Israel, Vietnam and Costa Rica have one important custom in common: Their traditional breakfast serves up a tasty mixture of veggies. In Israel, it includes fish such as salmon, herring or mackerel (loaded with omega-3s and 7s and protein), plus a chopped vegetable salad with tomatoes, red onion, parsley, cilantro and cucumber. The Vietnamese enjoy a soup called pho that’s made with broth, rice noodles, a touch of chicken or other meat, vegetables and herbs, including basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, carrots and cucumber. And in Costa Rica, breakfast is loaded with protein, fiber and complex carbs from “gallo pinto,” a mixture of rice and black beans with eggs on the side. (Even better? Cut out the noodles and eggs!)
In contrast, in the U.S., where only 41 percent of folks eat breakfast daily (skipping it expands the waistline!) and 152,500 Pop Tarts are purchased annually (they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup and dextrose), one popular choice is the breakfast sandwich. (A Sausage McMuffin delivers 450 calories, 250 from fat, which is 43 percent of your daily recommended intake, and enough egg yolk and red meat to cause inflammation, energy drain, heart disease and brain rot).
If you’re serious about achieving a younger RealAge, adding veggie-power to your mornings is smart. Try an egg-white omelet with spinach, tomatoes and peppers; steel-cut oatmeal with steamed kale and hazelnuts, or diced carrots, tomatoes and herbs in no-fat Greek yogurt. It’ll make a world of difference in how you feel all day and in the long run!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.