I Study Brain Health & Longevity: This Is My Favorite Breakfast For Cognition
When it comes to breakfast recipes, something quick and efficient tends to be the goal. By quick, we generally mean less than half an hour or so—perhaps no more than 10 minutes on a good day. By efficient, we mean something that checks all of the nutritional boxes you need to start your morning off right. This includes protein, healthy fats, and, of course, as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
Eating a balanced breakfast is especially beneficial for optimizing brain function. On a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, we asked cognitive health and longevity expert Max Lugavere about his go-to morning meal—here, he explains how to kick-start your day with a brain-loving breakfast.
Lugavere's go-to breakfast for cognition.
As we said before, it's important to incorporate healthy protein early in the day. Lugavere opts for eggs—a few of them, at least. He tends to cook up four to five whole eggs, occasionally mixing in some isolated egg whites to boost the protein content. "I actually think it's really useful to have whole eggs as well as pure egg whites," he notes. "Egg yolks are a cognitive multivitamin, so I'm a huge advocate of whole egg consumption." Specifically, eggs are rich in choline, the precursor chemical for acetylcholine, one of the most fundamental neurotransmitters1.
Lugavere adds vegetables to his egg mix as well, typically a leafy green: "I love to buy a bag of frozen spinach, and I'll just throw it in there frozen because it easily loosens from the bag into the pan," he says. You could always opt for fresh spinach leaves if you've got 'em, but this is a quicker and more affordable way to get your daily dose of leafy greens.
Though some people may love the ritual of eating the same meal every morning, we know others can find it too repetitive. If you stick with the base of eggs and greens, feel free to switch it up. A few ideas include:
- Serve on a piece of toast.
- Add even more vegetables: bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
- Change up the herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Serve with a side of seasonal fruit.
- Add a drizzle of sauce: pesto, hot sauce, salsa, etc.
- Elevate the nutritional profile and fiber content with a powerhouse greens powder.
If you're not an egg-lover at heart (or cannot tolerate them), don't fret. While Lugavere does consider eggs a "cognitive multivitamin," you can get your fill of nutrients from other nutrient-dense foods, and might we suggest an actual multivitamin? The mbg ultimate multivitamin+ is a worthy choice, as it contains 14 vitamins, 13 minerals, and six botanical bioactives to support immune, brain, heart, bone, muscle, beauty, eye, and whole-body health.* The formula uses non-GMO and allergen-free sources, plus, it's 100% vegan—which can't be said about a daily serving of eggs.
And for those who tend to have trouble stomaching just about anything in the morning, it's important to note that the dose, bioavailability, bioactivity, and gentleness of each ingredient in mbg's multi have been optimized.* No queasiness here!
If you want a quick and efficient breakfast recipe, whipping up a few eggs with some nutrient-dense veggies is one way to go about it. Of course, that can get a little boring for some, so feel free to experiment with different iterations to ensure you're enjoying that first meal every day. And if eggs aren't your thing (or even if they totally are), consider adding a comprehensive, clean multivitamin to your routine to proactively meet your vitamin and mineral needs. If you're curious about what Lugavere's daily menu looks like post-breakfast, check out the full podcast episode or our written breakdown here.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.