You’ve heard it before—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this opinion may be up for debate, there is no question that a breakfast packed with superfoods—aka nutrient-rich food items containing a variety of vitamins, minerals, and compounds—is an excellent way to start your day. As the first meal you eat to get the day going, breakfast replenishes glucose that has been used overnight, contributes to your daily need for calories and nutrients, and may even promote better mental and physical health.
Breakfast is a meal commonly enjoyed with a variety of sweet and savory items. While some may enjoy a veggie omelet with cheese and a side of toast, others may choose to have a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries. Those who often find themselves on the go may opt for a travel-friendly, light breakfast as they rush out the door, like a protein bar and banana. There is so much variety that can be incorporated into breakfast, and there is something for everyone. However, not all breakfast meals are created equally, and the foods you start your day with can impact your appetite, energy, and even concentration throughout the rest of the day.
While “superfood” technically isn’t a regulated term, it is often used to describe foods packed with valuable nutrients that contribute to health. Some of the nutrients most frequently found in superfoods include antioxidants, fiber, and beneficial fats like omega-3s. Because these superfood ingredients can have a beneficial impact on health, incorporating one or multiple superfoods into your breakfast could set you up for a productive day. While some may benefit brain function, others can aid attention, and some are known for promoting fullness.
This food is a breakfast staple for good reason. Whether you enjoy quick oats, steel cut, or old fashioned, oatmeal boasts a wide variety of nutrients that can promote overall health and may even help you have a better day. Oats are a source of soluble fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol and is also incredibly satiating. Has a rumbling stomach or hunger pangs ever distracted you from your work? If so, a breakfast higher in fiber could eliminate this distraction. Prepare you oats overnight for a quick meal in the morning, add a hearty scoop to your smoothie, or enjoy hot with some milk and berries in the morning for satiating breakfast options.
Packed with protein, eggs are another food known for aiding in satiety. For those used to having a slice of toast or bowl of cereal for breakfast, you likely notice hunger shortly after finishing your meal. This could distract you from your tasks and may even impact your energy level. Incorporating eggs into your breakfast is one way to create a more filling meal that also helps keep energy levels up. In fact, one study noted the individuals given an egg breakfast reported less hunger than those given a bran cereal breakfast. Additionally, eggs contain lutein, which is an antioxidant that aids in eye health. Increased satiety, antioxidant properties, and versatility are just a few reasons to enjoy eggs at breakfast. Hard boiled, scrambled, and fried, eggs can be added to breakfast in so many ways.
Whether incorporated in to your breakfast smoothie, oatmeal, or as a side to avocado toast, berries of all types are packed with valuable nutrients. Fiber, antioxidants, and a slew of vitamins and minerals are why berries can be considered a superfood. One cup of berries provides less than 100 calories and about 4 to 8 grams of fiber, depending on the variety. This makes berries a relatively low-calorie food with impressive satiety value due to the fiber. More importantly, berries contain a variety of phytonutrients that aid in several health conditions. Anthocyanins are one of the phytonutrients found in berries that is thought to protect the brain from mental decline, lower bodily inflammation, and possess anti-cancer properties.
Similar to oatmeal, Greek yogurt is incredibly versatile and can be a simple ingredient to add to your breakfast. Compared to traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is known for its protein content. This satiating nutrient enables Greek yogurt to be a filling food packed with important micronutrients. In addition to vitamins and minerals, Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that live in your gut and support digestive health. Research suggests probiotics can improve mental function as well. Greek yogurt can be mixed with your overnight oats, added to a smoothie, or enjoyed as a parfait with berries and chopped nuts.
Mildly nutty in flavor, hemp seeds are loaded with nutrients, including essential omega-3 fat. This specific type of fat is thought to benefit mental health with antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. Omega-3 fats also have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the mental decline often seen with aging. In addition to containing this healthy fat, hemp seeds also have fiber and protein, two satiating ingredients. Simply sprinkle hemp seeds over your oats or parfait, add them to your smoothie, or enjoy a spoonful for a quick nutrient boost to your meal.
Another source of fiber at your breakfast, whole grain bread could enable your breakfast to be more filling, keeping you satisfied throughout your morning. Whole grain foods break down slower in the body, leading to a more gradual release of sugar into the blood stream. This can also improve blood glucose levels following a meal, which could, in turn, support your energy and mood throughout your day. With plenty of benefits, whole grain toast is a nutritious and simple ingredient to add to your breakfast. Smear with your favorite nut butter or serve as a side to your eggs for a superfood-packed breakfast.
You’ve seen it on every brunch menu in the last few years, and avocado toast has become popular for good reasons. Avocado contains healthy fats and some protein, which could contribute to satiety at your breakfast. This versatile ingredient is also a source of potassium, a necessary nutrient that is reportedly underconsumed in the U.S. according to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Potassium helps maintain fluid balance within the body and can aid in lowering blood pressure, among other functions. Add some avocado to your blended smoothie or smear on toast for easy incorporations into your breakfast.
Similar to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is also packed with protein and valuable nutrients. Its protein content aids in satiety, helping you to feel fuller for longer. Cottage cheese also contains selenium, an antioxidant that protects the health of your cells and appears to reduce insulin resistance, a condition that could lead to elevated blood glucose and potential prediabetes and diabetes. Cottage cheese can be enjoyed in place of yogurt in a parfait, combined with avocado and spread over toast, or blended into your pancake batter.
Nuts are known for their healthy fat content and for being a source of antioxidants and protein. Studies have also linked nuts to brain and heart health benefits, too. Nut butters, in particular, are a simple means to incorporate more nuts into meals. Whether peanut, almond, or cashew butter, nut butters are a great superfood to include with breakfast because they are so nutrient dense and versatile. Plus, they can increase satiety and nutrient load at your breakfast. Spread some of your favorite nut butter on whole grain toast, or add a spoonful to oatmeal and smoothies. You can even mix nut butters into your favorite bread or pancake batter before baking.