Healthy breakfast ideas for a balanced diet

healthy breakfast of granola

by Bryony Firth-bernard |

A healthy, nutritious breakfast is key for a balanced diet, not to mention it helps us start our day the right way.

A healthy breakfast should contain unprocessed key nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and fibre. Each of these play an important role in the body; carbs provide us with energy, protein repairs and builds muscles, fat helps us absorb vitamins, while fibre assists our digestive system to function.

Whether you're looking for healthy breakfast ideas to help you lose weight or you're simply looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, we've rounded up the best breakfasts that are good for your gut, but tasty too!

Breakfast burrito

healthy breakfast burrito

Big on brekkie and love burritos? Then this breakfast burrito is a winner. It’s quick and easy to make and you get a good helping of veggies, protein from the eggs and carbs from the wholewheat tortillas.

Mushroom hash with poached eggs

Not only is this recipe healthy (ensuring you get three of your five-a-day) it’s also low in calories too. Its star ingredient, mushrooms, are a great antioxidant, packed full of fibre and are rich in B vitamins, which can help protect your heart.

Banana porridge

Porridge is one of the most nutritious, healthy breakfasts that you can have, as oats contain beta-glucan, which can lower your cholesterol and balance your blood sugar levels. This recipe tops your porridge with banana and raspberries, which are both a great source of potassium, and some Greek yogurt too for a good dollop of protein.

Tip: Try and stay away from instant porridges that are sweetened or flavoured, as these are usually high in sugar.

Overnight oats

healthy breakfast overnight oats

If you’re pushed for time and aren’t able to make a bowl of porridge in the morning, then overnight oats are a great alternative, as you can prepare them the night before. Simply mix your oats and milk together (as you would if you were making porridge), pop in an airtight container and leave in the fridge overnight. Spruce it up a little by adding some healthy toppings, such as raspberries, a nut butter for some added protein, chia seeds, blueberries, strawberries or banana.

Tip: Want to make your porridge flavoured? Try mixing in a small amount of cocoa powder.

DIY oaty fruit cereal

Lots of cereals (especially granolas) are packed full of hidden sugars, but this oaty version by Jamie Oliver is transparently healthy as it’s high in carbs and protein, but lower in sugar and fat. It contains dried fruit, unsalted nuts, oats and mixed seeds. Make a big batch and enjoy throughout the week.

Related: 12 of the best cereals for weight loss

Omelette

Not only are omlettes great for a healthy breakfast, but also lunch and dinner too. Eggs are a wonderful source of nutrients, including protein, vitamin D, B12 and mineral iodine. To get a good dosage of your five a day before midday, pack your omlette with a selection of colourful veggies, such as spinach, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes. A small sprinkling of cheese will also provide you with some extra protein, calcium and fat.

Tip: Instead of using butter to make your omelette use olive oil instead (you can even get 1 cal spray versions) as it’s a healthier source of fat.

Shakshuka

healthy breakfast shakshuka

Wonderful for the weekends, this one-pan shakshuka has a five star rating and is full of flavour and nutrients. It includes tin tomatoes, a brilliant antioxidant which are also high in lycopene, which can improve heart health; peppers, eggs and natural yoghurt. You’ll get a good helping of carbs (22.9g) and protein (14.5) in each serving too.

Peanut butter, banana and cinnamon smoothie

Shop bought smoothies are full of sugar, but made at home can be healthy as you know exactly what you’re putting into it. This recipe from The Spruce Eats, which contains a decent amount of carbs from two bananas and protein and fat from the peanut butter takes five minutes to make. Perfect for those morning’s you’re pushed for time.

If you've got a slow cooker make sure to give these breakfast recipes a go for a fuss free morning.

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