A common remark we all have heard is “eat your vegetables”, but most Americans still don’t consume even close to the recommended amount. We know veggies are good for us, but why is it so hard to get them in? We might think to add them in with lunch and dinner, but what about breakfast? Starting your first meal of the day with those vital nutrients from vegetables can be an ideal opportunity to improve your health and start the morning off right.
Research indicates breakfast consumption can lead to a lower risk of chronic diseases, better weight management and improved mental performance. However, studies show it’s not just any breakfast that provides these benefits, but those packed with nutritious, high fiber foods, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Vegetable consumption has been linked to lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases of aging. With that being said, why not start the day with veggies?
Most Americans don’t think of vegetables first thing in the morning because it is not a common practice in the United States. However, many other countries around the world start their first meal with vegetables included. Keep in mind, that some of these countries have lower levels of chronic diseases than we do in the U.S., which may be a result of the eating habits in these cultures.
Now you ask, how do I get veggies in for breakfast? The answer is, anyway you want! Try having non-breakfast items for breakfast, such as a baked potato topped with broccoli and low fat cheese or carrots and dried cranberries mixed into warm quinoa. Other options include vegetables added to omelets, smoothies or sandwiches. At the bottom is a list of delicious options that include vegetables with a variety of different breakfasts.
Eggs/Omelet- add tomatoes, peppers, and onions or spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini
Waffles/Pancakes/Toast- instead of using syrup or butter, trying topping with pumpkin butter to add in fiber and vitamin A
Eggs Benedict- instead of the traditional, try adding steamed spinach, tomatoes and avocados to make it Florentine- style
Veggie Sandwich- you can add veggies to your breakfast sandwich or create a non-breakfast sandwich with either cheese or hummus and vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and roasted eggplant.
Breakfast Burrito- use a 100% whole-wheat tortilla and fill with eggs and veggies or spice it up with black beans, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and salsa
Veggie Hash browns- add bell peppers, zucchini and onions to your potatoes or use up your leftover vegetables from the night before
Smoothie- add spinach, kale or arugula to your morning smoothie with fruit