Now that more experts believe eggs can and should be included in a healthy, balanced diet, you can feel good about eating them and even take advantage of them to super power your morning omelet! The standard egg, ham, and cheese omelet might be delicious, but there’s so much more you can do to make your omelet pack a healthier AM punch. It’s fun and healthy to experiment with different recipes so do so by focusing on ingredients that are full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber. So many different and fresh foods combine well with eggs. Not only that, but adding nutrient-rich ingredients to your morning meal can help keep you healthy, boost your energy for the day (or pre-workout), and keep your appetite satisfied for longer to prevent binge snacking. So get cracking those eggs with these ten healthy additions to super-power your omelet…
1. Swiss Chard
For some, Swiss chard is an acquired taste. However, like any new, fresh, healthy food, you simply need to cook it with the right ingredients. Omelets are one way to include Swiss chard in your diet. By adding the leafy green to your omelet, you’ll benefit from the many nutrients found within. The bitter and salty flavor of Swiss chard finds a nice balance when sautéed with eggs, and it also blends well with a variety of veggies (since it’s often used in stir fries) if you want to add even more healthy ingredients. Just remember to sauté your the chard before adding it to your eggs to soften it up and lighten the bitter tang.
Swiss chard is virtually overloaded with a bunch of vitamins and antioxidants. For instance, this leafy green is high in fiber and protein, and contains anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to good health and also help protect your body against disease in the future. A healthy morning (or evening) omelet is part of a healthy, balanced diet. Plus, research from the National Institutes of Health show that the inclusion of eggs in a weight management program enhances weight loss, which means there’s zero reason to cut them out if you’re trying to lose weight.
Apples probably aren’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of super powering your omelet. However, an apple a day with your eggs is worth a try due to the nutritional benefits. Relatively cheap, apples are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, and studies have linked them to the preventing of many serious diseases (i.e., heart disease). Luckily, with a wide variety of apples differing in taste, choosing your favorite fruit to add to (or with) your eggs can produce a surprisingly delicious combination.
Leaving the peel on, chop up an apple and add it to your bowl of whipped eggs. You can include other ingredients (i.e., low fat cheese) but apples taste just dandy as the sole ingredient. Once you pour the mixture into your frying pan, add some cinnamon for a naturally sweet flavor with no extra calories. Cinnamon is a super-charged spice that helps lower blood sugar (with beneficial effects on glycemic control) and even bad cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. You don’t need to add a lot of cinnamon on to reap the benefits of this spice, just a pinch of the powerful flavor will complement the apples.
Veggies are always a great addition to omelets because they don’t add many calories. However, fresh bounty from your garden (or market) can greatly increase the nutrient value of your meal, and help you attain daily dietary goals and recommendations. Asparagus is no exception. This flavorful veggie makes an ideal addition to omelettes because it’s a rich source of B-complex vitamins, which give your body energy. Combined with the protein in eggs, an asparagus omelet is a great pre-workout meal.
Asparagus also contains vitamins that help keep bones strong and healthy, which is important for current health and bone maintenance as you age. According to research from Tufts University, the veggie has been linked to decreasing the risk of several cancers, like breast, colon, larynx, bone, and lung cancers, due to the fact that it contains compounds that break down carcinogens (and dangerous compounds like free radicals). Plus, the fiber in asparagus combined with the nutrients in eggs (i.e., protein) keep you fuller for longer. There’s no need to only eat egg whites, as recent research has shown that the yolks are packed full of nutrients and healthy fats that are worth eating.
Tomatoes are used as the base in all kinds of meals, sauces, and dips. They’ve long been considered a superfood, so it makes perfect sense to use them to super power your omelet. Tomatoes are well connected to protecting heart health—specifically it’s the high levels of potassium within tomatoes that are linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Doctors and health professionals around the world recognize tomatoes as a food with many heart healthy benefits.
The potential benefits of including tomatoes into your diet seem endless. Studies from the American Cancer Society show that the properties in tomatoes don’t just positively impact heart health—they may help lower the risk of several common types of cancer (i.e., lung and prostate cancers), lower blood sugar levels (which is important for diabetics), improve skin texture, prevent or lower the risk of obesity, and even help ease depression. So the next time you add tomatoes to your omelet, think of how many ways this super power food is improving your health.
Jalapeño peppers aren’t just reserved for nacho toppings any longer! If you enjoy a little (or a lot) of kick in your food while super powering your omelet, jalapeños are the perfect ingredient to do so. Packed with flavor and ranging in heat intensity, jalapeños may be small, but a little bit adds a lot of spice and nutrients that can improve your overall health. These little peppers add significant nutritional value to meals and are a tasty combination when used in egg dishes, like omelets.
