Mornings can be rough! There may not be a superfood capable of miraculously imbuing you with the energy of the gods, but there’s no doubt that a nutrition-focused diet can do wonders. Here are my top 10 picks to get you started.
1. Green Tea
If your morning isn’t complete without caffeine, consider switching over to green tea or matcha powder (ground up green tea leaves).
Cocoa’s caffeine content isn’t the only component that provides a little pick-me-up. Chocolate’s flavanols (antioxidants) boost blood flow and the feel-good hormone serotonin. Go minimally processed for maximum benefit, like with raw cacao nibs and natural-processed cocoa.
Regular consumption of berries may support immune function, which is key to feeling your best every day. Berries’ high level of antioxidants can also help with brain function, while their rich fiber content works in the short term to sustain your energy all morning long.
Not all breakfast has to be sweet! Go savory with eggs, which have been shown to increase satiety and help us stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, all of the recipes below also incorporate mushrooms to give you a dose of B vitamins and selenium, both important for energy and overall nutrition.
For a more plant-based breakfast, seeds pack quite the punch. Pumpkin seeds, for example, are one of the most concentrated vegetarian sources of zinc, which is important for concentration, memory, and calmness. Flax and chia seeds, meanwhile, provide omega-3 fatty acids, which also support brain health and memory.
Seeds make easy and excellent additions to oatmeal and Greek yogurt, but if you want to try a fun alternative, go for some creamy chia breakfast pudding.
Many athletes use beets to help with muscle power and blood flow, two benefits that are sure to help get you out the door in the morning. Some skeptics think the research is a little overblown but still promising for our vascular health.
This zesty, refreshing root supports energy metabolism and a healthy immune system thanks to vitamins B6 and C and the mineral magnesium. Some research even suggests that regular consumption could help with osteoarthritis-related joint pain to really help you hop out of bed in the morning!
Try blending some ginger root into your morning green smoothie bowl, like this recipeThe Lemon Bowl from the Lemon Bowl, or whipping up a batch of Breakfast Criminals’ blueberry-coconut-ginger oatmeal.
Too often our breakfasts are either completely devoid of fat or they’re loaded with less healthy fats from breakfast meats. Nuts offer that happy medium and can help tremendously with morning satiety.
Okay, water isn’t exactly a food, but when it comes to staying energized and perky, nothing’s more of a killjoy than dehydration. Even mild dehydration can lead to headaches, impaired concentration, and negative mood; and many experts say that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already heading down that path. Be proactive instead and start your day with a big glass of water!
Not even the best diet, however, can boost energy that is lacking due to poor sleep habits, high levels of stress, or stretching oneself too thin. Nutrition can be a powerful tool…just so long as it isn’t your only one!