve hit the snooze button a few too many times, it can be tough to quickly compile a meal that’s going to keep you satisfied until lunchtime. As it turns out, though, building a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to take a lot of effort – just heed these expert-approved tips. Read on for healthy breakfast tips.

Include an antioxidant source

Did you know that antioxidants can defend your body from certain biochemical changes that occur as a result of stress? That’s why dieticians and nutritionists advise incorporating at least one food with antioxidants into your breakfast – especially when you have a long, intense workday ahead. It’s as simple as adding blueberries to your Greek yogurt parfait or kale to your green smoothie.

Choose whole grains

Experts agree that starting your day on the right foot nutritionally speaking means opting for whole grains over refined grains (like muffins and cereals with enriched wheat flour). Whole grains will increase the fibre content of your breakfast, helping keep you full for longer periods of time and stabilise your blood sugars.

Keep the sweet stuff to a minimum

You might want to think twice before grabbing that pastry on your way to work – starting your day with a hefty dose of sugar isn’t exactly going to set you up for success. Added sugars are empty calories, providing no vitamins or minerals and no fibre to create the feeling of fullness. While our bodies can use sugar for energy, excess sugars have no benefit and can contribute to weight gain. In fact, studies have found that people who eat sugary breakfasts have about 10 per cent higher total daily sugar intake compared to people who chose non-sugary breakfasts. So, look for products with zero grams added sugars when possible – and try to limit your total added sugars to no more than 25 grams a day for women and 36 grams a day for men.

Don’t forget about protein

Speaking of blood sugar crashes, one way to avoid them is to include a protein source in your breakfast. For example, an egg with your avocado toast, cottage cheese with your fruit bowl, or almond butter to your muffin. You can even add protein powder to oats, smoothies, homemade waffles, and pancakes to boost their staying power.

Enjoy a cup of coffee

Good news, coffee lovers: your morning cup of coffee could actually be a healthy habit. It’s been controversial in the past but recent evidence has shown that coffee may be beneficial in reducing risk or severity of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of liver disease. Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols which may contain anti-inflammatory properties. Home-brewed coffee is the best and the less sugar, the better.

Make room for fruits and veggies

The more colourful your breakfast, the better. Fresh or frozen, fruits and vegetables can add so much to your breakfast, both in terms of flavour/texture and nutrient content. They will up the micronutrient and fibre content of your breakfast without adding a significant amount of calories. Not sure where to start? Try tossing some tomatoes or spinach into an omelet, adding sliced banana to whole-wheat toast with nut butter, or topping your chia pudding bowl with berries.

Get nutty

One of the best ways to up the nutritional value of your breakfast is simply by adding nuts into the mix. Nuts are a great source of fibre, unsaturated fatty acids, protein, magnesium, potassium, and many more vitamins and minerals. Increasing your intake of nuts just half a portion a day has been associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, reduced weight gain, and lower rates of obesity in long-term studies.