Jalapeños are fairly high in both vitamin A and C. In fact, one small pepper can provide roughly 20-percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, which helps prevent and protect against serious diseases, such as cancer. And don’t forget that the compound that causes the spice factor in jalapeño peppers also has another significant benefit—it provides anti-inflammatory properties and encourages healthy blood flow. So spice up your next omelet with a jalapeño pepper.
Considering its superfood status and versatility, it’s guaranteed that adding avocados will certainly super power your omelet. As a healthy breakfast, brunch, or lunch, an avocado omelet will satisfy your craving for a tasty meal while keeping you full for hours afterward, something many light breakfasts recommend for weight loss. However, many people are often worried about the fat in avocado. Keep in mind that the fats found in this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) are healthy fats that have way more benefits than downsides. For instance, while a typical avocado contains approximately 30-grams of fat—20 of these grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats.
Avocados are also high in potassium, phytochemicals, carotenoids (help prevent eye disease), fiber, and folate. This fruit is known to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. According to research published by WebMD, avocados are also natural anti-inflammatories, and eating them can help those who suffer from joint inflammation. When adding avocado to your omelet, use about a quarter of the whole fruit with your other favorite vegetables. Just be sure to eat your avocados in moderation.
As if you needed another excuse to eat garlic! But you won’t feel bad about making those around you suffer from the resulting garlic breath when you learn that adding garlic to your meals, wherever possible, has numerous health benefits. Garlic is common in all different types of meals for good reason. Not only does freshly minced garlic taste great in sauces, stir fries, and omelets, but mixing it in with your eggs and vegetables boosts the flavor of your omelet and gives it some impressive, super powered health properties to boot.
For instance, research from the American Society for Nutrition touts garlic’s main health benefits—including the ability to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and the ability to manage and even reduce cholesterol. Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants, which have been linked to strengthening the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off diseases and viruses (i.e., the common cold). There are a lot of other uses of garlic that can improve health and fix small medical problems, but when it comes to adding it to your diet, it’s easy to dice a garlic bulb and throw into an omelet.
Another leafy green that will boost your omelet’s health factor is spinach. There has been a lot of research on the health benefits of spinach, and it’s recognized as a vegetable with nutrient-rich properties that everyone can benefit from. Like other leafy green options for omelets, spinach adds a palatable texture and a relatively soft, earthy flavor when cooked with eggs. Plus, the flavor works well with other vegetables too. Not everyone is a fan of cooked spinach alone, but when cooked in eggs, the leafy green absorbs other flavors and spices well.
Spinach is packed with vitamins, notably vitamins A, C and K. It’s rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium..and this list isn’t even complete. Research from WebMD credits spinach with high iron content that increases your energy levels, surprises appetite, and lowers blood pressure. In fact, spinach is largely considered Mother Nature’s way of keeping blood pressure in check due to the nitrates within that work to keep blood vessels healthy. Overall, spinach offers health benefits to almost every part of the body!
Sometimes the slightest addition can pack the most punch, which may be the case with turmeric. This spice isn’t exactly a super food, but it’s certainly a super spice, and it could be just what your omelet needs to give it an extra health boost. Mild in flavor with a light aroma of orange and ginger, turmeric blends well with many foods. In fact, it’s often used as a natural food dye and is featured in many traditional medicine practices. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for almost 4000 years.
It’s not surprising how many different ways turmeric is used in cooking given the long list of potential health benefits. Although much research is still underway, the spice has been linked to the treatment and prevention of several types of cancer, may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and may play a role in overall heart health. In addition to this, the NLM lists turmeric among the natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, liver disorders, abdominal pain, healing wounds, and improving blood circulation, and digestion.
Broccoli is a staple vegetable in houses across North America. Unfortunately, many children (and adults) don’t like eating it. Trust me; this veggie is one that you want to eat regularly as part of a balanced diet due to it’s numerous health benefits. While broccoli certainly isn’t your standard breakfast ingredient, lightly steamed, chopped broccoli makes for a great addition that will super power your omelet. It’s also a convenient veggie to dice finely from leftovers with a bit of feta cheese (and other vegetables). This way, you can sneak a bit of greens into the meal without making a showcase of them.
Broccoli is high in fiber, which studies show keeps you full for longer to prevent mindless snacking. When cooked in the morning with eggs (or any protein rich food), broccoli will help keep you full until lunchtime. A serving of broccoli contains well over your daily recommended amount of both vitamin C and vitamin K. According to the American Cancer Society, these and other nutrients found in broccoli help maintain eye health, boost and keep the immune system strong, decrease the risk of heart disease and several cancers (i.e., breast cancer), and strengthen bones. See, it makes sense to include this veggie in your omelet as a great start to your day.