While we know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, eating sugary cereals and bagels aren’t necessarily the best way to start your morning.
So what is the best way to start your morning – solid foods like avocado toast, or are substitutes like smoothies acceptable?
“The good news is that both choices have different advantages,” says Ellie Krieger, RD, nutritionist and host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. “Smoothies are beneficial because the blending process can help release more nutrients by breaking open the cell walls of foods.” Chewing can offer similar benefits, though a blender is better for tough foods, like nuts.
Research provides another benefit of blending your breakfast: One 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that people who consumed roast chicken and vegetables blended with water and into a soup, felt satiated for longer compared to those that ate the same, solid meal.
But you don’t need to liquefy all your breakfasts for health benefits.
“Solid breakfasts are great because they slow you down,” notes Krieger, so you have more time to really taste your food and register how full you feel. “And the process of chewing helps to trigger the release of satiety hormones in the gut, making you feel more satisfied.”
When it comes to choosing the best breakfast for you, experiment with nibbling and sipping your morning meal. As long as you’re eating whole foods that provide a balance of protein, complex carbs, and fiber.
“It all comes down to the quality of the ingredients,” says Krieger.
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