Ever heard of the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? In this article you will learn some healthy breakfast recipes that’s straight out of Mediterranean diet cookbooks and their specific health benefits.
We get asked a lot on our social media pages “What should we eat for breakfast?” Now it’s a fair question considering there are more than 20 countries where the Mediterranean diet comes from and you can just imagine the number of multiple cuisines that each of these countries contribute to the said diet. It would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack! True, there are countless “breakfast” recipes on Mediterranean diet blogs that you can find online, but truth be told, these can be eaten at any time of the day whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. So it brings us back to our question: “What should we eat for breakfast?” Or “what do the Mediterranean people eat for breakfast?” to be more precise.
Here are 7 best healthy breakfast recipes that are both light yet packed with life-giving nutrients, and are what Mediterraneans eat for breakfast daily:
1.) Spanish Tortilla (Potato Omelet Pie from Spain)
Crispy, fried potatoes and eggs make up this popular Spanish Omelette (Tortilla) recipe, perfect for picnics, parties, bbq’s, or your traditional Tapas menu! Upgrade your omelette now! The typical Spanish tortilla is first deep frying potatoes in 1 – 2 cups of olive oil (use sparingly based on the amount of potatoes you will use). However, you can actually bring down the amount of olive oil to fry the potatoes to 1/2 cup which will reduce the amount of fat that you put in your food also. It might surprise you that just using a non-stick frying pan with the 1/2 cup olive gives exactly the same crisp and golden results.
Serve with bread and salad, or use as an entree or appetizer, it is definitely a weekend brunch kind of breakfast. Traditionally served as tapas in little squares. You will want to eat this every morning as it’s not only one of the best healthy breakfast recipes we’ve come to know, but it’s also quite delicious.
- Calories – 176 Kcal
- Carbohydrates – 12g
- Protein – 6g
- Fat – 11g
- Saturated fat – 2g
- Cholesterol – 109mg
- Sodium – 51mg
- Potassium – 420mg
- Fiber – 2g
- Vitamin A – 160IU
- Vitamin C – 10.8mg
- Calcium – 45mg
- Iron – 3.5mg
- Health benefits of Vitamin A: good eyesight, lowers risk of developing cancers, help maintain your immune system, helps you to avoid getting acne, supports bone health, and promotes healthy growth and reproduction.
- Health benefits of Vitamin C: Reduce risk of chronic illnesses, help manage high blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, lowers blood uric acid levels, prevents iron deficiency, boosts munity, and enhances your cognitive abilities.
- Health benefits of Potassium: helps regulate fluid balance, helps your nervous system to function normally, helps regulate muscle contractions, reduce blood pressure, protect against strokes, prevent osteoporosis, prevent kidney stones, and reduce water retention.
- Health benefits of Calcium: improves bone health, muscle contraction, improves cardiovascular health, lower risk of developing conditions involving high blood pressure during pregnancy, lower blood pressure in young people, improved cholesterol values, and lower risk of colorectal adenomas, a type of non-cancerous tumor.
- Health benefits of Iron: treats anemia, boost hemoglobin, reduces fatigue, boost immunity, improves concentration, reduces bruising and restores sleep.
- Health benefits of Dietary Fiber: helps maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels, helps you achieve a healthy weight, and helps you live longer.
- Health benefits of Protein: holds your hunger and cravings at bay, increases muscle mass and strength, good for your bones, reduces cravings for late night snacking, boosts metabolism and increases fat burning, lowers your blood pressure, helps maintain weight-loss, keeps healthy kidney safe, help your body repair after it has been injured, and helps you stay fit as you age.
2.) Cappuccino Muffins (Italy)
It’s common knowledge that all of us drink our coffee, but what if I told you that you could eat your coffee too? Well, we didn’t call this article Mediterranean healthy breakfast recipes for nothing and we aim to please! The chocolate cuppoccino muffins are simply irresistible and this is one food item that you’d definitely want for your breakfast meals itinerary. Just be careful to eat all of them at once, because that wouldn’t be good for your health.
- Calories – 589 Kcal
- Calories from fat – 235 Kcal
- Carbohydrates – 84g
- Protein – 9.5g
- Total fat – 7g
- Trans fat – 0.4g
- Saturated fat – 7g
- Cholesterol – 43mg
- Sodium – 602mg
- Potassium – 248mg
- Fiber – 4g
- Vitamin A – 3%
- Vitamin C – 1%
- Calcium – 26%
- Iron – 22%
Health Benefits (similar health benefits with the first recipe above).
