They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and they’re absolutely right. The anti-aging foods you eat in the morning will set the stage for what you eat the rest of the day, and people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat later on.
The anti-aging foods you eat at the start of your day should provide you with the vitamins, nutrients, and energy you need to power through your busy schedule. That means anti-aging foods that contain healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Here are seven of the best anti-aging foods to include in your breakfast.
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This is one of the best anti-aging foods for breakfast, because it’s loaded with fiber that helps manage cholesterol levels, along with omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and folate. Unlike the refined carbohydrates in white bread, oatmeal has “slow-release” carbohydrates that don’t cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels, which means they don’t spike your insulin levels—high insulin levels are linked to stored body fat. Plus, oatmeal is one of those anti-aging foods that make you feel full for longer, which means you’re less likely to get fatigued or turn to unhealthy snacks between meals.
Anti-aging foods with artificial flavoring, including oatmeal, are usually packed with added sugar. Instead, look for plain steel-cut oats and add natural flavor with nuts and/or fresh fruit.
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Almond butter is a good addition to other anti-aging foods because it’s high in protein and healthy fat (monounsaturated fat). It’s also a good source of copper, which boosts melanin that protects your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays; calcium, which is important for muscle and skeletal function; magnesium, which helps produce energy and maintain bone health; and vitamin E, which promotes healthy cell function and helps prevent heart disease.
Almond butter is good for breakfast because it goes great with lots of other anti-aging foods, like banana or apple slices, whole wheat bread, or even blended into smoothies or oatmeal. It’s always good to check the label when shopping for anti-aging foods, so when it comes to almond butter, look for an all-natural product that contains no added sugar or additives.
Eggs used to have a bad reputation, because they were supposedly too high in cholesterol. But research has shown that it’s the saturated fats in anti-aging foods that affect cholesterol levels; eggs are higher in good fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, but low in saturated fat. Eggs also fall into the category of good anti-aging foods because the yolk is high in iron and calcium, while the egg white is packed with protein. You’ll also be getting vitamins B2, B12, A, and E.
Cooking with oil or butter can take away from the nutritional value of anti-aging foods, so when you’re preparing your eggs, boiling them is a healthier alternative to frying.
No list of top anti-aging foods is complete without Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt sales have more than doubled in the past five years, and there’s a good reason why. Unlike regular yogurt, the whey is strained out of the Greek variety, making it thicker and creamier. Through the straining process, there’s also less sugar, less carbs, and much more protein than regular yogurt. In fact, Greek yogurt is one of the best anti-aging foods for protein—a single six-ounce serving contains roughly the same amount of protein as a three-ounce serving of lean meat.
When choosing Greek yogurt to eat alone or to add to other anti-aging foods, go with plain instead of flavored and add sweetness with a touch of honey. Turn it into a parfait by adding a handful of fresh berries, which are very high in vitamins and fiber, but unlike other anti-aging foods, are also low in calories. Strawberries contain almost as much vitamin C as a cup of orange juice, plus calcium, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Blueberries are one of the best anti-aging foods because they’re so rich in antioxidants, as well as other minerals and healthy phytochemicals. Add some crunch to your parfait with crushed almonds.
This fruit should definitely be part of any list of anti-aging foods for breakfast, because bananas help tide you over till lunch. Bananas are good sources of potassium, but also of resistant starch, which is a healthy carbohydrate known for helping to keep you feeling full for longer. They’re the perfect addition to other anti-aging foods, like oatmeal or bran cereal, because they add a natural, healthy sweetness.
This is another one of those anti-aging foods that you can add to just about anything—sprinkle ground flaxseed on top off your eggs, stir it into cereal or oatmeal, or mix it into your fresh fruit smoothie. Flaxseeds is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-aging foods with this type of “good” fat have been linked to reduced inflammation and healthy cardiovascular function.
Flaxseeds also contain more lignans (chemical compounds in plants) than other plant-based anti-aging foods. These lignans help protect against damage to blood vessels caused by inflammation and, along with other polyphenols in flaxseeds, provide various antioxidant benefits. Those anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties affect more than just cardiovascular health, since inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to many other health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even cancer.
On top of all of these benefits, flaxseeds top the list of anti-aging foods for breakfast because they also help manage healthy cholesterol levels, improve digestive health, and reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
If you’re looking for anti-aging foods to help with weight loss, grapefruit is one of the best, so why not include it in your breakfast? The tangy fruit helps keep insulin levels in check, and since high insulin levels lead to increased fat storage, eating grapefruit can prevent excess weight gain.
Good anti-aging foods, especially at breakfast, should be rich in essential vitamins and nutrients, and grapefruit is very high in vitamin C, which supports healthy immune function and protects against free radical damage. Grapefruit also belongs on the list of heart-healthy anti-aging foods, thanks to its ability to control cholesterol. Regularly eating grapefruit can lower LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, in as little as 30 days, according to a study by Israeli researchers; red grapefruits were shown to be twice as effective, especially for lowering triglycerides.