Breakfast presents one of the main opportunities for you to take in nutrients often lacking in the American diet. Studies often link eating breakfast with higher daily intakes of fiber, calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin C. 

Breakfast offers a great opportunity to meet your daily goal of three or more servings of whole grains (whole-grain cold cereal, oatmeal or whole-grain toast, for example). It’s also a great time to eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables, perhaps in an omelet or vegetable juice. It’s much easier to achieve the recommended daily total of five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits when they’re part of your daily meals.

For a long-lasting, health-promoting breakfast, here’s a winning formula: Combine a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable, and a healthful source of protein. For the latter, choose a food that’s either low in fat (skim milk or low-fat yogurt) or one that contains healthful fat (peanut butter or walnuts).

—Karen Collins, MS, RD, American Institute for Cancer Research