Ensure you get the most out of your oats by combining with superfoods, fruits, nuts or seeds.
You don’t have to be a nutritionist, personal trainer, or Goldilocks to know that porridge is one of the healthiest breakfast options around.
Simply put, oats are a nutritional powerhouse, thanks to their combination of filling fibre, protein and B vitamins.
Oats are also low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, thus helping to regulate your blood sugar.
Therefore, it is imperative that you do not undermine a healthy breakfast by adding high sugar or processed toppings.
Instead, stock your cupboards with the following ingredients, and reap the benefits of a delicious and nutritious start to your day.
1. Manuka Honey
Many store-bought honey varieties contain a significant amount of sugar and additives. On the other hand, its more expensive counterpart Manuka honey aids digestion, boosts the immune system and is an excellent source of short-term energy.
While bananas are a high GI fruit (i.e. they release sugar quickly into the body) they also contain potassium, which replenishes energy and provides nutrition to the muscles after a workout.
Offering even more potassium than bananas, figs are also high in iron and fibre, help fight cancer and reduce cholesterol.
4. Pomegranate Seeds
These small jewel-like seeds contain plenty of antioxidants, fibre, Vitamin C and folate.
5. Raw Cacao
Move over Coco Pops, believe it or not- raw cacao is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, containing essential minerals such as calcium and zinc, B vitamins, fibre, protein and heart healthy fats.
6. Goji Berries
A celebrity favourite, goji berries are fat free, and pack and pack an impressive nutritional punch. Improved eyesight, healthier skin, enhanced immune system and boosted circulation are just some of the benefits associated with goji berries.
7. Bee Pollen
Protein-rich bee pollen is often cited as nature’s energiser. It also helps treat allergies, aids digestion, inhibits cravings and helps to improve circulation.
Tiny seeds should not be overlooked, as they offer a wide array of benefits:
Sesame seeds contain iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Flax seeds are a great source of Omega-3s, protein, fibre,and iron.
Chia seeds are high fibre, high protein and help aid weight loss.
Berries, particularly blueberries, are packed full of antioxidants, substances which counteract the damaging effects of oxidation in the body.
Berries also keep memory sharp, regulate the digestive system, and are a great source of vitamins, and minerals.
Though they are high in calories, nuts provide healthy fats and protein, and benefit everything from hair and nails to skin and teeth.
Traditional pancakes are not a food I'd reach for because of their nutritional value, so I went in search of a healthy alternative. This Power Pancake is high in protein, which is perfect for a nutritional breakfast. A Power Pancake is also a pre-weight-training favourite for me. My weights coach, Martina McCarthy, loves these.
Health & Wellbeing
Do you consider yourself to have a healthy lifestyle? It totally depends on the time of year. In January, I walk a lot and eat very healthily. I do this because in December I eat a lot of selection boxes (no matter what age you are, they are just irresistible!), I drink too much wine, I go to bed late and do no exercise.
We are three weeks in now, and if you have been following the plan rigidly, you should find that it is starting to become a bit easier. Apparently, it takes a minimum of 21 days for new behaviours to become habits, so keep focused and before you know it, exercise and healthy eating will be a part of your identity.
Health & Wellbeing
I recently wrote about back to school breakfasts and healthy lunch box ideas for the Saturday edition of this paper. Reading over the piece, I realised that I often recommend a sprinkle of nuts and nut butter as useful and healthy porridge toppers and snack ideas.