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Healthy breakfasts for adults: recommendations and ideas

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A proper breakfast every day is essential for a correct diet. This first meal of the day, after many hours of fasting while we sleep, is the one that provides us with the nutrients and energy we need to get going.

It is not enough to eat just anything for breakfast, so it is a good idea to learn how to prepare healthy breakfasts and create a habit that promotes good nutrition and general wellbeing.

Here is some information that will help you understand how to eat the right breakfast every day.

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Why is it important to eat breakfast?

Eating a good breakfast every day is not only satisfying from a gastronomic point of view and goes beyond satisfying the hunger we start the day with.

In general, eating a balanced daily breakfast is associated with improved performance, both physically and intellectually.

In addition, for adults, eating a full and healthy breakfast every day is also associated with optimal nutrient intake, making it easier to reach recommended intakes, avoiding nutritional deficits and helping to maintain a balanced diet.

However, all these benefits of eating breakfast every day will be obtained as long as we make a proper and healthy breakfast.

What should be included in a healthy breakfast?

A healthy and complete breakfast should include at least three food groups. Although we will see this in detail in the next section, we anticipate that the three main groups are dairy products, cereals and fruit.

In addition, whenever possible, it is recommended to supplement breakfast with a fourth food group.

This combines foods that provide different types and amounts of nutrients, which is essential to give our bodies everything they need for an optimal start to the day. That is:

  • Complex carbohydrates;
  • Fibre;
  • Proteins;
  • Fats (of adequate quality and quantity);
  • Vitamins;
  • And minerals.

Of course, we should also drink water to hydrate ourselves, and if you’re wondering what foods to include in your healthy breakfasts, don’t worry – below are some ideas for different combinations.

Recommended breakfast foods

Recommended foods to include in healthy breakfasts include:

  • Dairy, such as yoghurt, milk or cheese. Since an adult should have 2 to 3 servings of dairy a day, having the first dairy at breakfast is a great option.

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, you can opt for foods with a low lactose disaccharide content or choose lactose-free dairy products.

  • Cereals. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates and fibre, as well as protein and minerals such as phosphorus and potassium, among other nutrients.

We can have this food group in the form of bread, rice, breakfast cereals or muesli, granola, oats, etc. However, to make healthy breakfasts for adults, the ideal is to include wholegrain cereals or those made with whole-grain flours.

In addition, it will be important that these foods are unsweetened or, failing that, have the lowest possible sugar content; and, of course, avoid ultra-processed foods.

  • Fruits. This is an essential food group for a complete, balanced and healthy diet. Among other things, fruits provide us with vitamins, especially A and C, and a high amount of fibre.

The ideal is to eat the fruit fresh and whole, as this is the best way to take advantage of all the fibre (in the form of a smoothie or milkshake and, above all, in the form of juice, some of it is lost).

Other foods that we can use to prepare a complete and healthy breakfast are nuts, extra virgin olive oil, butter, ham, etc.

How to prepare healthy breakfasts

As we have seen, dairy, fruit and cereals should be the three priority groups when planning healthy breakfasts for adults.

In other words, we should include foods from these groups at each breakfast, with the possibility of adding a fourth component from another group to enrich the first meal of the day.

For example, we could include Serrano ham for more protein, although dairy and grains already provide a certain amount of protein. 

In any case, in order to have a balanced breakfast, the variety and proportions of foods must be taken into account.

For example, to include cereals we can opt for 1-2 pieces of bread about 4 fingers thick, 20-40 g of breakfast cereals or 3 tablespoons of oatmeal; but not all of them at the same time. If we include these three foods and no fruit, our breakfast would not be balanced.

In addition to each breakfast, it is also important to provide variety and balance throughout the day. In other words, we should structure the week’s breakfasts so that, as a whole, they provide us with the right variety of nutrients.

Ideally, throughout the week, we should alternate a variety of fruits, protein sources, types of cereals, etc. This will also add dynamism to our breakfasts and motivate us to consolidate the habit of eating a healthy breakfast every day.

Similarly, we should minimise the presence of less healthy foods or products, such as fats and sugars.

Examples of healthy breakfasts for adults

Here is a short list of ideas for healthy breakfasts for adults combining different foods from both the priority and additional food groups.

  • Milk, toast with serrano ham and tomato and a piece of fruit (e.g. an apple).
  • Orange juice, avocado toast and yoghurt with nuts.
  • Infusion or tea sweetened with honey, nuts and a bowl of yoghurt with strawberries.
  • Milk, orange juice and a crêpe, made with oat or buckwheat flour; with banana, cocoa cream and raspberries.
  • A bowl of milk with granola and assorted fruit.
  • A mango juice, a yoghurt with fruit and a pancake with cottage cheese, almonds and honey.
  • An infusion, a bowl of yoghurt with kiwi and chia and a couple of biscotti with Serrano ham and olive oil.

As you can see, there are a number of possible combinations, but best of all, healthy breakfasts help to develop, reinforce and/or maintain the habit of healthy eating.

In other words, it helps us to learn to eat better and makes it easier for us to transfer this good habit to other meals of the day, for example by preparing healthy snacks and balanced dinners.

Do you dare to eat a healthy breakfast every day?

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