The Breakfast To Sharpen Our Brains and Slim Our Bodies

Only half of Americans eat what is proving to be the most important meal of the day. There is convincing evidence that eating breakfast enhances weight loss, improves memory and performance in school, and helps children achieve higher test scores. It’s not surprising that the types of food eaten at breakfast can influence these potential benefits. New research offers insight into what we should consume for breakfast in order to sharpen our brains and slim our bodies.

Pleasure-seeking, reward-driven part (Hippocampus & Parahippocampal regions) of the brain that displayed reduced activation eight hours after the consumption of a high protein breakfast
Pleasure-seeking, reward-driven part of the brain (Hippocampus & Parahippocampal regions) that displayed reduced activation eight hours after the consumption of a high protein breakfast

A protein-rich breakfast can reduce hunger and keep us satisfied throughout the day and into the evening, according to several studies from the University of Missouri. Some of these studies used brain scanning techniques and found that a high-protein breakfast impacts different parts of the brain than a low-protein breakfast. The reward-driven, pleasure-seeking center of the brain associated with food cravings was far less active, and the executive decision-making area of the brain was stimulated by a high-protein breakfast. These effects can give us more control over cravings and help us to make wiser food selections later in the day. This helps eliminate the desire for empty-calorie snacks at night, when our resistance to indulgence is at its lowest.

Eating a high-protein breakfast can help lead to an overall daily consumption of more nutrients with fewer calories, ultimately resulting in a healthier intake that promotes weight loss. Teen participants who either ate a low-protein breakfast or skipped the meal altogether had a higher daily calorie intake. Those who ate a high-protein breakfast, however, consumed an average of 400 fewer calories per day, due to their choice of fewer high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the late afternoon and evening.

According to lead researcher Dr. Heather Leidy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri, a breakfast containing about 30 grams of protein is optimal to achieve fullness and curb food cravings. Dr. Leidy pointed out, however that consumption of protein in liquid form produced similar results to a high-carbohydrate, low-protein breakfast, in terms of fullness and food cravings. As a result, having a protein drink for breakfast is not as helpful as choosing protein-rich foods in enhancing appetite control, and controlling weight.

Lose Weight Most Americans eat 60% of their protein at dinner. Shifting a large part of our protein intake from the evening to the morning can help us feel more satisfied throughout the day. A higher protein breakfast keeps us better nourished, thinner, healthier, and smarter.

Some of the best high-protein foods to include in your breakfast are Greek yogurt (1 cup=20g), cottage cheese (1 cup=28g), almonds (1/4 cup=7g), peanut butter (2 Tbsp=8g), eggs (1 egg=7g), cheddar cheese (1 oz=7g), cooked quinoa (1 cup=8g), hemp seed (3 tbsp=11g), and beans or lentils (1/2 cup=9g). Quinoa, a complete protein, can be eaten as hot cereal in Peruvian style. Oatmeal can easily be made with milk to add protein and enhance the flavor. Add hulled hemp seed and nuts for additional protein. Leftovers made with chicken or fish for breakfast is an easy way to get the protein in since 3 oz of chicken has about 26 grams of protein and 3 oz of fish has about 20 grams of protein. One serving of  these light and fluffy Protein-Packed Scrambled Eggs served with one slice of whole grain toast has 26 grams of protein. Try these Oatmeal Pancakes, or Swiss Chard Potato Frittata for high protein breakfasts. Below are more 30 gram breakfast ideas. Do you have more high protein breakfast ideas? Please share your ideas below so we can all enjoy the benefits of high protein breakfasts.  It’s time for breakfast power!

30g Protein Breakfast Ideas

1 whole grain english muffin + 1 oz cheese + 1 egg + 1 slice Canadian bacon

1 tortilla + 2 eggs + 1 oz cheese + 1/2 cup black beans + salsa + avocado

1 cup Greek Yogurt with 1/3 cup granola + fruit

1 cup cottage cheese + fruit + 1 tbsp nuts

1/2 cup oatmeal made with 3/4 cup milk + 2 tbsp almonds + 3 tbsp hulled hemp seed

2 eggs + 1 oz cheese + 2 slice whole grain toast

3 pancakes made with cottage cheese and hemp seed + 2 tbsp peanut butter + real maple syrup + 1 cup  milk

1 cup quinoa cooked with 2 cups milk + blueberries + 1/2 cup almonds + cinnamon + raw honey

3 egg omelet + 1 oz cheese + vegetables

2 slices whole grain toast + 2 tbsp almond butter + 1 cup Greek yogurt

3 pancakes made with cottage cheese + 1 cup Greek yogurt + peachesPower-packed Scrambled Eggs

 

 

 

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Nutmeg!

It feels like the holidays start the day after Halloween! Fortunately, the holidays are accompanied with all sorts of yummy treats and festive foods. One particularly aromatic spice that brings in holiday cheer is nutmeg.

Healthy Challenge: September 2013

Oyster October

"Les Poisson, les poisson, 'ow I looove les poisson!" That Little Mermaid song is dang funny even if it is somewhat macabre... October is National Seafood Month! If you're new to Foods with Judes, you will soon find out I have a great love for our underwater friends, both to protect and to eat! Seafood has extremely positive effects on our health and brain function. You can learn more about why this is true, in addition to other clarifying mercury tidbits in a previous article, "Seafood Newsflash." I could go on for days about health benefits of different kinds of seafood, but this month's healthy challenge will focus particularly on oysters. Don't worry - you don't have to eat them raw.

Healthy Challenge: September 2013

15-Minute Roasted Mexican Soup

I can't get enough of this 15-minute soup. It tastes like it been roasting for hours and it has, but by Trader Joe's and not by you! It’s quick and sooo good. You might be able to find these roasted veggies at other stores, but you will for sure find all the ingredients at Trader Joe's. It's a soup-er healthy, zippy, meal hack. This soup can be left chunky or blended smooth, either way it taste soup-perb. The blended version is perfect for those picky eaters who don't appreciate onions, bell peppers or black beans. Shhhh, they'll never know if you don't tell them. Top it with cheese, cilantro, avocados and/or tortilla chips or don’t add a thing to it. It’s a flexible meal using frozen ingredients that you can keep on hand and made on the spot.

Quick & Healthy Meal Hack