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!