Our bodies operate well on a steady stream of fuel. Making sure our breakfasts contain a mix of the macronutrients is important to help us feel our best throughout the day; these include: a complex carbohydrate, a protein source and a healthy fat. Not only do these foods contain lots of vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy, they help keep us full till lunch with good levels of energy and focus. Here are some of my favourite breakfasts packed with goodness. Have a try!
Overnight oats - great for the summer months and prepping the night before
You will need: 1 small cup of oats, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp honey (optional), 1 grated apple, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder. Milk / vegan milk e.g. almond / oat milk. Optional toppings: berries, nut butter.
How to make (the night before): add all the ingredients to a jar, cover the ingredients with milk of your choice and pop in the fridge overnight. In the morning, serve with 1 tbsp nut butter and a handful of berries if desired.
Health benefits: oats are an excellent source of fibre for digestive health; they contain beta-glucans which have been linked to lowering the risk for heart disease and supporting the immune system. Seeds contain minerals such as iron and zinc. Apples are high in antioxidants (found mainly in the skin so keep it on!) and if eaten alongside carbs and fats will provide a steady stream of energy to the body. Cinnamon can reduce sugar cravings later in the day.
Breakfast smoothie - make a head start with your fruit and veg intake for the day.
You will need: 12 /banana, 1/2 avocado, small handful of frozen berries, small handful of frozen greens (spinach / kale), 3 tbsps yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds. Add water for consistency.
How to make: pop the ingredients in a blender and blend till creamy. Drink straight or add to a bowl and add more seeds and some nut butter for extra protein.
Health benefits: banana and avocado supply good levels of potassium which may help reduce blood pressure and water retention. Berries are powerful antioxidants, great for immune health. Greens supply folate which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Yogurt and chia seeds provide protein and a healthy fat which support brain health as well as regulate blood sugar levels.
Healthy fry up - filling with no guilt, just lots of goodness.
You will need: 2 eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach / chard. Wholewheat toast optional, or try plain oat cakes for a healthier alternative to bread.
How to make: scramble or fry the eggs (in coconut oil), lightly cook the tomatoes and mushrooms in a pan with butter or coconut oil. Lightly steam the greens.
Health benefits: eggs provide choline which regulates mood and memory. Cooking tomatoes increases their health providing compounds called phytochemical; lycopene in tomatoes has been linked to reduced risk of certain cancers, sunburn and heart disease. Oatcakes can be gluten free and leave most feeling less stodgy, but nicely full, compared to bread.
Shakshuka - something a bit fancier for the weekend
You will need (feeds 2): 5 eggs, 1/2 pack feta (optional), tin of chopped tomatoes, handful of spinach, 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 avocado, 3 cloves garlic, pinch of cumin and smoked paprika.
How to make: Dice and cook the onion and garlic in a large pan till soft. I recommend using coconut oil / butter to cook with. Add sliced red pepper and cook till soft. Add chopped tomatoes, seasoning and spinach; simmer on low for 5 minutes. Create 'pockets' in the tomato sauce, crack the eggs and add to pockets in the pan. Cover the pan for 5-6 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and add sliced avocado / feta / toast to the final meal.
Health benefits: red peppers are very high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant needed to fight free radicals in the body, support immunity and wound healing. Garlic is anti viral and antibacterial. Feta provides a good level of calcium and protein, and avocados provide healthy fat for brain health.