25. April 2022

Healthy Breakfast – The Best Start to Your Day

Breakfast is supposedly the most important meal of the day. But is this true? And what does a healthy breakfast look like? Read all about it here. 

Healthy Breakfast – The Best Start to Your Day

Many of us are familiar with the saying: ‘‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’’. This is true for some individuals, and definitely true for the food industry. Certain breakfast foods like cereals, oatmeals, smoothies, juices, ready-made products etc. can be a real cash cow. Supermarket aisles are lined with a variety of breakfast foods but how healthy are these meals, really? And is breakfast really the most important meal, or can/should we do without it?

Contents of this article:

  • Breakfast: to eat or not to eat?
  • What does a healthy breakfast look like?
  • Sweet mornings?
  • Vegan, vegetarian, low carb: The 50 Shades of Breakfast
  • Smoothie bowl kick-start
  • 4 easy recipes for a healthy breakfast

Breakfast: to eat or not to eat?

Should you start your day with breakfast? This question has been the topic of heated debate for a while now, with room-splitting opinions. Scientific studies have addressed this question too, aiming to establish a positive (or negative) influence of breakfast. Opinions on this topic are plentiful, and polarising, dividing groups into breakfast fanatics and breakfast deniers. So, what’s accurate? Should you have breakfast or not? Simple: listen to your body. Did you wake up hungry? Or are you still full from dinner? Your first meal of the day, whether it's breakfast, brunch or lunch (or even dinner?!), depends entirely on your personal preference, your lifestyle and your food habits.

People who are very active and exercise frequently are much likelier to have a larger appetite than someone who spends the majority of the day sitting or lying down. Similarly, the time and size of your last meal will influence whether you feel like having breakfast or not. So to a certain degree, having breakfast is a question of intuitive eating. Curious about intuitive eating? We’ve got an entire article devoted to this topic. Other factors like weather and time of year can also influence your morning appetite. Warm, summer days can suppress feelings of hunger, causing even the most die-hard breakfast fans to skip it once in a while. Whereas cold, dark days maybe call for a little morning pick-me-up.

The question, whether breakfast should be eaten or not, doesn’t have an easy or obvious answer. While we sleep, our body burns about half the calories that we’ve consumed the day before. So regardless of what time you choose to eat, eventually you need to replenish your energy reserves to have an energised, active day.

What does a healthy breakfast look like?

A bowl of cereal is a quick and easy option in the morning. It’s also delicious, but this is unsurprising when you consider the high amounts of sugar, additives and flavour enhancers found in conventional cereal brands. If you’d rather opt for a nutritious and wholesome breakfast that will keep you full for more than 5 minutes, we recommend selecting something like oats, millet or spelt flakes paired with fresh fruit like strawberries, apples or bananas to cover your vitamin needs. For those who want something extra-satiating, we recommend whole grain breads made from spelt, rye or multigrain topped with vegetables, spreads, cheeses and ham (vegan or regular). Before you purchase anything, please remember to read through the ingredient list. Some vegan dairy or meat products contain added sugar, saturated fats or unwanted additives. If you want to read more about vegan meat alternatives, we’ve put together the important facts together for you.

The ideal healthy breakfast should consist of important macro and micronutrients. It should be a combination of carbohydrates (bread, oats), protein (yoghurt, cheese or milk), unsaturated fats (e.g. avocados, almonds) and fibre. Your breakfast should correspond with your personal nutrition goals, as well as within the definition of a balanced diet, discover more about what a balanced diet is here. Last but not least, drinks are a major component of breakfast. Tea, coffee, matcha…for some this is all the breakfast they have. Some nutritionists have underlined the benefits of starting your day with a warm glass of water to kick start your metabolism and prepare it for imminent food intake. A cup of coffee or tea are a perfectly appropriate part of a balanced, healthy breakfast. However, if you’re looking for alternatives, green tea or matcha may be worth trying out. 

Sweet mornings? 

A bowl of cereal for breakfast might evoke some nostalgic childhood memories. Unfortunately, these do not qualify as a nutritious breakfast option, and should absolutely be an exception rather than the norm. We explain why these popular breakfasts fall short of what we would classify as healthy:

1. Cornflakes & Cereals

    Research has indicated that in addition to the high amounts of sugar typically found in breakfast cereals, they can also contain harmful substances like Acrylamide and pesticides. The same applies to some mueslis which can contain toxins like mineral oils. Thankfully, you can find better options that have eliminated harmful substances and swapped out refined sugar for coconut or date sugars. Read the ingredient list to make sure unwanted ingredients don’t land on your plate.

