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We’ve all heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you more energy, more focus, and a healthier life. But what do you know about the importance of protein-heavy breakfasts? Here’s a hint: it could be the best breakfast choice you’ll ever make.
To give you an idea, here are just some of the reasons why protein for breakfast is a great idea.
Protein fills you up
Most of us lead busy lives, so we need a breakfast that will get us through to the next meal. Who can perform well at work or get things done when you’re hangry? No one.
It helps you lose weight
Along with filling you up, healthy protein-packed breakfasts also balance out your digestion for the rest of the day. In fact the International Journal of Obesity conducted a study in which participants who ate a protein-rich breakfast consumed 26 fewer calories at lunch than participants who consumed the same amount of calories for breakfast but less protein.
It builds muscle
Even if you’re not a bodybuilder, maintaining your muscle mass is an issue that all of us will face eventually. Losing muscle mass can greatly impact your quality of life as you age, so it’s critical to be eating plenty of protein and living an active lifestyle.
Now that you’re sold on the powers of protein, you might be wondering how to add more protein to your breakfast regimen.
To help you out, here are 11 fantastic protein choices you definitely need to try:
Good old-fashioned eggs are the default choice for a protein-packed breakfast, but why not try a recipe with a little more kick? This one from the Huffington Post contains two scrambled eggs, a quarter cup of black beans, a quarter cup of diced sautéed onion, and pico de gallo all wrapped up in a corn tortilla. For a little extra heat add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Between the eggs and the beans, this Southwestern combo packs 25 grams of protein altogether.
Oatmeal is a breakfast classic, and it can also be the answer to all your protein dreams. Try this delicious combo from S. News Health: a three-quarter cup of dry oatmeal cooked with one and a quarter cups of skim milk, one chopped apple, and a quarter cup of chopped walnuts. Add cinnamon and honey for flavor and you’ve just made yourself a breakfast with 24 grams of protein. Winning.
Most bakery muffins are loaded with 300 to 500 calories, but not all muffins are guilty pleasures. This banana oat recipe from Men’s Fitness is packed with eight grams of protein, fewer than 100 calories, and only one measly gram of fat. You can add even more protein to this delicious breakfast by spreading a tablespoon of peanut butter on your muffin (four more grams of protein) and drinking a cup of skim milk (eight more grams). Sounds awesome to me.
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should be eating at least two to three cups of vegetables daily—and apparently 87% of American adults are coming up short on their vegetables. So start eating vegetables early with a healthy, green breakfast. Toss together half a cup of shelled soybeans, half a cup of chopped tomato, and one ounce of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle on balsamic vinegar and add a whole-wheat breadstick and you just ate 25 grams of protein in one meal.
Plenty of us have eaten smoothies with milk or yogurt, but have you ever tried kefir? This power-packed yogurt substitute is basically a cultured probiotic beverage—drinkable yogurt if you will. And just one cup of kefir contains 11 whole grams of protein. Click the link above for a delicious kefir smoothie recipe from the Healthy Food Economist that contains only three ingredients and an optional flavor enhancer. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Did you know that just one cup of cottage cheese contains a whopping 28 grams of protein? True fact. Beyond the protein, this dairy product also comes with calcium and vitamin A. Start your morning with a creative cottage cheese bowl. Just cut a cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds, then use the center of the melon as your cottage cheese bowl. Enjoy!
This scrumptious recipe from homemadenutrition.com packs two incredible protein sources into one tasty breakfast: farro grain and Greek yogurt. Farro is a grain that dates all the way back to ancient Rome and contains vitamins A and E, iron, magnesium, and 14 grams of protein in every half cup. And just six ounces of plain Greek yogurt also contains 14 grams of protein. Altogether this parfait recipe contains over 30 grams of protein goodness.
This breakfast-on-the-go is a great option when you’re in a time crunch. Find a high quality protein drink that combines whey and micellar casein to help you feel fuller longer. Add frozen fruit, nut butters, and your favorite milk or milk alternative for a high protein breakfast.
Ricotta cheese is another secret protein weapon that most people don’t know about. Just one cup of this cheese contains 28 grams of protein, so why not pair it with your eggs? This delicious recipeis filled with dark leafy greens, part-skim ricotta cheese, plenty of eggs, and a warming blend of spices. Plus each little wedge is packed with 14 grams of protein.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, and many of them are an easy source of protein too. In fact, just half a cup of almonds contains 16 grams of protein. Try out this decadent almond porridge recipe filled with honey, cinnamon, coconut milk, and ground almonds for a tasty breakfast that’s got plenty of protein for your morning.
This egg sandwich comes with an extra kick. And don’t get scared off by the bacon! The recipe calls for lean turkey bacon, a whole wheat English muffin, your favorite style of egg, and spicy jalapeño peppers to keep you on your toes. Honestly 21 grams of protein has never tasted this good.