Breakfast is important. It fuels the body and prepares it for the day ahead.
Eating a well-balanced breakfast every morning can make an enormous difference in mood, appearance, and overall well-being. Breakfast boosts metabolism and concentration throughout the day. So, why not make sure that you’re feeding your body with the very best breakfasts the world has to offer?
Take a quick tour around the world and find some food inspiration to make your morning a bit more interesting and a lot healthier.
The typical breakfast in India can vary from state to state, so there really is no signature dish for an Indian breakfast. However, in all regions of the country, the Ayurvedic system of eating is of utmost importance for feeding and healing not only the body, but the mind and soul.
In the southern region of India, one might enjoy Idli, a steamed cake made from high-fiber rice and lentils, a dosa, a type of pancake that resembles a French crepe, and a serving of sambar, which is a savory stew made from lentils and tamarind broth.
In the north, one might enjoy unleavened flatbread alongside a serving of vegetable curry. While the ingredients of breakfast can differ, Indian preference for vegetarian meals makes their breakfast healthier than many others. Regardless of the changing recipes, breakfast in India tends to be based on high fiber ingredients like whole grains, lentils or rice, with anti-inflammatory spices and fresh ingredients served warm, in accordance with Ayurvedic tradition.
One of the healthiest breakfast dishes in Vietnam also happens to be one of their most popular exports. A tasty bowl of steaming hot Pho is a favorite main dish in the western world, and is sold from many street vendors in Vietnam at breakfast time.
This fragrant soup is not only nourishing and hydrating, but the blend of anti-inflammatory herbs and chilies is sure to warm you up and get you moving early in the morning. Pho is fortifying without being too heavy and the bone broth contributes to gut health.
Instead of a bowl of cereal in the morning, consider stepping outside your comfort zone and trying a warm bowl of healthy soup instead.
A Turkish breakfast generally consists of a variety of dishes served mezze style. While breakfast items common to westerners such as eggs, bread, and cheese are often present, one will also find fresh vegetables, which is one of the healthiest ways to begin the day.
Various soups are also popular dishes to start the day off, such as lentil or tarhana soup, which is made from cereal grains and fermented yogurt. Other healthy and tasty breakfast foods on the Turkish breakfast table include savory pastries, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives. Any combination of items provides a heart-healthy, low-fat way to start every day off right.
Being one of the healthiest countries in the world according to a 2016 Bloomberg report, it’s not surprising that Icelanders also have one of the world’s healthiest breakfasts.
While it doesn’t offer all the fresh fruits and vegetables of some other countries because of the country’s short growing season, it does provide a heart-healthy, low-cholesterol meal that will fill you up and keep you going. And Icelandic breakfast is all about being low-sugar and hearty.
A warm bowl of high-fiber porridge or granola topped with butter, dried fruit, or maple syrup is central to a typical Icelander’s breakfast. Another staple is Skyr, or, Iceland’s answer to Greek yogurt and it’s loaded with protein, calcium and probiotics. Of course, no Icelander’s breakfast is complete without downing a shot of omega 3-rich cod liver oil, although many people not native to Iceland might prefer to take theirs in capsule form.
A classic Swedish breakfast is simple, hearty, and most importantly, healthy. Eggs are a nutritious and popular staple for the morning meal, as well as open-faced sandwiches on a robust bread such as rye or sourdough topped with cheese, cold cuts, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Smoked fish is also a healthy sandwich option. Breakfast cereals such as unsweetened muesli are popular, usually with some added almonds, walnuts for a boost of protein, or fruit such as blueberries or antioxidant-rich lingonberries. This can be eaten with yogurt, milk, or filmjölk, a fermented milk product unique to Sweden that is jam-packed with vitamins and healthy bacteria that greatly boost gut health.
A fresh cup of hot coffee is the drink of choice at most Swedish breakfast tables, which is good news for coffee lovers.
When it comes to a healthy, low-cholesterol meal at any time of the day, nobody does it quite like Japan.
While many citizens of modern-day Japan often opt for a more western style breakfast that includes cereal and juice with buttered toast, a more traditional Japanese breakfast is more in keeping with the famously healthy Japanese diet.
Rice, fish, and pickled vegetables provide loads of vitamins and fiber while fermented soybeans and a serving of enzyme-rich miso soup start the day off with very little dairy or sugar to energize the body while keeping the digestive system working efficiently.
Other items might include some tofu, dried seaweed, or egg, which is rolled into a tamagoyaki omelet, or poured over hot rice. A cup of green tea is often sipped with breakfast, providing plenty of polyphenols and antioxidants, which have various benefits for lasting good health.
The ingredients and dishes for breakfast vary a great deal around the globe. This creates a wide range of healthful options, but what’s most important is to choose among the foods and cuisines that suit your dietary needs and personal tastes.
The key is to remember the basic principles of all the meals listed above: low sugar, high fiber, and low cholesterol with plenty of whole and fresh foods. Healthy eating should be enjoyable as well as nutritious. Explore, be adventurous, and discover your own healthy start to the day.