Becky Luigart-Stayner

Busy day ahead? Jump-start it with a quick, nutrition-packed breakfast.

Dorothy Foltz-Gray
August 14, 2008

Most of us hit the floor running every morning. But we often neglect the fuel to power our effort, grabbing a muffin or a bagel.

What we need instead are nutrient-dense breakfasts like the recipes to the left. Foods high in energy-boosting carbohydrates, with moderate doses of protein and fat, work like high-octane fuel. They give you energy to spare-and the most mileage for every calorie.

These foods are full of great stuff you won't find at the drive-through. Whole grains, rich in B vitamins, help our bodies use energy from foods and keep nervous and digestive systems going. The carbohydrates in grains and fruit provide quick energy for a morning workout. Protein-nuts, eggs, yogurt, cheese-repair and maintain muscles.

Healthful, plant-based fats from nuts and oil, and low-fat dairy products keep nervous systems going and speed absorption of essential vitamins A, D, E, and K. They also keep us satisfied. (Remember when you had that fat-free puffed rice and skim milk for breakfast? Your stomach was probably growling by midmorning.)

Antioxidants and other phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables-berries, apricots, broccoli, carrots-contribute to cancer prevention, improved brain function, lower risk of heart disease, and even slower aging. Fiber and vitamins A and C come from fruits and vegetables, too.

Think of each morning as a clean slate for your body. Make the first item on that slate one of these breakfasts, and you'll be ready with the power to go wherever your day demands.

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