3.) Greek Yogurt with Honey (Greece)
Just from the looks of it the Greek yogurt paired with honey sounds too good to be true! That’s until you sample a taste of this Greek delight and you’ll swear that it tastes than any ice cream sundae you’ve ever had. If you want to make this dish/dessert at home, then make sure you only have the best and authentic Greek yogurt. I highly recommend that you get your Greek yogurt from this list. Buy farm fresh honey too because branded ones are unreliable and you may want to juice up this dish by adding some fruit and nuts to make it more filling. Now there’s a kind of Mediterranean healthy breakfast recipes for you!
- Calories – 250 Kcal
- Carbohydrates – 29g
- Protein – 7g
- Total fat – 12g
- Saturated fat – 6g
- Cholesterol – 25mg
- Sodium – 80mg
- Sugars – 29g
- Vitamin A – 4%
- Calcium – 10%
- Good source of protein and carbohydrates
- Good as a skin care regimen
- Good for acne treatment
- Excellent source of probiotics
- Health benefits of Sodium: when consumed as a low sodium diet, it can help lower your blood pressure, minimize risk of heart attack, lowers LDL cholesterol, prevent congestive heart failure, reduce risk of kidney damage, prevent strokes, prevents brain aneurysm, protect your vision, lowers risk of diabetes and so much more!
4.) Ful Medames (Egypt)
Ful medames may have been a favorite dish of the Egyptians since before the Islamic conquest of Egypt and is also pre-Ottoman. There’s even an old Arab saying that goes “Beans have satisfied even the Pharaohs.” The ful medames is actually both a traditional breakfast dish and Egypt’s national dish eaten at all times of the day, in the fields, in village mud-houses, and in the cities. I know it’s hard to think about eating beans for breakfast, but don’t let that idea hold you back because this Egyptian dish is actually very delicious and nutritious too! Still think our healthy breakfast recipes are subpar?
- Calories – 14.8 Kcal
- Total fat – 1.6g
- Sodium – 25.7mg
- Potassium – 181.4mg
- Carbohydrates – 11.7g
- Protein – 4.2g
- Vitamin A – 1%
- Vitamin B6 – 6%
- Vitamin E – 1%
- Vitamin K – 3%
- Calcium – 33.3mg
- Iron – 1.4mg
- Magnesium 25.3mg
- Phosphorus 83.9mg
- Zinc 0.7mg
- Copper 0.2mg
- Manganese 0.4mg
- Selenium – 4%
- Thiamine – 5%
- Niacin – 3%
- Folate – 16%
- Choline – 4%
- Health benefits of Vitamin B6: Improves mood and reduce depression, promote brain health and reduce Alzheimer’s risk, may prevent and treat anemia by aiding hemoglobin production, useful in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS), help treat nausea during pregnancy, prevent clogged arteries and minimize heart disease risk, helps prevent cancer, promote eye health and prevent eye diseases, and helps treat inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Health benefits of Vitamin E: As an antioxidant it can help protect your cells from damage and it can also help prevent your cells from damage due to free radicals.
- Health benefits of Vitamin K: Promotes bone, heart and cognitive health.
- Health benefits of Magnesium: Promotes bone health, prevents diabetes, improves cardiovascular health, Magnesium therapy may help prevent or relieve headaches, useful in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and helps prevent mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
- Health benefits of Phosphorus: Keeping the bones and teeth strong, helping the muscles contract, aiding muscle recovery after exercise, filtering and removing waste from the kidneys, promoting healthy nerve conduction throughout the body, making DNA and RNA, and managing the body’s energy usage and storage.
- Health benefits of Zinc: Helps keep your immune system strong, accelerates wound healing, significantly reduce your risk of age-related diseases, such as pneumonia, infection and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), help treat acne, and decreases inflammation.
- Health benefits of Manganese: Rich in antioxidants, promotes bone health, reduce blood sugar, and helps in healing wounds.
- Health benefits of Thiamine: Improves metabolism, strengthens the immune system, promotes nervous system health, promotes cardiovascular health, lower the risk of developing cataracts, and aids in the proper functioning of the digestive system.
