It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and recent research confirms it! According to a study done by the University of Missouri-Columbia, a protein-rich breakfast can have huge benefits for your health such as preventing gains of body fat, reducing daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilizing glucose levels. On top of that, protein is also known to reduce muscle loss and has been recently shown to fight chronic pain.
The next time you start breakfast, remember to throw in some extra protein. It will help you throughout the day and your body will be thankful.
Benefits of a high-protein breakfast
If you have heard that most people in the U.S. get enough protein in the day, then you might be a little confused on why you should bother with a high-protein breakfast. The truth is that while we generally get enough protein, it is for the most part consumed for dinner.
Most people get enough, but without a proper distribution of protein throughout the day, you are losing out on a variety of benefits that could make for a healthier and better self. In fact, less than a quarter of the average person’s protein is consumed at breakfast and that is only for those who actually eat it.
Adding in more protein
There are some tips and tricks to get more protein into your mornings. Always make sure to pick foods that are high in protein, but do not also carry other medical risks. For instance, always try to avoid fatty meats and processed foods when looking for your protein add-ons.
To pack your morning with that extra-needed protein, try any of the following:
- Eggs are always a great way to bump up your protein. Throw a poached or hard-boiled egg in a tortilla, or use egg whites in a delicious omelet or scramble to cut out the cholesterol, but still get a good kick of protein.
- Throwing nuts on anything can really liven up a meal. You can add nuts to your cereal, peanut butter to your toast, or bake up a whole plate of almond scones.
- Protein powder always supplies a huge boost of protein (duh!), but you can get creative with it and add it to oatmeal or a DIY pancake mix to hide its not always so tasty flavor.
- Greek yogurt is your friend and a great addition to a breakfast lacking in protein. It goes perfectly with some granola or on the side with some fruit. You can experiment with substituting all kinds of things with Greek yogurt as well, like sour cream or butter and oil when baking.
- Lean meat seems obvious, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. Animal protein is still the primary way we ingest protein and is highly advantageous as long as it is a quality meat product. Try using lean pork, chicken, or turkey sausages instead of bacon. It’s still super tasty, but you won’t have to worry about the high fat content causing greater inflammation.
Need even more ideas? Check out these tips from healthyeating.org.
Why should pain patients focus on protein?
A protein-rich breakfast is good for everyone as it helps the body build and maintain lean muscle. It’s also great for curbing those nasty hunger cravings during the day. Protein can also help you recover from the soreness and fatigue after exercising.
For those with a chronic pain condition, a higher protein intake can have even greater benefits like reducing arterial stiffness and lowering blood pressure. Certain high-protein foods also have many secondary effects. For example, the probiotics in Greek yogurt can help with stomach pain, the magnesium in whole grains can help fight muscle pain, and omega-3 fatty acids found in high-protein foods like seafood and nuts can reduce inflammation. Protein has also been shown to be effective in controlling blood sugar levels as well as improving heart disease risk in people with diabetes.
It’s not surprising then that adding more of these foods to your breakfast can help you manage your pain throughout the day. Always be smart when making changes to your diet, but adding more protein to your breakfast is a pretty safe bet.
Get started today with some great recipes
Now that we’ve discussed its benefits, lets get to the good stuff. FOOD! Too often healthy meals are synonymous with bland and tasteless. So instead of making you suffer, here are a few ideas to get you up and running. Not only are they jam-packed with protein, but they are so delicious you will be wondering why it took you so long to start adding more protein into your breakfasts!
Yes. You read that correctly. This amazing recipe includes eggs, meat, and veggies stuffed into a cup. Not only does this recipe provide 30g of protein for less than 300 calories, but it can also be created in about 5 minutes. Quick, easy, healthy, and scrumptious. What more could you possibly ask for in a meal?
Are you ready to say what? The key to this protein-rich breakfast is the cottage cheese. An odd thought, but well worth it since it provides 28g of protein for a single cup. Even if you are not a huge fan, it can be forgiven as it is mixed with other flavorful foods like blueberries and vanilla extract so you won’t even know it is there (but your body will).
This parfait layers together appetizing fruits, cereal, protein-rich Greek yogurt, almonds, and walnuts. While this amazing recipe yields only a single serving, it is very simple to make enough to last you the entire week. It’s always easier to eat healthy if you don’t have to decide what to cook each morning.
What is your go-to breakfast food?