If you’re a chronic snooze-hitter and find yourself strapped for time in the morning, a healthy breakfast may be low on your list of priorities. Hey, we get it. But stopping for a bagel or grabbing a quick protein bar might not be your best bet.
After all, highly processed foods can leave you feeling sluggish and may even trigger inflammation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests.
Before you grab and go, consider one of these breakfast recipes to pack your busy mornings with more nutrition. Not only will these options load up your meal with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, but they might also help keep inflammation at bay.
If your usual breakfast involves a sugar-laden flavored yogurt, this chia pudding recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing some inflammation-fighting benefits.
Chia seeds are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep inflammation down, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Not to mention, these little seeds are full of fiber, which is slow to digest and will help keep you full throughout the morning.
Free of refined sugar, this pudding is topped with a cup of blueberries as its sweetening agent. The small but mighty fruit is also rich in natural antioxidants and polyphenols (protective compounds in plants), known for helping reduce inflammation, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
2. Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
If you like a protein-rich breakfast, start with this smoked salmon benny. Not only can smoked salmon give your breakfast a decadent twist, but it’s also a top notch source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for fighting inflammation, Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, says.
To keep things lighter, feel free to skip the hollandaise sauce. You’ll save time, fat and calories — the runny egg yolk is sure to do the trick.
3. Cracked Farro Porridge With Berries and Walnuts
The deliciously chewy farro in this vegan recipe is a whole grain powerhouse, full of healthy fiber and protein, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. The whole grain contains beneficial plant polyphenols that may help protect against certain diseases, including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease, according to November 2018 research published in Nutrients
Furthermore, the nuts in this breakfast offer excellent source of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats, which are a key staple in an anti-inflammatory diet, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
A good breakfast omelet can make any morning better. Taub-Dix recommends stuffing yours with plenty of produce to start your day off with a nutrient-rich, inflammation-fighting meal. While this omelet recipe already calls for spinach, mushroom and peppers, you can add extra veg, like onions and broccoli, for some bonus nutrients.
5. Blueberry Chia Smoothie
While some dairy products may not be the best for fighting inflammation, this smoothie is made with kefir, a fermented, probiotic-rich dairy product. Kefir is also rich in protein, which will give your smoothie a little more bulk.
The pecans in this recipe will give your smoothie a dose of healthy fats. Consider also adding spinach or other green veggies for plenty of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, Taub-Dix says.
6. Healthy Breakfast Salad
Eating salad for breakfast is one often-overlooked way to boost your veggie intake. But breakfast salads are not to be ignored, as they’re packed with anti-inflammatory compounds. This salad, in particular, delivers healthy unsaturated fats with avocado and olive oil, phytochemicals and antioxidants with tomatoes and lutein and zeaxanthin with egg yolk.
7. Healthy No-Bake Granola Bites
Thanks to those flaxseeds (hi, omega-3s!), this quick recipe is a slam dunk choice for quelling inflammation. Omega-3s may help ease inflammation, according to researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Sugar is an ingredient you’ll want to limit, so you might want to decrease the amount of honey in this recipe, and sub out the chocolate chips for something like coconut flakes or extra nuts.
8. 5-Minute Blueberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
The anti-inflammatory power of this 5-minute breakfast comes from those little blue orbs. Blueberries (and other berries, too) are brimming with anti-inflammatory compounds like anthocyanins and ellagitannins.
But also, key nutrients in blueberries like potassium and vitamin C have antioxidant properties that help tamp down harmful inflammation, per a September 2016 study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
9. Kale Sweet Potato Hash With Baked Eggs
As a cruciferous vegetable, kale has some serious anti-inflammatory power, according to a November 2014 study in The Journal of Nutrition. In the study, adults who ate 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables a day (for two weeks) saw an improvement in some inflammatory markers — and more so than when they ate just 1 cup a day or no veggies at all.
Eating more leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss chard has been shown to lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and brain deterioration, says Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD, author of Meals that Heal: 100+ Everyday Anti-Inflammatory Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less.
10. Breakfast Quinoa Oatmeal
Whole grains and berries make this breakfast an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Remember, all berries contain anti-inflammatory compounds, such as anthocyanins and ellagitannins.
Whole grains — here, that’s quinoa — are full of antioxidants, phytic acid, vitamin E and selenium, all of which may help quell inflammation. Quinoa also offer healthy doses of fiber, another nutrient that could help with inflammation, per a June 2021 study in Genome Medicine.
11. Spinach and Eggs With Mushrooms
Another take on baked eggs, this vibrant spinach, eggs and mushrooms melange is chock-full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, like potassium, iron and protein.
Don’t skimp on the shrooms in this recipe: A March 2018 review published in Food Chemistry highlights the anti-inflammatory properties of mushrooms. The veggies are brimming with anti-inflammatory components like polysaccharides, phenolic and indolic compounds.
12. Spinach and Mushroom Egg Muffins
Why not enjoy the wonderful anti-inflammatory properties of mushrooms and spinach in muffin form?
These little cuties are simple to cook and make for great leftovers. Store them in the refrigerator for a snack or pack them in a lunch and you’ve got antioxidants on the go!
13. Smoked Salmon Niçoise Toast
Yum — this recipe is replete with a lemon caper aioli, tomatoes, thick whole grain toast, eggs and its star, the smoked salmon.
Eating smoked salmon in the morning can help you get some omega-3s and vitamin D early in the day. Omega-3s, and particularly those that come from marine sources (which smoked salmon is), are incredibly helpful anti-inflammatory nutrients, per March 2010 research in the journal Nutrients.
EPA and DHA, the two omega-3s in salmon and other seafood, have the ability to tame inflammation flames and help create anti-inflammatory compounds.
14. No-Bake Tahini Energy Bars
This unique and versatile breakfast is full of anti-inflammatory goodness. “Pistachios provide several healthy nutrients including B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and selenium,” says Chris Mohr, PhD, RD of MohrResults.com.
“Pistachios are a complete source of protein, which supports immune cells that help to eliminate damaged cells, bacteria and viruses. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for inflammation.”
In fact, replacing some of the saturated fat in your diet with unsaturated fat has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, according to a November 2016 study in BMJ. And chronic inflammation can play a role in spurring heart disease.
If you’re not already sold on the many health benefits of avocado, you may be surprised to learn that the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is loaded with healthy unsaturated fat, which helps fight inflammation in the body, according to the Arthritis Foundation.