Breakfasts That Fit Your Needs
- Contributed by Eve Persak, Nutrition Advisor, MS RD CNSC CSSD
No two days are exactly the same. But breakfasts – more so than any other meal - tend to be pretty repetitive, at least for me. For convenience or perhaps out of habit, it’s quite common to start the day with the same food every morning.
But what if you had a few quick and easy options in your breakfast repertoire, each providing you with the nutrition required to fuel your body for the day’s activities or to match how you feel?
Each of the following breakfast ideas has only four to five whole natural ingredients ,and offers key nutrients and compounds that can support your body, mind, and/or mood. Play with the proportions to create your own personalised recipe to suit your palate, appetite and most importantly, your line-up for the day.
Get Over that Under-the-Weather Feeling
Suggested breakfast: Yogurt and tropical fruit parfait
When you should have this: Can’t shake off a cough, cold or sore throat? This easy-to-assemble combination is a must-have immunity-booster.
What’s in it:
- Yogurt – Your gut will thank you for this! The gastrointestinal tract and the immune system are intimately linked, and cultured dairy products offer beneficial gut-healthy probiotics. Opt for an organic dairy yogurt or a coconut yogurt that has anti-viral properties to boot.
- Tropical fruits – These, especially papaya and pineapple, are loaded with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C and natural enzymes that aid digestion.
- Seeds – These miniscule powerhouses, pumpkin seeds and cashews in particular, are packed with zinc – the key mineral for healing and preserving our body’s defence system.
For the Go-Getter Who’s Always on the Move
Suggested breakfast: Quinoa porridge
When you should have this: Not sure if you have time to take a breather until sundown? This porridge pulls together all the necessary nutrients to help you power through your physically active days.
What’s in it:
- Quinoa – This ancient grain is a refreshing departure from oats. Gluten-free and rich in fibre and B-vitamins, quinoa sits lightly on the stomach, while stabilising blood sugar levels and supporting your metabolism. It also packs as much protein in a serving as an egg or a cup of milk. You can quickly cook a batch in 10 to 15 minutes, or use some of the leftover plain cooked quinoa from last night’s dinner.
- Blueberries – These brilliant blue jewels are touted as the richest source of antioxidants among all the fruits. Naturally sweet, blueberries contain less sugar than other porridge add-ins like honey or maple sugar. Plus, they help to repair damaged muscles.
- Flaxseed powder – A sprinkle of ground flaxseed, also known as linseed, tops this recipe with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These essential oils keep you feeling satisfied for longer between meals and reduce inflammation – perfect for reducing muscle soreness after workouts.
Beat that Stress
Suggested breakfast: Avocado and edamame toast
When you should have this: Feeling the pressure of looming deadlines or that dreaded feeling that you have too much to do in too little time? This twist on the classic avocado toast offers the nutritional support you need to keep calm and stay in control despite the pressure.
What’s in it:
- Gluten-free, whole-grain bread – These two criteria ensure that your toast is both fibre-rich and sensitive to the GI tract’s fragility, to minimise stress-based fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
- Avocado – This creamy fruit serves as the perfect bread spread. Its natural, healthy fats improve brain function by providing crucial lubrication for the rapid-firing brain neurons. It also packs more than 14 essential vitamins and minerals to prevent micronutrient depletion when you’re stressed out.
- Edamame - Whole, de-shelled, soybeans add complete protein, fibre, and a bit of texture to your toast. Steam, cool to room temperature before combining it with avocado.
- Chia seeds – Besides adding a nice crunch to your toast, these little ones are also huge on omega-3 fatty acids - particularly useful for reducing stress-related inflammation in your body.
- Pepper – A dust of ground black or red pepper will wake your palate up, but within the body they cool down, and alleviate aches and pains.
For a Lean and Clean Start
Suggested breakfast: Poached eggs on greens
When you should have this: Hit the reset button for a new day with this breakfast option. Whether you overindulged at the dinner table or had one tipple too many at Happy Hour, this meal keeps calories light and supports detoxification.
What’s in it:
- Fresh leaves – Let leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, and herbs (like basil or oregano) be the bright green – and practically calorie-free - bed for this breakfast plate. These uncooked vegetables are a potent source of phytochemicals like beta-carotene and chlorophyll, which fight oxidative damage and remove toxins from the body.
- Lightly-cooked vegetables – Emerald-hued veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, and snap peas support liver functions while adding fibre and volume to fill your belly till lunch. Lightly steam or blanch to unlock their minerals and increase their bioavailability.
- Egg – Opt out of whites only, and go ‘whole egg’. A poached egg or two – and even a twist of lemon – makes an ideal dressing for this recipe. Eggs are the gold standard for protein and breakfasts that are high in protein have been proven to prevent excess nibbling all day. Eggs are also high in lecithin, an oil-based substance that aids in liver detox and keeps you feeling satisfied.