Could Breakfast Make Seniors Stronger?

Muscle strength dwindles as we get older—that’s why eating meals packed with protein is so important. While people tend to include some source of protein (whether vegetable or meat) in their lunch and dinner meals, what about breakfast? A new study shows that having protein for breakfast is the best way for senior citizens to maintain muscle strength.

Last year, researchers from McGill University Health Centre in Quebec, Canada released their findings on protein consumption among senior citizens. Dr. Stéphanie Chevalier and her team analyzed data from 1,800 people between the ages of 67 and 84 years old. They were testing to see if consuming protein “equally among the three daily meals could be linked to greater mass and muscle strength in the elderly.” In the end, the team found that the participants who “consumed protein in a balanced way during the day had more muscle strength than those who consumed more during the evening meal and less at breakfast.”

Muscles are composed of protein. When a body doesn’t get enough of it, muscle mass is lost. Eating a healthy dose of protein at each meal can help senior citizens stay physically stronger.

Would you like to include more protein into your morning meals? Consider some of the delicious recipes listed below.

  • Coffee protein smoothie. If all you typically have for breakfast is a strong cup of coffee, consider having a coffee breakfast smoothie. All you need is some almond milk, cold brewed coffee, protein powder, and a few ice cubes. For a mocha coffee smoothie, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. For a vanilla coffee drink, consider using vanilla flavored protein powder.
  • Breakfast energy balls. If you don’t have time to have breakfast in the morning, energy balls may be the best solution for you. They can be made in advance, you can eat them on the go, and they are packed with protein. This recipe for key lime pie energy balls has protein-rich ingredients including cashews. Or you can try this recipe for pumpkin spice oat balls. The chia seeds, pecans, and rolled oats in this recipe are a good source of protein.
  • Breakfast burrito. Eggs are good for you when eaten in moderation, and they are a source of protein. So are beans. You can include both of these protein sources in your breakfast by making sweet potato and avocado breakfast burritos. They are made with sweet potatoes, black beans, egg whites, avocado, shredded cheese, enchilada sauce, and spices mixed together in whole-wheat tortillas. Are you vegan or do you prefer not to have eggs in your burrito? Try using egg substitute or adding more beans instead.

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