Protecting yourself from heart disease and other health complications starts with incorporating a healthy diet into a healthy lifestyle. Your diet and lifestyle impact your heart health, so you must understand what you need to be healthy and feel your best. We rely on our hearts to keep us going, but it relies on us to keep it healthy.
If you are starting on the journey to take better care of your heart, but don’t know where to start, consider starting with the first meal of the day. There are plenty of delicious dishes you can throw together quickly or prepare for a brunch with friends that provide a variety of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, A, and K, iron, potassium—the list goes on and on!
Learning just a few recipes will help to motivate you to explore different heart-healthy breakfast options to better your health and broaden your morning palate!
We’ve gathered ten heart-healthy, delicious recipes and used many common breakfast items you might already be used to. Get ready to add some of these breakfast ingredients to next week’s grocery run!
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day
We’ve all heard that saying before, but what does it really mean? Eating any breakfast before beginning your daily activities will help your body refuel after sleeping. If you’re getting the recommended seven hours of sleep a night, that means you are most likely waking up on an empty stomach.
Seven hours of no eating is usually longer than what people are used to during their day, so waking up hungry is normal! Normally, people are in a fasted window for about 10-12 hours from when they have their last meal of the day til breakfast. This period of fasting is beneficial for our digestion, cell development and proper sleep, but once we wake, our body needs proper energy to continue progressing for the day.
By eating breakfast each morning, you supply your body with the energy needed to function throughout the day. Many breakfast options are loaded with vital nutrients that will help to boost your memory and focus, making getting work done throughout the day easier.
When you skip out on breakfast, you may feel foggy and tired, as stores of energy are being used up to help you get through the day. Your blood sugar will be relatively low in the morning, and if you don’t feel it, you’ll feel the side effects!
On top of all that, skipping out on breakfast has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Making sure that you are eating in the mornings will help to protect your heart.
Essential Nutrition Musts
To many, it’s pretty obvious which breakfast foods will be good for you and which ones won’t. There are a few nutrients that you should look into when trying to eat foods that are good for your heart:
- Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, which protects your arteries.
- Fiber reduces bad cholesterol, aids in digestion, is only found in plants so by eating more fiber you are consuming more nutrients and may decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Antioxidants have multiple benefits, but some antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Monounsaturated fats have been linked to reducing cholesterol and improving heart health overall.
- Potassium helps your muscles to contract, including the heart.
Some other nutrients and minerals are helpful when it comes to improving your heart health, but just knowing a few of the basics can make it easier to choose ingredients that are going to be good for you. Some ingredients that you might want to consider including the next time you are grocery shopping are:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Whole grain
- Walnuts and almonds
So now that you have a short grocery list in the making, how do you turn it into a delicious recipe that will be easy to eat each morning? We’ve put together a list of 10 delicious recipes that you can make on your own each morning (or for the week) that will make you, your stomach, and your heart very happy.
10 Heart Healthy Breakfast Recipes To Try
Your heart will thank you when you incorporate the following recipes into your weekly meal plan. From sweets to savory, this list has it all!
1. Avocado Toast on Whole Grain
Ahhh, a fan favorite. So easy, so delicious, so good for you. Avocado toast on whole grain bread (Sprouted breads, sourdough, minimal ingredient bread) is packed with heart-healthy ingredients, and it can be made with so many different toppings. You can truly customize this meal to exactly how you like it. Some enjoy it with honey drizzled on top and others with a hefty sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning over it.
Regardless of how you enjoy it, eating avocado toast will help to lower your cholesterol and provide you with dietary fiber and antioxidants, so it’s worth it!
2. Herbed Egg Whites and Feta on English Muffin
Another hearty breakfast that we love (because you can freeze them and eat them for days) is egg whites with herbs and feta on your choice of English muffin (whole grain might benefit your heart the most). This recipe includes heart-healthy ingredients already, but sometimes we like to add spinach to the egg mixture for an additional nutrient-rich boost!
These sandwiches are great to heat up in the oven daily after spending some time in the freezer. They make for a quick breakfast that is bound to fill you with energy and nutrients. If you choose a whole-grain English muffin, you’ll also get a bonus of fiber in your meal.
3. Pineapple Green Smoothie
On warmer days, when you want to get your day started right but don’t want to turn on the oven and add to the meal, go ahead and pull out your blender. Many people don’t even realize how often the forgotten ingredients in their pantry could be used as additions in a smoothie. Chia seeds, cinnamon, honey, flaxseeds, coconut, and so much more just sit there waiting to be thrown in and blended into a vibrant and delicious color.
