10 Breakfast Options That Are Better for You Than Eggs Slideshow
May 10, 2017
Scramble up your morning routine with some new foods
Breakfast Options Better for You Than Eggs
Despite their impressive nutritional profile, eggs don’t have all the answers. As more people adopt a plant-based diet and become more aware of the dubious rearing conditions of egg-laying hens, a healthy, egg-less breakfast alternative grows increasingly appealing.
Yes, avocado toast has grown so ubiquitous that it can even be purchased at Starbucks — but darn it, avocados are delicious. An avocado tartine is similar to avocado toast in almost every way — it’s an open-face sliced avocado sandwich, drizzled with olive oil, and served upon a piece of crusty toast. Avocados have the nutritional profile of a multi-vitamin: They contain vitamins C, K, B5, B6, and E along with folate and potassium. They are also an important source of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat that has been linked to reduced inflammation.
In the grocery store, you never see a child getting too enthusiastic over the bran cereal, but since you’re an adult, it’s time to switch over to the dark (brown) side. Bran cereals contain magnesium, an underappreciated micronutrient that is responsible for 300 biochemical reactions, most notably the breaking down of glucose into energy. A lack of magnesium might lead to a mid-day energy crash — not ideal for an afternoon interview.
Breakfast Protein Shake
Nothing is easier than tossing a few ingredients into the blender and clicking “pulse.” Smoothies are versatile breakfasts, fitting any of your nutritional needs. Use any whey-, pea-, or soy-based protein powder and combine with liquid, nut butter, leafy greens, or fresh or frozen fruit. A protein shake keeps you feeling full longer, and is also an easy breakfast to bring in to work.
Chia Seed Pudding
These trendy little seeds are being used in everything from bacon and egg breakfast muffins to smoothies, but when soaked in liquid overnight (like this overnight chocolate chia seed pudding) they become pleasantly gelatinous. Think of chia seed pudding as a healthy version of Jell-O. The seeds are loaded with fiber — one ounce contains 11 grams. A small study showed that after eating chia seeds for 12 weeks, people with diabetes reported reduced feelings of hunger and improvements in blood sugar and blood pressure. Chia seed pudding is totally customizable, and its flavor is ultimately determined by the liquid chosen to reconstitute the seeds.
Congee (Rice Porridge)
Congee is a popular dish around most of Asia because of its cost, versatility, and ease of preparation. This rice porridge makes for a wonderfully comforting, savory breakfast and is usually served with a side of cooked vegetables or meat. It’s a humble dish, but a bowl of it in the morning will keep you feeling satisfied until lunch. A cup of plain congee has about 140 calories and almost no fat.
Cottage cheese is drained, but not pressed, which leaves it pleasantly chunky. Although it doesn’t contain the probiotics of other cultured dairy products, it is still rich in protein, which also makes it a great post-workout food. One cup of cottage cheese provides 25 grams of protein and is relatively low in fat. One study even showed cottage cheese to be just as filling and satisfying as eggs! Cottage cheese is growing trendier, so try mixing some together with fresh fruit and granola.
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt is strained to remove the liquid whey, which makes it thicker, creamier, and more protein-dense than conventional yogurts. Protein is more satiating than fats or carbohydrates, and as a result, makes you feel fuller for longer. Full-fat dairy products, like yogurt, contain conjugated linoleic acid — a fatty acid that has been found to increase weight loss and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Parfaits are a fun way to blend different flavors and textures into your morning meal.
Kasha is a form of buckwheat, which despite its name is not related to wheat — it’s actually the seed of a plant related to rhubarb rather than a true grain. In Russia and other Eastern European countries, kasha is served as porridge (although it is not as soupy as a congee). A quarter-cup of uncooked kasha contains six grams of protein and two grams of fiber, as well as sizeable quantities of magnesium and manganese. Kasha can be cooked in milk and topped with sweet or savory ingredients depending on your preferences.
Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
“Steel-cut” is a reference to the size of oats, which are chopped into pieces rather than rolled. They are larger and chewier and retain their toothsome texture even after cooking. Steel-cut oats are important breakfast foods because they contain a special fiber called beta-glucan that is linked to reducing cholesterol. Studies also show that the antioxidants in oats promote heart health and reduce blood pressure. Overnight oats take a little bit of planning, but are an easy way to have a delicious and healthy breakfast ready for you in the morning. Simply add dairy or non-dairy milk to dry oats and refrigerate overnight. Add some fruits, nuts, or granola to add some extra crunch and sweetness. If you’re looking for inspiration, try these 15 irresistible overnight oats recipes.
Rice and Beans
Rice and beans are a centuries-old food pairing because these two staple ingredients form a complete protein, meaning they offer all nine essential amino acids. (These nutrients are called “essential” because the human body needs them but can’t produce them on its own.) A plate of rice and beans is a breakfast staple in South America, and this food trend really should be adopted by Americans. Whole grains and legumes offer the fiber and carbohydrates required for a steady daily supply of blood sugar. With such a variety of beans to choose from, explore your grocery store and find out which ones serve your morning mood. Beans and rice also provide a blank canvas that’s just waiting to be illustrated with avocados, salsas, or other cooked vegetables.