- Health benefits of Niacin: Lowers LDL cholesterol, increases HDL “good” cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, helps prevent heart disease, helps treat type 1 diabetes, boost brain function, improves skin function, reduce symptoms of arthritis, and helps treat pellagra.
- Health benefits of Folate: Prevents birth defects and pregnancy complications, treats folate deficiency, promotes brain health, adjunctive treatment of mental health disorders, and lowers risk of heart disease.
- Health benefits of Choline: Aids in the integrity of cell structure, it helps in the production of compounds that act as cell messengers, fat transport and metabolism, DNA synthesis, and an overall healthy nervous system.
5.) Shakshuka (Eggs baked with Tomatoes from Morocco)
Shakshuka is a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish and one that’s eaten for breakfast or any meal of the day. This dish is actually 100% vegetarian as it contains zero meat ingredients, so it’s not only delicious but extremely healthy too! The traditional shakshuka dish is made with tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top. However, you can also prepare it by stewing fresh tomatoes in virgin olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika and add some spicy jalapeño pepper to make things a little more interesting. Our healthy breakfast recipes which are based on the Mediterranean diet will guarantee to satisfy your appetite and make you healthier!
- Fat – 19g
- Cholesterol – 380mg
- Sodium – 572mg
- Carbohydrates – 16g
- Dietary fiber – 6g
- Sugars – 10g
- Vitamin D – 10%
- Calcium – 16%
- Iron – 22%
- Potassium – 19%
- Health benefits of Vitamin D: Reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, helps prevent heart disease, fights flu, reduces depression, and helps you lose weight faster.
6.) Roasted Red Pepper Olive Tapenade and Mozzarella on Toast
Made from olives, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs, the olive tapenade is a thick dip or spread which has a similar consistency with the hummus or a chunky pesto. What’s amazing about this dish is that it is versatile and can be served as an appetizer, a side, or even as a light lunch. This is one of those Mediterranean diet recipes that will wake you up in the morning with its delicious flavors. And to think that our healthy breakfast recipes list isn’t as mediocre as some would assume.
- Calories – 69 Kcal
- Fat – 6%
- Sodium – 127mg
- Carbohydrates – 7g
- Dietary fiber – 3%
- Protein – 1g
- Calcium – 42mg
Health Benefits (similar to the above health benefits of the following nutrients stated).
7.) Eggs with Tomatoes, Olives and Feta (Greece)
Are you looking for a quick Mediterranean Diet breakfast recipe that is packed with protein? Well, look no further because the eggs with tomatoes, olives and feta dish will be the perfect breakfast meal for you! This delicious breakfast perhaps contains some of the healthiest of Mediterranean ingredients among the healthy breakfast recipes in this article. Unlike the usual omelet that you’re accustomed to, this open-faced omelet gives you the option to add garnishes of your favorite herbs to add brightness to the flavor. It’s an amazing breakfast dish that goes well with a Greek salad.
- Calories – 311 Kcal
- Fat – 23g
- Carbohydrates – 6g
- Fiber – 1g
- Protein – 19g
- Sodium – 1,182mg
Health Benefits (similar to the above health benefits of the following nutrients stated).
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Breakfast and Why These Healthy Breakfast Recipes are Good for You
When you wake up from your overnight sleep, you may not have eaten for up to 10 hours. Breakfast replenishes the stores of energy and nutrients in your body. In the morning, when you wake up your energy levels are low but once you’ve had your breakfast, you’ll get an energy boost from the carbohydrates you ate. This will help you get through the day and be productive as you stay active in work, school or in any other business that you’ve engaged in.
With the healthy breakfast recipes we’ve talked about it’s easy to get all the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from your food. About 60% of all your day’s total nutrient intake is usually provided by your breakfast. Key nutrients such as folate, calcium, iron, vitamin B complex and fiber are also mostly found in your breakfast, as seen in our nutrition information and health benefits of each vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Eating breakfast helps prevent large fluctuations in your blood glucose levels, which is crucial in controlling your appetite. And because you’re filled up with it, you won’t be tempted to just grab any unhealthy foods once you get hungry. The case is really different when you skip your breakfast as it makes you a glutton for foods that are high in energy, high fat foods with added sugars or salt, which are bad for your health. It also boosts your concentration that keeps you focused and enhances your cognitive abilities. So, have you decided which of the healthy breakfast recipes above you’re going to try first?