    2. Sweet Breakfast Spreads

      Jams, marmalades or chocolate spreads are as unhealthy as they are delicious. High in sugar, palm oil (so also environmentally harmful) and artificial flavours and sweeteners. Having a high-sugar breakfast is generally not recommended, as it will cause a spike in blood sugar, causing an equally rapid crash and leaving you feeling fatigued. But sugar in the morning is not necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on what kind of sugar you eat. Instead of spreads with industrial sugar, go for spreads with date sugar, which is metabolised differently by the body.

      3. Conventional Coffee & Tea

      Many coffee and tea varieties are no longer produced under fair, ethical conditions. Chemicals and pesticides are often applied to prevent the growth of weeds, and these substances land in your morning cup. Instead of conventional coffees and teas, select organic varieties instead or see if there is a small roastery or tea shop near you. Here you will not only be advised, but can also ask directly about the place and conditions of cultivation. 

      4. Fruit Juices

      Did you know that fruit juice concentrates consist of nothing more than fruit, water and sugar? This unfortunately places them in the category of ‘better to avoid’. If you can’t do without a fruity drink in the morning, we recommend to opt for freshly pressed options (after reviewing the ingredient list and sugar content as well), or even make your juice yourself! If you own a blender or juicer, there are countless delicious combinations you can try out.

      Vegan, vegetarian, low carb: The 50 Shades of Breakfast. 

      The great thing about breakfast is that options are unlimited. Whether sweet or savoury, a light snack or a hearty brunch, the choice is yours! Scrambled (vegan) eggs, croissant and pastries, porridge, smoothie bowl or banana bread–breakfast comes in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of what your personal diet choices are, there are multitude of suitable breakfast options. Just make sure that you only include wholesome and fresh foods, to ensure that your body is nourished with the right nutrients for an optimal and energy-rich start to your day.

      Smoothie-Bowl Kick-Start

      One of the latest breakfast trends, taking the world (and predominantly Instagram) by storm is smoothie bowls. Not only delicious, but also very pleasing to the eye. But what are they exactly? Smoothie bowls are a little thicker in consistency than regular smoothies, and characterised by the colourful sprinkling of toppings. You can find a variety of dry smoothie-bowl mixtures in grocery stores that just require some added liquid (water or milks). Alternatively, you can also make them from scratch with your favourite fruit and vegetable combinations (e.g. apples, banana or spinach) and toppings (e.g. chia seeds or almonds). Thanks to the diversity of ingredients at your disposal, smoothie bowls are a great way to consume a variety of vitamins, fibre and minerals, with the added bonus: they taste amazing.

      This is how you make them: in addition to your fruit and veg mix, add some milk or yoghurt of your choice (plant based or not). Mix it all together in a blender until it reaches the desired texture (want it more liquid? Just add milk or water). Then, garnish with toppings of your choice. Some great options include nuts, chia-seeds, coconut flakes, fresh fruit slices or a dollop of nut butter.

      Don’t have the energy to buy and make this all yourself? Every. has you covered. Our smoothies come in four irresistible flavours: Magic Mint, Mango Morning and Açai Pearls. All you have to do is put the mix in a blender, add some water and voila! Every. smoothies are as always, vegan, filled with superfoods and free of any additives.

      4 easy recipes for a healthy breakfast

      Self-Made Muesli

      Oats have a higher nutrient density than most grain varieties, and therefore make a great base for a cereal or muesli combination. Instead of buying a ready-made mix, you can make this yourself. All you need is some oats, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and some milk or yoghurt (plant based or regular) and combine these anyway you like!

    1. Self-Made Granola 
    2. Craving some extra crunch? Granola is also very easy to make at home. Oats are also a great base here. Mix them with some nuts and seeds, add some flavour with natural sweeteners like date syrup and then put the whole thing in the oven and bake until golden brown and crunchy.

      Scrambled Tofu 

      You’re on the lookout for a protein rich and vegan breakfast option? Then a tofu scramble is the dish for you! You don’t need a lot of ingredients either, just some tofu, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices. Some soy-based yoghurt will add some extra creaminess, while paprika seasoning will infuse flavour and colour. A tofu-scramble is delicious on its own, or you can elevate it further by making it into a sandwich with some whole grain bread, vegan cheese and spinach. For the non-vegan version, an omelette is a great hearty and protein-rich breakfast option.

      Breakfast can be a fun meal full of colourful and nutritious options. Salty or sweet, light or heavy, anything is possible. Whether you choose to eat breakfast or not, is entirely up to you. The main thing is to listen to your body: does it want food now or later? Regardless of what you decide, just make sure it's nutritious and adds fun and fuel to your day! 

      Discover other interesting articles from the Every. Magazine:

      For even more foodie-content follow us on Instagram and join the Facebook Community to get involved in meal creations and to stay up to date on all things Every.