You know protein is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles such as repairing your body’s cells, building and repairing muscles, building and maintaining bone health and helping control the metabolic process. So it makes sense that you would want to start each day with some protein – the superfood that will kick start your day the healthy way!

When you wake up in the morning, you should be feeling hungry because your body has been fasting all night long. Your body is also looking for vitamins and nutrients that come from food so it can get energized for the day ahead. This is why your breakfast choice is such an important one- you can either set yourself up to feel healthy and energized throughout the day, or you can choose to feel, well, crappy all day!

Eating protein at breakfast will help set you up for a good day! Lean protein is a great way to fill up without consuming a lot of calories. Additionally, protein has been shown to increase a feeling of fullness, or satiety, which means you’ll feel full all morning. Protein can also help speed up your metabolism and stabilize blood sugar levels so you’ll be more inclined to make smart eating choices throughout the rest of the day.

So what are the best protein-packed breakfast choices? Here are our favorite picks:

  • Eggs: Not only are eggs a great source of protein, but they are also a great source of choline, which is essential for a healthy brain and nervous system. Choline also reduces inflammation among those with heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis. Scramble up a couple eggs in the morning, or mix one whole egg and one egg white or just the egg whites and you’ll be on your way to a healthy day!
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Enjoy some trail mix on your walk to work or sprinkle some flaxseed or almonds on your morning oatmeal.
  • Whey protein shake: There is no better on-the-go protein-packed breakfast than a whey protein shake! You already know that shakes and smoothies made with whey protein are a great tool for weight management, and they also serve as a filling breakfast. Just blend together your favorite healthy ingredients and add a scoop of whey protein.

Try this whey protein recipe for a Very Berry Smoothie from Women’s Health:

Blend together:

3/4 cup instant oatmeal, nuked in water or skim milk
3/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup mixed frozen berries
2 teaspoons whey powder
3 ice cubes, crushed

Makes 2 8-ounce servings

Per serving: 144 calories, 7 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 109 mg sodium