Everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, what exactly to eat for breakfast is often a cause for confusion. After a long night of sleeping the body requires vitamins, minerals, energy and protein in order to operate at peak efficiency again. The easiest way to do this is with a healthy protein-packed breakfast.
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Why Protein Offers A Better Way To Start Your Day
Many people are used to a carbohydrate-based breakfast, containing cereals, bread, pastries or fruit. While these types of breakfast options are light and easy, they also have a high glycemic load, causing a rise of glucose in the body, which in turn results in increased insulin production. The result is a quick energy burst followed by a crash, causing tiredness and even cravings.
On the other hand, opting for a protein-based breakfast results in blood sugar that is more consistent. Glucose is released slower, which results in greater satiety for longer. In a study performed by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursery, it was found that eating a high-protein breakfast resulted in fewer calories eaten at lunch. Studies have also found protein-rich breakfast to be effective for appetite control.
Why Protein Is So Important
As protein is used by cells throughout the entire body its importance cannot be understated. Everything from nails and skin to muscles and blood rely on protein to stay healthy. In addition to producing enzymes and hormones, protein also assists with repairing and building bodily tissues.
What Are The Options?
Preparing delicious and filling high-protein breakfasts doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Here are seven simple options that are easy to prepare and will help to start your day right. Don’t worry if you are used to skipping breakfast, either, as it only takes three days for the body to make the adjustment for eating earlier in the day.
Yogurt is one of the easiest ways to load up on protein in the morning, and one serving of Greek yogurt can contain up to 14 grams. To sweeten the yogurt without resorting to sugar, add some fiber-rich berries to it. You can increase the protein content even more by sprinkling the yogurt with nuts, seeds or high-protein cereal.
2. Breakfast Quesadillas
With almost 20g of protein per serving, a breakfast quesadilla with scrambled eggs and vegetables is a healthy and filling breakfast option. It can be prepared and cooked in about thirty minutes, but can be made without any dairy or gluten.
Use large, gluten-free corn tortillas along with eggs, canned black beans, tomato, red onion, avocado coconut milk, and chopped cilantro to prepare this delicious meal. Instead of cheese the quesadilla is held together by the scrambled eggs and avocado while the beans up the protein content.
3. Banana Oats Muffins
Bakery muffins tend to be high in sugar, sodium and fat, often containing up to 500 calories per serving, so a healthier option is to bake your own. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and use cooking spray on a muffin tray.
Blend 1 banana, 4 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, ¾ cup oats, ¾ cup egg whites, ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder and ¼ cup sugar substitute together until smooth. Fill the muffin tray with the mixture, and then bake it until ready.
It takes about 17 minutes, but if you can insert a fork in the muffins and then remove without the mixture sticking to it, you’ll know it is done. The muffins can be made in less than 30 minutes, and each one contains less than 100 calories.
For even more protein spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on a muffin, and wash it down with a cup of fat-free milk.
4. Baked Denver Omelet
A baked Denver omelet can yield up to six servings and can be dished up in about 40 minutes. To prepare it, whisk together 5 eggs, ¼ cup milk and 1 teaspoon hot sauce, along with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat 1-½ teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat, and then add half a cup of diced yellow onions along with half a cup of diced bell peppers. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and then let it cook for five minutes while stirring occasionally. Then add a ½-cup of diced ham steak, and let it all cook for another minute.
Top the ham and vegetables with the egg mixture before sprinkling on a ½-cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Finally, place everything in the oven, and leave it to bake for about 25 minutes or until the top of the omelet is set and golden.
A single serving of this delicious omelet offers up to 30 grams of protein, and the leftovers are also great for reheating the next day.
Making a smoothie with one cup of non-fat plain yogurt will provide you with nine grams of protein, while using one cup of non-fat milk has eight grams. For 11 grams of protein, swap to plain non-fat kefir instead. It is a cultured probiotic beverage that contains beneficial yeast along with vitamins and minerals. Kefir also has easily digestible complete proteins.
6. Chickpea Flour Scramble
With 33 grams of protein per serving, you can’t go wrong with Chickpea Flour Scramble for breakfast. With only ten minutes of preparation and fifteen minutes cook time, it can also be whipped up in a flash.
For the chickpea flour batter use, ½ cup of chickpea flour, 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp kala namak, 1 tbsp. flax seed meal, ½ tsp baking powder and ½ cup of water.
Blend all of this together and keep it aside. Then heat ½ tsp oil over medium heat before adding ¼ cup of chopped onions and 1 clove of garlic. After about three minutes, add two tablespoons each of green bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus or other vegetables along with half a green chili. Cook for two minutes and then add either 2 tbsp. chopped red bell pepper or tomato cilantro.
Pour the flour batter you made earlier over the vegetables, and let it cook for two minutes before drizzling ½ tsp oil on the edges. Then scramble the mixture while letting it continue to cook.
Scrape the bottom and let the mix cook for another two minutes before scrambling it again. When it is ready, let it sit off heat for about two minutes, and then break it into smaller chunks while sprinkling it with black pepper.
7. Banana And Cottage Cheese
Few things beat banana when it comes to tasty food that you can just grab and go, especially when you are pressed for time in the mornings. To increase the protein content, simply add a single-serving cup of cottage cheese to your banana.
Not only does it add 28 grams of protein to the mix, but also some much needed vitamin A along with calcium.