Even a little bit will set you up for success.
I’ve never been someone who could eat the same breakfast every single day. I love to cook and switch up my meals regularly, so eating the same meal day after day drives me insane.
When I was in elementary school, I loved the little pre-packaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you could buy in the freezer section at the grocery store. So, my mom started packing one in my lunch every day. But after just a few weeks, I was already sick of them. For years after that, I refused to eat jelly on my sandwiches.
Nowadays, I eat oatmeal for breakfast on almost every single work day because it is quick and easy to make, and it keeps me fueled through a few hours of work as well as my morning run.
Luckily, I never grow tired of it, because I have learned to switch up the toppings as well as the way I prepare the oatmeal. Some days, I enjoy cold overnight oats. Other days, I make a fresh, hot bowl of oatmeal in the microwave or on the stovetop. I always include a nut butter for a source of protein and healthy fat.
And my final, most important step is to add some sort of fruit. I always include at least a little bit, whether it be strawberries, banana slices, blueberries, etc. Everyone can benefit from including a little bit of fruit with their breakfast, whether you make oatmeal, pancakes, toast, or anything else. The following are three reasons why you should include fruit as part of your breakfast each day.
1. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals.
This is the first reason to include fruit with your breakfast, and it’s also the most obvious one. Harvard Health states that a healthy breakfast involves:
“fruits and vegetables, whole (unprocessed) grains, and healthy proteins and fats. This is not a trend, this is not a hippie opinion. The evidence is overwhelming.”
Now, here’s what you may not know.
For the past few years, I have purchased out-of-season fruit from the frozen aisle at the grocery store, because it’s typically cheaper that way. I always worried that it might not provide the same nutrient content, but as it turns out, the opposite is true. According to Harvard Health, frozen fruit provides the following key advantage:
“Fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness, so the quality and vitamin content can be better than what’s in the produce aisle.”
Therefore, adding a bit of fruit in any form to your morning breakfast will provide a high quality source of carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
2. It will help keep you satisfied.
All types of fruit contain three essential elements — vitamins, potassium, and fiber. The fiber specifically plays a key role in keeping you satisfied between meals, and it’s something many people struggle to get enough of.
When I eat a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple or banana, I feel hydrated, energized, and ready to conquer. Maybe that's just me, but there is evidence that fruit is filling and satisfying. This is largely related to the high fiber and water content found in fruit, so it's actually not all that surprising.
Registered dietician Franziska Spritzler states that:
“Fruit is also very filling due to its high fiber and water contents.”
When you pair fruit with a protein and fat source, you hit all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat). This creates a well-balanced breakfast designed to keep you fueled and satisfied for hours. The carbs, fiber, and water content in the fruit are a key part of the meal.
If you need an idea, one of my go-to breakfasts that encompasses the three macronutrients is a fresh, hot bowl of oatmeal with wild blueberries and a generous scoop of nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter.
3. Fruit boosts brain function in this way.
The flavonoids found in certain fruits, like fisetin in strawberries, have actually been shown to boost brain function. I don't know about you guys, but I am always trying to find more ways to work smarter, feel better, and just educate myself each and every day.
While I typically do this through reading books, watching documentaries, paying attention to the news, googling various topics I'm interested, etc., I don't always pay attention to the smaller details. But the truth is, the food you put into your body can and will have an impact on it. The fisetin in fruit has been found to have some noticeable impacts.
“fisetin was shown to not only boost memory, but also to protect and promote the survival of cultured neurons. These activate learning, memory storing, and information processing”
Furthermore, fisetin has been shown to promote signaling pathways in the human brain and help with memory function. Studies show that eating just two servings of berries each week leads to better long-term memory.
Consuming just a few berries with your breakfast each morning can lead to improved brain function, better memory, and higher overall productivity. It’s an easy addition that you shouldn’t overlook.
The food you fuel your body with when you wake up is incredibly important. If you nourish it properly, you will feel energized and happy. You will also be able to think more clearly, which will ultimately help you achieve greater success.
When I was in high school, I ate processed sugar cereal for breakfast almost every single morning. As a result, I felt tired and cranky after just a few hours, and I struggled to focus in class. Now, I fuel myself with a powerhouse breakfast of oatmeal, nut butter, and fruit each day, and my mornings are incredibly productive.
If you want to set yourself up for success each day, start by preparing a healthy breakfast with a balance of carbs, protein, and fat. Sneak in some fruit for fiber, nutrients, and a boost in brain function, and you will be more than ready to tackle the day ahead.