Top 12 protein sources for breakfast
Protein for breakfast? Yes please. Not only does protein help to build and repair muscle, it's also vital to rev up your metabolism, helping you burn fat, and it's responsible for that feeling of satiety you get after a meal. So you're less likely to reach for a bag of crisps or a sugary treat mid-morning if you fuel your body with one of these protein sources first thing. It's recommended you eat breakfast within an hour of getting up, so for those busy mornings when you're pushed for time, you might want to prepare breakfast the night before so it's ready to reheat or eat before you head for the office or your morning workout! We think all 12 of these protein sources are pretty tasty options - and we'd love to hear what your favourite breakfast is, so comment below or get in touch on Twitter to tell us.
#1. Cereal with milk
Choose a healthy granola that's low in sugar but packed with nuts and seeds to boost your protein intake at breakfast time. Make your own granola for the healthiest option - why not try our ultimate granola? Add some berries for one of your five-a-day and some regular or almond milk for a calcium boost.
#2. Nut butter on toast
Two tablespoons of almond butter contains around 8g of protein, which can give you the energy boost you need to have a productive morning. Avoid processed nut butters which can contain sugar, salt and other additives. Look instead for wholefood varieties with a short ingredients list and spread on wholemeal or rye bread. Yum!
#3. Greek yoghurt
A 6oz serving of Greek yoghurt contains around 14g protein, making this the perfect post-workout breakfast. Choose 0% yoghurt for the healthiest option and top with some fresh blueberries and raspberries, loaded with vitamin C and fibre, as well as some seeds or nuts.
#4. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a fantastic protein powerhouse and they're also loaded with fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, vital for brain health. Serve 2tsp of them sprinkled over 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (also high in protein) and 3/4 cup Greek yoghurt - you'll be consuming just 226 calories and 22g protein! Chia seeds are also great in smoothies or as a granola topper.
Whether you prefer them fried, scrambled, poached, boiled or in an omelette, eggs are one of the best high-protein breakfast options. A large egg contains around 80 calories and 6g protein, as well as vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, phosphorus, DHA and vitamin A. Eggs help to keep your heart healthy, and they're packed with antioxidants which can protect your sight. A high-quality source of protein, eggs satisfy your appetite and give you loads of energy!
#6. Porridge oats
Make your own healthy porridge oats with dairy-free milk and top with fruit, nuts and seeds for a great protein boost and a fantastic way to start your day!
Bacon and eggs might be considered an unhealthy breakfast, but cooked the right way and eaten in moderation it can actually be a pretty healthy choice. Two large eggs and 3 slices of bacon contain around 462 calories and 22g of protein - that's almost half your daily protein allowance in one meal! Ok, so this isn't a choice you'd want to make everyday, as bacon is high in salt and saturated fat, but once or twice a week it's a good way to fuel your mornings. Try swapping regular bacon for turkey bacon which is lower in sodium and saturated fat, grill it and enjoy your eggs scrambled or poached, rather than fried.
#8. Avocado and eggs
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and it's simple to prepare an avocado and egg breakfast, even on rushed mornings. Top 2 slices of wholegrain toast with an avocado, mashed with some salt and pepper, and add two poached eggs to give you a protein boost!
#9. Dairy smoothie
Adding some yoghurt and milk to your smoothie ups the protein content. Try blending a cup of Greek yoghurt with a cup of frozen fruit and 1/2 cup of milk or juice for a healthy way to start your day that will fill you up and stop you snacking.
#10. Cottage cheese
Serving cottage cheese on toast - or even on French toast, sprinkled with some cinnamon - is a really healthy choice, provided you choose reduced-salt varieties. Cottage cheese is high in casein protein, a type of protein which is digested slowly and nourishes your muscles with amino acids. 1/2 cup of cottage cheese contains around 14g protein.
You might not consider tofu for breakfast, but with a 3oz serving containing around 12g protein, it makes sense! Try adding some silken tofu to your smoothie or grill/fry and add to your vegetable omelette for a protein boost. We love tofu, red peppers, mushrooms and courgettes for our omelettes!
Wheat grains are made up of germ, bran and endosperm. The germ is the bit that contains the most protein and nutrients - around 6g protein per 1oz serving. You can try adding some wheatgerm to your fruit smoothie, top your morning porridge with it or sprinkle it into pancake mix or over cereal for a nutty flavour and protein hit.