By Dr. Mercola
If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, you’ll want to bypass much of the traditional fare in the US. Cereal, bagels, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and doughnuts all have one thing in common…
They’re refined carbohydrates that will quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.
Highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger, which means when you eat toast or cereal for breakfast you might be priming your body to overeat junk food for the rest of the day.
If you’re going to eat breakfast, you need to give your body the proper fuel, which means healthy fats, fiber, a moderate amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals – all of which you’ll find in the irresistible recipe that follows…
Try This Spicy Avocado Egg Recipe
Free-range, pastured organic eggs are one of the best foods you can eat. Combine them with another superfood, avocado, plus healthy spices and salsa, and you’re on to something. This recipe, from Mountain Rose Blog,1 is described as a breakfast food, but you can eat it any time of day. If you don’t like spicy foods, you can adjust the seasoning accordingly.
|Rise & Shine Baked Avocado|
- 1 organic Hass avocado, cut in half with seed removed
- 2 organic pastured farm eggs
- ½ tsp. organic Mexican Seasoning or equal parts organic cumin powder, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder
- ¼ cup shredded organic cheddar cheese
- Organic salsa
- Fine sea salt and organic cracked black pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the avocado halves into a baking dish and stabilize them with a little foil if needed. Crack one egg into each empty pit of your avocado halves. You can scoop a bit of avocado out if you need more room for the egg.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. of Mexican Seasoning on each egg filled avocado. Top each half with shredded cheese and pop into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with salsa, and enjoy!
What Makes This Recipe Good for You?
It’s comprised of whole foods that will give your body a boost of energy while offering multiple synergistic benefits, courtesy of its phenomenal ingredients:
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. They also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid.
Research has found that avocados can help optimize cholesterol levels within as little as one week, and contain compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells, as well as, compounds that protect against liver damage.
Free-Range Organic Eggs
Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat, and other nutrients, including choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The best way to consume eggs, provided they come from a high-quality source, is to not cook them at all, which is why my advanced nutrition plan recommends eating your eggs raw.
In the beginner plan, however, eggs are still included and you can prepare them anyway you like them. While less "well-done" eggs are still preferable (such as poached, soft-boiled, or over easy with very runny yolks), a hard-boiled egg makes a fine snack or source of protein for your meal.
If you follow the recipe above, your eggs will come out close to hard-boiled. For less well-done eggs, simply shorten the cooking time. It’s very important to choose free-range or "pastured" organic eggs, as they are far superior when it comes to nutrient content. Eggs from hens raised on pasture contain more vitamin A, omega-3 fats, vitamin E, and beta carotene than commercial eggs.
Conventionally raised eggs are also far more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella. The key to finding truly free-range, pastured eggs is to buy your eggs locally. This is typically even preferable to organic eggs from the grocery store.
Cumin, Oregano, and Chili Powder
These spices are rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals that may fight diseases like cancer, reduce inflammation, and even slow down the aging process. For instance, oregano has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal effects, and may kill MRSA, listeria, and other pathogens.
Cumin, meanwhile, has properties that may enhance your memory and reduce stress, while chili powder contains capsaicin, an anti-inflammatory compound linked to pain relief, weight loss, and the suppression of cancer cells.
Salsa is a wonderful condiment to add to your meals, full of antioxidant-rich tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices. It’s low in calories but heavy in vitamins and flavor, so you can use it generously in your diet.
Why You Might Want to Skip Breakfast
As mentioned, this recipe is ideal for morning, noon or night, and you might actually want to try it later in the day, as opposed to at breakfast time. Emerging research suggests that omitting breakfast, as part of an intermittent eating schedule, can actually have a number of phenomenal health benefits. These range from improving insulin sensitivity to shifting your body into burning more fat instead of sugar for fuel. The interesting aspect about eating first thing in the morning is that it coincides with your circadian cortisol peak, that is, the time of day when your cortisol (a stress hormone) levels rise and reach their peak.
The circadian cortisol peak impacts your insulin secretion, such that when you eat during this time it leads to a rapid and large insulin release and a corresponding rapid drop in blood sugar levels, more so than when you eat at other times of the day.
If you're healthy, your blood sugar levels won't drop to a dangerously low level (such as can occur with hypoglycemia) but they can drop low enough to make you feel hungry. So, although skipping breakfast goes against the conventional idea that you should not skip meals, omitting breakfast could actually make it easier for you to control food cravings and hunger throughout the day.
That said, there are also many other reasons to consider skipping breakfast, including its beneficial affect on your levels of human growth hormone (HGH). Personally, I revised my personal eating schedule to eliminate breakfast and restrict the time I eat to a period of about six to seven hours—typically from noon to 6 or 7 pm. I typically exercise in the morning, and most of the time I am fasting, as exercising while in a fasted state has been shown to produce many beneficial changes.
In the first few months of adopting this approach, I lost two inches from my waist size and gained three pounds, which means I lost body fat and gained muscle mass. The most amazing benefit that intermittent fasting produced is that it shifted me to fat-burning mode, which was one of the most amazing and radical health transformations I have ever experienced. Once you are truly shifted to primarily fat-burning mode your hunger dramatically decreases and your desire for unhealthy processed junk foods virtually disappears. You then don't have to have much discipline or will power to follow a healthy eating plan, as your hunger for unhealthy carbs is just not there.
However, it is important to remember that skipping breakfast is a process, not an action. You don't simply stop eating breakfast one day and reap all the benefits. It is a major commitment that may come with some discomfort, and it typically takes several weeks to successfully transition from being a primary carb burner to using fat as your primary fuel. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to eat breakfast or not, but if you do choose to eat it, remember that it should include fiber and healthy fats, making the avocado and egg recipe above an ideal option.