4 things a healthy breakfast should include

(BPT) - Everyone has heard, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but why?

According to Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, there are extensive benefits to starting the day with a nutritious meal.

"The name breakfast means to 'break the fast' that happens when you don't eat overnight," said Blatner. "Because your mind and body are waking up, you need to give it the right fuel for the day."

Eating a sizable breakfast, a modest lunch and light dinner can help fuel your body and work positively with your metabolism as well. This is where the saying, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper" comes from.

Blatner said eating a wholesome breakfast packed with nutrients helps you maintain energy and peak brain function, something you need for work and kids need at school. She also noted that the right breakfast works with your natural metabolic process throughout the day, and can have a positive impact on weight.

"Skipping breakfast puts your body in a panic mode, wondering when it will be getting its next meal," Blatner said. "If you go too long without eating, it can cause you to overeat when you do finally eat, and your body wants to store those excess calories rather than burning them consistently throughout the day. This can also cause peaks and pits with energy levels."

Eating breakfast is a smart idea for the present, but it also may have a positive health impact in the future, too. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found there was an increased risk of cardiovascular-related death, especially due to stroke, for those who skipped breakfast.

4 steps to a healthy breakfast

But what exactly should a healthy breakfast include? Blatner offers some ideas:

Whole grains: Feel fuller for longer by eating whole-grain toast, whole-grain cereal or oatmeal.

Lean protein: Eggs are excellent, but not all eggs are equal. Eggland’s Best eggs have 25 percent less saturated fat, more than double the omega-3s, 10 times more vitamin E, and more than double the amount of vitamin B12. Eggland’s Best’s patented method of production and verification ensures that every Eggland’s Best egg has these superior qualities.

Fruits and vegetables: Fresh produce provides super-charged nutrients and plenty of fiber. Add a handful of berries, sliced avocado or spinach to your breakfast creations.

Low-fat dairy: Get your daily dose of calcium with low-fat yogurt, cheese or milk.

Be inspired by this recipe that can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Make it Monday and have a week's worth of breakfast ready to go. Pair with fresh fruit or whole-grain toast to feel satisfied and have lasting energy.

Ingredients:

8-10 Eggland's Best extra large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of black pepper and kosher salt

Pinch of cumin

Small sheet pan 18" x 26" with at least 2 inches in height to prevent spillage

Directions:

Whisk eggs, milk, spices. Gently pour on sheet pan.

Place in oven at 375 F for 10-12 minutes. Remove or gently pull out the oven rack, stir eggs on the sheet pan with wooden spatula, then slide back in oven.

Place sheet pan back in oven for about 8–10 minutes or until eggs are scrambled to your liking.

Remove from oven and stir again.

Serve hot with toppings, like peppers and cilantro, or store in airtight container for later.

Alternatively, you can bake the eggs for 15-17 minutes without scrambling and then slice into baked egg squares.

Optional toppings: cheese, avocado, salsa, etc.

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