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Best Foods to Eat in the Morning

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what foods should you be eating when you wake up?

Photo by THE 5TH

Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. You know this; it's been drilled into you since you were a child and your mother forced you to eat something before rushing off to school. The real question is: what are the best foods to eat in the morning?

Not eating in the morning can have a big effect for your body. With your body's food rhythm thrown out of sync, your blood sugar levels are generally pretty low and you need that to get your brain and muscles working the way they should. Without breakfast, you'll suffer from that all too familiar feeling of having no energy.

Sure, you could go for a full and fatty fry-up or polish off last night's leftover pizza, but that's not exactly the best way to start your day. What you need is some strong nutrients and vitamins from some of the healthiest foods on this list—the absolute best foods to eat in the morning.

Eggs

Photo by Brina Blum

To the surprise of precisely no one, eggs are the perfect way to start your day. The reason is pretty simple, too, since eggs fill you up. And if you're full, you're less likely to start snacking before lunch, thereby reducing your calorie intake at the next meal. They also help with maintaining blood sugar levels as well as insulin levels, keeping your brain and muscles ticking well until lunchtime. The only real question is, do you have them sunny side down or sunny side up?

Coffee

Photo by Glen Carrie

Even if you're a diehard tea drinker, having a coffee with your breakfast is still a good idea. That's because the caffeine intake keeps you alert, helping you perform your morning tasks much better and with quicker reaction times. This is because the main effect of caffeine is to block out Adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can prevent your brain from getting all fired up. Better yet, particularly for those who wake up feeling a little grouchy in the morning, coffee has been shown to vastly improve your mood.

Green Tea

Photo by Annie Spratt

If you don't like coffee and really want a brew, it's best to go for green tea. Like most teas, it's packed full of vitamin B, naturally produced folic acid, and a ton of antioxidants. It only contains 35-70mg of caffeine—so roughly half the amount of a cup of coffee—but it has been shown to give a serious boost to memory and cognition. That's pretty handy, especially in the morning, when your bleary-eyed fuzzy head needs all the help it can to figure out which shoe goes on what foot.

Chia Seeds

Photo via PureChia

Originally known as the plants that grew on top of animal model chia pets, nowadays they're much more than just a novelty item for kids, and are likely to be eaten by those looking for the best foods to eat in the morning (the seeds, not the pets). These are widely considered to be a superfood, since they're chockful of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. That means they increase the rate in which food shifts through the digestive tract, and give you that warm fuzzy feeling of fullness after eating them.

Flaxseeds

Photo via Grist

Fancy adding even more seeds to your morning diet? Flaxseeds are one of the best foods to eat in the morning because, like chia seeds, they contain plenty of fiber, so they help you feel full for a solid few hours. Better yet, it's thought that they may be able to improve your insulin sensitivity, and also reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. And they're pretty delicious too. You can find flaxseeds in a whole range of other foodstuffs as well, from crackers to oatmeal, which can add a bit of variety to your morning meal.

Nuts

Photo by Joshua Newton

One of the worst feelings associated with eating is not feeling like you've had anything, with your stomach rumbling around 10:00 AM, and then the snacking begins. If that sounds familiar, better get yourself some nuts. They're great at filling you up as well as boosting your mood. The best nuts to eat are walnuts and Brazil nuts, since they're both full of omega-3, while Brazil nuts also contain selenium, which helps stave off depression, anxiety, and irritability. Almonds are also an excellent option, as they're rich in calcium and vitamin E, which helps you maintain healthier, better looking skin.

Fruit

Photo by Tim Gouw

It's a no-brainer. Fruits aren't just one of the best foods to eat in the morning; they're one of the best foods to eat at any time. All kinds of fruits are crammed with vitamins, potassium, and fiber, while being lower in calories than a lot of other morning foods. Fruits like oranges contain vast quantities of vitamin C, and keep your blood pressure levels steady, while their bioflavonoid content can help keep your heart healthy. Fruits with antioxidants help in repairing damaged cells. One thing that pretty much all fruits do is perk up your energy levels, keeping you a lot more active. That's not a bad extra benefit for some of the tastiest food out there.

Greek Yogurt

Photo by Milada Vigerova

What better way to kick off your day than with Greek yogurt? It's a beautifully creamy concoction made from strained whey and the liquids from curd. The main draw for Greek yogurt, besides that fluffy texture and the delicious taste, is that the yogurt has a far higher concentration of proteins in it than its standard yogurt counterpart. That means that it can help curb your hunger, assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, while also reducing general muscle loss. That's a triple win.

Oatmeal

Photo by Jennifer Pallian

Oats are another fine source of that all-important fiber, but this is a very unique type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Essentially, this is the Superman of fiber, since it has an absolute wealth of health benefits, such as improving your cholesterol levels, keeping your heart healthy and also maintaining your blood sugar levels. That's in addition to all the work it does stimulating your immune system. Most of the oats you can pick up in stores are completely natural, too, and have been shown to control weight, while they may also help with reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type-2 diabetes. You can cook up a nice, oaty meal pretty quickly too, which is handy if you're in a rush to get to work, school, or just start your day.

Berries

Photo by Roberta Sorge

Like fruit, but want less sugar? Then berries are the way to go, especially since they contain a whole lot more fiber than other fruit options, and we all know that fiber is an excellent addition to your morning diet. Pick up some raspberries and blackberries, not just because they're awesomely delicious, but because for every cup of them you eat, you'll pick up 8 grams of fiber.

Protein Shake

Photo by Xochi Romero

One of the best foods to eat in the morning—or more accurately, drink—is a protein shake. Protein shakes are typically associated with people who go to the gym, but even if you're not on an exercise regime, there are still plenty of great reasons to down a protein shake in the morning. For one thing, it reduces your appetite far more than other types of protein; additionally, there are plenty of varieties out there to suit your mood, taste and diet, like eggs, whey and soya.

Cottage Cheese

This is another bundle of protein wrapped up inside something utterly delicious. Thanks to that protein, you'll find yourself with an increased metabolism, which converts food into fuel for your body (always helpful, especially in the mornings). As with many other foods on this list, you'll also find yourself feeling far less hungry after polishing off cottage cheese, since it fills you up and reduces ghrelin, which is known as the "hunger hormone."

It's been proven over and over that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day—it helps keep you healthy, lowers cholesterols that aren't good for you, and keeps your brain active, improving both memory and concentration. So what did you have for breakfast today? Now that you know some of the best foods to eat in the morning, there's no excuse to not grab something healthy and start your day the right way.

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