5 Easy, Heart-Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Amanda Carney – Holistic Nutrition Coach

A healthy heart equals a healthy body, and we want you to support your heart health at any chance you get!  With breakfast being considered the most important meal of the day, it is a wonderful opportunity to focus on foods that support a healthy heart and therefore a healthy life.  Here are some of our simplest and most nutritious heart-healthy breakfast ideas:

Eggs

A longtime breakfast staple, eggs create a versatile breakfast that is energizing, satiating and packed with nutrients.  Eggs are commonly praised for their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary to include in our diet as our bodies do not produce omega-3’s on their own.  These essential fatty acids support brain health and function and are known to fight inflammation throughout the body.  EPA and DHA are specifically associated with an increase in cardiovascular health, while lower levels of these omega-3’s in the blood are linked with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and heart disease.

Of course, the nutritional profile of an egg is dependent on where it comes from, so we always suggest choosing organic, pasture raised eggs to ensure the chickens are eating a natural diet without added antibiotics, pesticides and other possible toxins.

And please eat the whole egg!  For so long we have been fooled into cooking and ordering just egg whites, but egg yolks are packed with nutrition, including B vitamins, vitamin A, antioxidants, iron, selenium, biotin, choline, and other trace minerals – all essential to a healthy heart!eggs

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg:

Place eggs (however many you are using) in a pot and fill with water, filling to around 1 inch above the eggs.

Place pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.

Once boiling, remove from heat and cover.

Let pot sit, covered, for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, drain water and rinse with cold water or place eggs in an ice bath – the idea is to cool them off as quickly as possible to stop the cooking process.

After eggs have cooled, enjoy right away or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Avocado Toast

One of the simplest breakfasts around, avocado toast can be considered an upgrade from the more traditional buttered roll, and offers many nutrients and healthy fats that support a healthy heart AND make a delicious breakfast.avocado-heart

Simple Avocado Toast

Toast your favorite (gluten free) bread.

Slice up ½ an avocado, and using a fork, mash it onto the toast.

Finish with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

For added protein, top with a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Smoothies

Blending up a variety of fruits, vegetables and other nutrient dense foods can be a great way to start your day AND support a healthy heart!  With fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, a smoothie can offer your heart (and your body) so much of what it needs nutritionally.

If you are new to smoothie making, we generally suggest starting with a simple recipe and including something from each of the categories listed below.  This will ensure that your smoothie is filling, satisfying and keep you feeling energized for a suitable amount of time.

As a general rule of thumb, a smoothie should include each of the following:  a leafy green or greens powder, a liquid, a source of protein and a healthy fat. green smoothie

Leafy greens / greens powder:

kale

spinach

chard

watercress

organic greens powder

Liquid:

water

unsweetened almond milk

coconut milk

Protein:

protein powder

hemp seeds

almonds / almond butter

chia seeds

Healthy fat:

coconut oil

nuts /seeds

avocado

nut butter

Sweetness (optional):

stevia

dates

Basic Green Smoothie

Handful of spinach

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ banana

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons almond butter

Sprinkle of cinnamon

2 dates, pitted

3 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Looking for a post-workout smoothie?  Make sure to try our Vanilla Blueberry Smoothie, a perfect heart-healthy option for breakfast or for after a workout:

https://foreverfitscience.com//post-workout-vanilla-blueberry-smoothie-for-the-active-grandparent/

Quinoa Oatmeal

A fun twist on traditional oatmeal, quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is also a heart-healthy complete protein!  High in fiber, antioxidants and trace minerals, this small grain can provide you with a great deal of nutritional support first thing in the morning.

To jazz up your bowl of quinoa, you can include nuts and seeds, berries, coconut oil or other healthy fats, a little maple syrup or raw honey, or any other topping you would normally include on your oatmeal.quinoa

Quinoa Oatmeal with Berries

½ cup cooked quinoa

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon raw honey

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup berries, fresh or frozen

Place quinoa and almond milk in a pot over low heat, stirring until quinoa is warm.  If using frozen berries, add into the pot to defrost.

If not, place warm quinoa in a bowl and top with raw honey, walnuts and berries.

Enjoy!

If you prefer a more traditional bowl of oatmeal or want to see more of our favorite topping combinations, check out our Oatmeal post here:

https://foreverfitscience.com//make-your-oatmeal-more-nutritious-and-delicious/

Chia Seed Pudding

A heart-healthy favorite!  These small black seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and trace minerals, all essential players in supporting and strengthening a healthy heart!chia-recipe-1000x667

Simple Vanilla Pudding

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup chia seeds

1 teaspoon maple syrup

A few drops vanilla extract

A sprinkle of cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a sealed container or jar and shake until mixed well.  Then let sit for at least 15 minutes to thicken, and enjoy!

For more chia seed recipes and to check out some topping ideas, click here:

https://foreverfitscience.com//three-health-chia-seed-pudding-recipes-for-you-and-your-family/

Heart-UN-healthy Breakfast Ideas

In addition to incorporating more heart-healthy meals into your breakfast routine, there are a few foods you may want to consider staying away from, as they are known to contribute to heart disease.

Sugar – linked with many types of cardiovascular disease, sugar is something you want to avoid first thing in the morning, and ideally throughout your entire day.  Not only do sweeteners affect blood sugar and cause energy crashes and fatigue, sugar is extremely inflammatory on the body, and has been shown to increase the chances of heart disease significantly.

Processed Meats – Although healthy fats and natural cholesterol support a healthy heart, things like trans fats and processed meats with added sulfites and preservatives can be disruptive.  If you want to enjoy animal protein in the morning, choose more natural brands without added sulfites, and make sure you know where your meat is coming from – grass fed beef, organic poultry and wild seafood are best.

Packaged foods – Pre-packaged breakfast foods may be fast and convenient, but they can take a big toll on your body and your health by being refined and over processed.  Consider this, if a food has a shelf life longer then you, then it probably is not the healthiest choice. 

Most baked goods – this may sound surprising, but most baked goods and breads contain tons of added sugar!  Things like muffins, scones, bagels and rolls not only contain a surprising amount of sweeteners, but they also turn to sugar in the body.  Instead, choosing healthy fat and protein is the best way to increase energy, balance blood sugar and support your healthy, beautiful heart.


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