John Gunther once wrote, "All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
We at Healthy Living happen to agree -- a good breakfast can set the tone for your day and positively influence your health. Studies show that breakfast eaters are more likely to have healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels than those who skip. Morning munchers have also been shown to have more energy throughout the day, better cognitive performance and a decreased risk for obesity compared to their breakfast-skipping counterparts.
Not all breakfast foods are created equal, however. Depending on what you're eating, that breakfast could turn into a wreck-fast: Overindulging in calories and fats that will have you feeling hungry in a few hours, sluggish and at risk for weight gain. The granola you eat by the handful? Chances are, if you didn't make it at home, the high-calorie crunch is loaded with sugar and fat. Same goes for the deceptive muffin (even a bran muffin can clock in at around 400 calories and 10 grams of fat). Other healthy breakfast impostors to steer clear of? Sugar-laden cereal bars, prepared yogurt parfaits and omelets made outside your kitchen (often greased with butter).
What should you focus on when concocting the perfect healthy meal? Think protein and fiber for satiety's sake, and make sure you're eating enough calories (a single piece of fruit isn't going to cut it).
As it turns out, many of our Healthy Living readers know what's up when it comes to nutritious morning foods. We asked our Twitter community to send in photos of their favorite b-fast bites, and now we're inspired to get cooking. Check out some of your favorite breakfasts in the slideshow below, then be sure to add your own with the submission tool!
"Peaches, blueberries, shredded coconut and organic yogurt." -- <a href="www.wholefoodhealing.com.au" target="_blank">Brittany Darling</a>
"My favorite healthy breakfast is Raw Buckwheat (image attached), recipe <a href="http://enlightenedlife.ca/2013/02/01/raw-buckwheat-breakfast-2/" target="_blank">here</a>." -- Dani Felip, <a href="http://enlightenedlife.ca/" target="_blank">Enlightened Life</a>
"Each day I make a green smoothie with almond milk, spinach, a banana, and also either blackberries or blueberries. (Sometimes I add peanut butter or wildflower honey for a bit more sweetness.) It is the perfect boost. It contains so many nutrients and protein, making me feel great!" -- Crystal Gardiner
"My homemade Pumpkin Coconut Granola! Gluten/grain/dairy/sugar free and fabulous!" -- Elizabeth Payne
"I am happy to share with you a photo of my healthy, delicious breakfast: Poached organic egg over roasted sweet potatoes with onions, broccoli and black beans. Great way to power-up your day with nutrient dense veggies and protein." -- Sheila Emery Murphy
"Here's my healthy breakfast. Tofu scramble with onions, peppers, sesame seeds and turmeric, a spinach and rocket salad, and a whole grain [pita] bread." -- Joanne Dabbs, <a href="twitter.com/anicerchoice" target="_blank">@anicerchoice</a>
"My freaky breakfast. Start of a #strongday." -- Lisa Lineberger
"Instant oatmeal." -- Stephanie Hokanson
"Here's my typical healthy breakfast: oatmeal with fiber bran, cinnamon, blueberries, honey and Greek yogurt, 250 ml of skim milk, and 125 ml of orange juice (with added water)." -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/i-lost-weight-jarvis-googoo_n_2625688.html" target="_blank">Jarvis Googoo </a>
"Oatmeal with chunks of strawberries and bananas" -- aashwany
"Vegan Sausage, Veggie Hash, and Vegan Biscuits!" -- Annie Koempel, <a href="http://vegangrip.com/2013/04/04/sausage-biscuit-and-hash/" target="_blank">more recipes here</a>
"A proper country English breakfast of grilled dry-cured bacon, homemade sausage, fresh herb-stuffed mushrooms, garden tomatoes and a very special poached, organic free-range egg from our own hens on homemade bread all served up at <a href="www.lowerbuckton.co.uk" target="_blank">www.lowerbuckton.co.uk</a>!" -- Carolyn Chesshire
"Locally produced bacon, local eggs with spinach and bell peppers, and spaghetti squash hash browns. A very paleo breakfast to start the day." -- Raine Klover
"Smoothie: water, chia seeds, kale, frozen organic berries, vegetable protein, and a tsp of apple cider vinegar!" -- Alli Sarah
Homemade breakfast bars
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/invisbl"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/1046776-tiny.png?20110818190054" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/invisbl">invisbl</a>:<br />Oats, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, flax seeds, cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened applesauce. After it's baked for a while, I'll sprinkle some semi-sweet dark chocolate chips to melt on top.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jessie_Blair-Myrie"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/1231426007/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jessie_Blair-Myrie">Jessie Blair-Myrie</a>:<br />Made from scratch with all organic flour grains (any combination of whole wheat, buckwheat, brown rice or millet), infused with an organic probiotic kefir-like drink called Amasai, and topped with organic strawberries and blueberries with a side of organic scrambled eggs. I wouldn't mind sharing recipe. http://pureandwhollyliving.com
this morning's breakfast smoothie
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/ashleypark"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/ashleypark">ashleypark</a>:<br />Strawberries, blueberries, kale, almond milk, and chia seeds blended with ice
Uttapa! Rich Indian breakfast.....
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Uma_Masur"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://s.huffpost.com/images/profile/user_placeholder.gif" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Uma_Masur">Uma Masur</a>:<br />This reach breakfast is very nutritious!You need to have bowl of Soaked and fermented batter of Rice and Urid dal(cereal). Break into it one egg,finely chopped onion, tomato, green chilli,salt to taste. Pour laddle of this onto a already heated pan and fry for 3 min. both sides and then serve with a favorite sauce....and you are done for the day!
Teff Porridge With Cashew Cream And Mixed Berries From Vegan American Princess
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/debsuntennis"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/aol_profile_img/3353651.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/debsuntennis">debsuntennis</a>:<br />Teff Porridge With Cashew Cream And Mixed Berries From Vegan American Princess