Are you looking for an energy-boosting, kick-start to your day? Well, then try a Mediterranean diet breakfast!

The Mediterranean diet is full of nutritious, anti-inflammatory foods including fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats such as olive oil.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease through its reduction in the pro-inflammatory marker IL-6 (interleukin 6).1 Those with rheumatoid arthritis have also been shown to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of the Mediterranean diet through increased vitality and an improvement in their physical function.2

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Herbs and spices are another great component of the Mediterranean diet, which also have anti-inflammatory effects. To learn more, see one of my previous articles on ten foods that help ward off inflammation.

Unfortunately, the typical American breakfast is loaded with inflammatory, refined carbohydrates, such as bagels, cereal, juice, and muffins.  Instead of having dessert for breakfast (e.g., blueberry muffin and a mocha), try one of the following five breakfast options that follow the principles of the Mediterranean diet and will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to nourish you inside-out!

Also check out this 7 day Mediterranean diet plan

 Five mediterranean diet breakfast ideas:

(1) Vegetable omelet with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Top with a little olive oil and add some cilantro or other fresh herb for an anti-inflammatory boost.

Nourishing Mediterranean breakfast_2

(2) 1 fried egg, sautéed eggplant topped with a scoop of hummus, ½ tomato and sautéed kale.

(3)  ½ avocado, ½ cup cooked black beans, topped with salsa and cilantro.

(4) ½ cup cooked quinoa with some fresh fruit, walnuts, cinnamon and milk (you could use coconut milk if you want to go dairy-free).

(5) 4 oz. of smoked salmon or trout, sweet potato hash browns, and sautéed spinach.

Tips:

To make the sweet potato hash browns, grate up ½ sweet potato and sauté in some virgin coconut oil, an oil that fits the anti-inflammatory principles of the Mediterranean diet. These hash browns cook up fast and are delicious.

Why eat a mediterranean diet breakfast?

We all know it is important to eat something for breakfast, but it is the quality of your breakfast that matters most. A low-glycemic load breakfast is one that does not have a major impact on your blood sugar level and helps keep your blood sugar in check right from the start of the day.

In contrast, consuming a high-glycemic load breakfast (e.g., juice and a pastry) may lead to a drop in blood sugar five hours after the meal that resembles skipping breakfast altogether.3 This drop in blood sugar can lead to craving more carbohydrates at the next meal and may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The above breakfast options are full of fiber, nutrients, and carry a low-glycemic load to help keep your blood sugar balanced right from the start of the day.

Simply put, think of having “dinner for breakfast” and start your day off right with a Mediterranean diet breakfast!

References

1. Dai J, Miller AH, Bremner JD, et al. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with circulation interleukin-6 among middle-aged men: a twin study. Circulation. 2008;117:169-175.

2. Skoldstam L, Hagfors L, Johansson G. An experimental study of a Mediterranean diet intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2003;62:208-214.

3. Pereira MA, Erickson E, McKee P, et al. Breakfast frequency and quality may affect glycemia and appetite in adults and children. J Nutr. 2011;141:163S-168S.

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