One specifically heart-healthy smoothie recipe includes Greek yogurt, spinach, banana, pineapple, and almond milk, blended with chia seeds and your choice of honey or maple syrup. This lovely green smoothie will start your day off bright with a rush of nutrients and antioxidants, promoting a healthy immune system and happier heart. This is one smoothie that is hard to get sick of!
4. Loaded Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Spending time making a hearty breakfast high in protein and essential amino acids will start your day off right. Like oatmeal in its execution, a loaded quinoa bowl is a fulfilling breakfast meal to try if you want to add more protein to your mornings without using animal protein.
This quinoa breakfast bowl recipe is loaded with different berries, like raspberries and blueberries and chopped nuts and seeds. It does not take long make, and you can customize which fruit and nuts you use depending on your preferences!
5. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
If you are someone who loves their oatmeal, have you ever tried overnight oats? This concept includes soaking oats overnight in liquid with a mix of delicious ingredient toppings so that when you wake up the next day, you have breakfast ready for you to enjoy!
It takes almost no effort to make, just five minutes of your time and all your favorite ingredients. The basis is this: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup rolled oat and 1 tablespoon chia seeds. The toppings you choose are entirely up to you, but one of our favorites includes one to two tablespoons of peanut butter and one teaspoon of maple syrup. Give this recipe a try or experiment with your favorite flavors!
6. Superfood Chia Seed Pudding Parfait
Chia seeds are a great ingredient to include in your breakfast meals because of their antioxidants. Chia seeds also support heart health by helping to lower blood pressure levels with their fiber amounts. This dish is entirely plant-based, packed with protein, and insanely delicious. It’s an easy dish to make and enjoy while you read the morning news.
Like overnight oats, you make the chia seed pudding overnight, but you add the smoothie and toppings the following day. This recipe includes a banana and blueberry smoothie and blueberries and blood orange slices as a topping. Feel free to sprinkle some coconut or granola on top to finish it off!
7. Heart Healthy Pancake Mix
I'm sure you were all waiting for when we would bring pancakes to this list, and now is the time! Finding a whole grain pancake recipe is honestly really reassuring. Because honestly, who wants to give up pancakes? For this recipe, you add chia seeds or flaxseeds to the mix with non-dairy milk, maple syrup or honey, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
You get a healthy dose of fiber and antioxidants that promote heart health when you make these pancakes without having to include loads of sugar or butter!
8. Mexican Rice and Beans Baked Eggs
If you’ve got more time one morning and are planning out a very active day, what you make for breakfast can change the trajectory of your day. Packed full of protein and essential nutrients, this Mexican rice and beans with baked eggs is a hearty and healthy breakfast recipe that is sure to impress your brunch friends.
This recipe includes a variety of delicious vegetables, like onions, jalapeño peppers, corn kernels, tomatoes, beans, rice, and eggs. This meal would take a lot to finish on your own, so it’s best you share it with friends. Either that or you can have it as a leftover for days!
9. Healthy Banana Bread
Banana bread is a recipe that so many people love. It’s a great snack for any time of the day, but we most enjoy it with a little bit of honey drizzled on top and a cup of tea in the morning. You can use whatever flour you’d like, but whole wheat flour will give you the heart-healthy benefits of whole grain. Double-check to make sure there is no "enriched" flour in the flour packages you are purchasing.
With this recipe you can add dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (or both) for extra flavoring and nutrients! Feel free to add in some cinnamon as well for an extra kick. You can try to make this last for a few days, but good luck getting past the first night!
Oatmeal is the last on our list because it has so many benefits and so many variations. You can truly customize your oatmeal to be exactly what you like; from adding fruits, nuts, and spices, to drizzling honey or maple syrup on top, it’s your choice on how you make your dish!
Making oatmeal is pretty easy, and once you’ve got it down, it doesn’t take that long to find your favorite variation. Some heart-healthy options to include in your oatmeal are blueberries and strawberries, peanut butter, chia seeds, almonds, or even some protein powder!
Getting The Right Nutrients
It can be challenging to keep track of what nutrients you are getting throughout the day, as it’s not always cut and dry or easy. If you’ve wondered whether or not you’re consuming enough nutrients to protect your heart, bones, muscles, and immune system, you can find out all about your levels with the Vessel Health Wellness Card.
This at-home test allows you to track your nutrient and mineral levels, as well as stress levels and how well you’ve been sleeping at night.
The point of Vessel is to make your own body’s nutrition easily available to you in a way that makes sense and provides explanations and suggestions on how to improve your lifestyle to become healthier. If you want to learn more about your body’s makeup, reach out to a Vessel Health representative!
Sinead Adedipe See all the author’s articles