A healthy breakfast is a good way to start your day and prevent overeating later in the day. It also provides energy and makes a person feel full for longer than processed foods like donuts or pastries.
While most American breakfast foods are high in saturated fat and sugar, there are still plenty of nutritious options to choose from. Nutritionists say a breakfast filled with whole grains, fruits, and proteins can keep blood sugar stable and help a person feel satisfied longer.
The quintessential French breakfast involves cafe au lait and a big flaky croissant. But the truth is, the healthy food revolution has rocked France as well, so French people have changed their breakfasts to suit their new lifestyle.
For starters, there’s no quiche, omelette or other famous egg dishes on the French breakfast table (though they do have some variations on those classics). Pain perdu is more of a dessert than a breakfast dish, and if you order a croissant in Paris, you’ll get a look from the patisserie that says, “Au revoir”.
Croissants aren’t necessarily the healthiest choice – they are a little too sweet for this early meal – but they are popular and widely available across the country. They also come in a variety of flavors.
As with the British, Japanese people enjoy a well-balanced breakfast to kick start their day. The food is rich in proteins and energy-promoting rice, while fermented garnishes like tsukemono pickles or natto soy beans provide additional nutrition.
A traditional breakfast in Japan consists of steamed rice, a protein and side dishes. These can be as simple as a bowl of raw egg on hot rice, or something more elaborate like a miso soup with tofu cubes and wakame seaweed.
The proteins are usually a combination of fish and vegetable, with seasonal pickles, seaweed salads and fermented soy beans called natto. Many Japanese people enjoy green tea for their morning meal, as well.
Mexican food has a fantastic range of wild greens, chilis, fruits and grains that are all packed full of flavour. These dishes are high in protein, vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal breakfast choice.
One of Mexico’s most famous restaurants, Fonda Margarita, makes a wide variety of guisados (Mexican breakfast) every morning. You can choose from anything from chorizo, to ham, cheese or even chicken.
For something a little different, try this huevos rancheros recipe that combines tortillas with refried beans and salsa for an egg-rich dish. A great way to add protein and fibre to your diet, this is also a great dish for vegetarians!
Brazil has a lot to offer when it comes to healthy breakfast. Its national dietary guidelines are focused on eating fresh, natural foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. They also encourage eating at regular times and in appropriate environments, and eating with friends and family.
In addition, Brazilians enjoy a number of traditional foods for breakfast, including coffee and bread. They are often served atop a slice of fresh fruit, such as mango or banana.
Cheese buns (pao de queijo) are another popular choice in Brazil, originating from the Southeastern state of Minas Gerais. They are a delicious and salty snack made with tapioca starch. These are a great option for those who want to avoid gluten.
Chinese people tend to have the healthiest breakfast in the world. Whether you’re eating congee, steamed buns, youtiao (deep-fried dough stick), Chinese pancakes or soy milk, you’ll get a variety of nutrients to give your body the energy it needs for the day ahead.
Vegetarians can also eat a nutritious, hearty breakfast that’s full of protein and good-for-you vitamins. Steamed tofu with broccoli is a great way to start your day, says Yeung Chik Wing, a dietitian at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The meal’s protein content will keep you feeling full and energized for longer, she says. The vegetables in the dish will help with immune function and blood sugar control, she adds.