If you’re like many women, you are often inclined to run out the door in the morning on an empty stomach. But think twice. Missing breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day. On the other hand, a healthy morning meal provides energy, satisfies your appetite, and better prepares your mind for the rest of the day.
Womenshould eat a breakfast with good carbs, fiber,and protein. Fortunately, you have plenty of options, even from an IHOP menu. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite breakfast foods.
Oats contain beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol.Theyalso contain omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Folate is particularly important for women because of the role it plays in creating new blood cells. Steel-cut oats are higher in fiber than rolled or instant, but any type is healthy. Steer clear of the flavored varieties, which are packed with sugar. If you need a little sweetening, use honey, or add some fruit and nuts.
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, both important in preventing osteoporosis. And Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt. But read the contents. Much of the yogurt out there labelled as “Greek” really isn’t. It should contain over 20 grams of protein per serving. Stick to the plain varieties. You can go with non-fat if you want to keep your calories low, but that usually means the sugar content will be higher, often not a good trade off. As with oatmeal, you can always add a little honey or fruit for flavor if you need it.
Grapefruit has fat-burning properties and helps stabilize blood glucose and insulin. Eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose weight. It is also a good source of antioxidants. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist first if you take any medications. Grapefruit may interfere with some prescription drugs.
Bananas at breakfast willbanish mid-morning cravings, especially if they are just a tad on the green side when they are highest in slow-digesting carbs. They are also high in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
The egg is just about the most perfect food on the planet. What other cheap staple can grow an entire chicken? They used to be shunned for their cholesterol, but now it is known that your blood cholesterol is much less influenced by dietary sources than previously thought. Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins.
True to its name, watermelon is full of water, something we all need a little more of in the morning. This delicious fruit is also stocked with lycopene – a substance important for cardiovascular health, vision and cancer preventionwhich is found in red fruits and vegetables. Watermelon contains only 40 calories per cup, making it one of the negative calorie foods that require more calories to digest it than it provides. It is also a great source of fiber.
Cranberry juice is most popular with women for its reputation in warding off urinary tract infections (UTIs), but that’s not all. It seems to be good for cardiovascular health and may increase the effectiveness of some ovarian cancer drugs. Avoid large servings, however. The tart fruit requires a lot of sugar to be palatable and its acidity can actually cause bladder problems besides UTIs.
Blueberries and strawberries are high in antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Studies have shown that eating blueberries can help improve a woman’s memory and motor skills as well asblood pressure and metabolism. Blueberries have fewer calories than many other fruits, just 80 per cup, and won’t throw your blood sugar off the graph.Strawberries and blueberries are superfoods because they are high in antioxidants without being high in calories. A cup of strawberries provides your full recommended daily dose of vitamin C, along with high amounts of folic acid and fiber.
Drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of a number of diseases like diabetes and prostate cancer. Believe it or not, coffee is the prime source of antioxidants for Americans. Adding cream and sugar tends to negate the effects, so best to drink it black.