You've heard about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, and this becomes even more true with every passing year.
As you age, your body experiences a ton of changes in your cells, muscles, and bones. And while there isn't a miracle cure for stopping these changes, there are shifts you can make to your diet that can help slow down the process and ensure that you're getting the vitamins and nutrients you need.
And what better meal to start making these changes with than breakfast? We talked with dietitian Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our medical expert board, about the best types of breakfast foods people over 50 should eat to stay healthy.
And according to Goodson, "the best breakfast food to eat after 50 is anything made up of high-quality protein."
Why protein is so important after 50
Protein is important at any age, but it becomes even more crucial for your body after age 50.
"As we age, we lose approximately 2% to 3% of lean muscle mass per decade if we don't actively do anything about it," says Goodson, "and one of the best ways to combat losing this lean muscle mass is to eat high-quality protein at every meal, especially breakfast."
According to the Journal of The American College of Nutrition, this loss of muscle mass can lead to things like loss of skin elasticity and difficulty healing from wounds and infections.
If you're wondering how much protein you should aim for in the mornings, Goodson suggests about 25 to 30 grams for breakfast.
"This amount of protein in the morning can help provide your body with the amino acids it needs to build and repair lean muscle as well as improve satiety for the hours following breakfast," says Goodson.
How can we get enough protein in our breakfast?
If you're not sure the best types of protein-heavy breakfast foods to grab at the store, Goodson provides a few recommendations.
"In order to get 25 to 30 grams of protein, you can try something like 2 eggs with 1 ounce of your favorite protein and one-half cup of oatmeal (measured dry) with nuts and seeds," says Goodson, "or wrap one slice of cheese, 1 ounce of protein, 2 eggs, and veggies into a whole grain tortilla, or add two tablespoons of peanut butter powder to 6 ounces of Greek yogurt and top with high-protein granola and half a banana."
For even more ideas, check out these 19 High Protein Breakfasts That'll Keep You Full. After, read these next: