A healthy breakfast provides energy for morning activities and helps people avoid that mid-morning slump. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says breakfast should contain at least one food from three groups: bread and grain; milk or milk substitutes; and fruit and vegetables. Most commercial breakfast drinks contain too much sugar and not enough fiber. They also can be expensive. A better solution is to make a low-fat breakfast drink at home containing food from at least one or two of the recommended food groups.
Juice and breakfast go together. Fruit is preferable to juice because it contains more fiber, but citrus juice with pulp provides some fiber benefit. Vegetable juice can be a good breakfast drink choice, since 8 oz. is the equivalent of two servings of vegetables. Vegetable juice can be high in sodium, so it’s better to buy a low- or no-sodium variety, then season to taste as needed. Juice is low-fat and nutritious, but should accompany other foods for a complete breakfast.
While it can be difficult to make a breakfast drink containing food from all three recommended groups, it can be done with a smoothie. The most common smoothies contain fruit, low-fat yogurt or milk, or soy milk mixed in a blender with ice. Adding a couple of tablespoons of wheat germ creates a drink incorporating three of the recommended food groups. Even without wheat germ, the smoothie contains food from two of the groups. The ingredients of a smoothie are limited only by the maker’s imagination. It can be fun to experiment with ingredients, such as making one of vegetable juice and chopped vegetables, with a few cooked dried beans thrown in for protein and fiber. Black beans or peanut butter combined with bananas and low-fat milk or yogurt makes a nutritious smoothie. A tablespoon of wheat germ can turn the drink into a complete breakfast.
Coffee and Tea
If caffeine suddenly disappeared from existence, the modern world would get off to a slow start in the morning. People get their morning caffeine from coffee, tea and colas. Soft drinks have no nutritional value, so it is better to get caffeine from coffee, which according to the "Huffington Post," has a high antioxidant content. Alternatively, you can get your daily dose of caffeine from tea. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, all tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The different types depend on how the tea leaves are processed, but all types contain antioxidants. Both coffee and tea should be consumed in moderation. While both coffee and tea have some nutritional benefit, neither is a healthy breakfast by itself. That can be changed by mixing instant coffee using a cup of hot milk instead of water or by steeping a tea bag in a cup of hot milk. After chilling, either can be used as a smoothie ingredient, along with fruit and a couple tablespoons of wheat germ for a healthy and caffeinated start to the day.
- Smoothie orange image by FrÃ©dÃ©ric Massard from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.