A few people have asked me to write some posts about food, so I thought I’d share a series of ideas for breakfasts as a start. I’ve been posting my breakfasts on Instagram too recently if you’re interested – I’m doing a little experiment to see if this makes me eat more mindfully as a recent study suggests!
I love having a good breakfast – it’s a great start to the day. The breakfasts I’ll share are all pretty quick and easy to prepare and, most importantly, are good for your brain (and body!). Good mood food at it’s best! First up today is one of my favourites for this time of the year; a super-quick summery delight that’s great on the go…
Overnight Seed, Berry and Coconut oats
This is a lovely start to the day and particularly good if you know you’ll be in a rush in the morning but want something decent to fill you up, or take with you to work.
Why this breakfast is good for your brain (and body!)
Getting your oats is very good for you! Oats are a slow-release carb and their soluble fibre helps prevent any peaks and troughs in blood sugar which can play havoc with your concentration, mood and energy levels. They also contain magnesium which has been shown to have a positive impact on symptoms of depression.
Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which play a vital role in brain function. They also contain protein, slow-release carbs and many vitamins and minerals (magnesium, zinc, iron to name 3) which are good for your brain. Flax seeds are also a rich source of those Omega-3s and some studies suggest may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression, so sprinkling some of these on is a good choice.
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds contain loads of vitamins and minerals that your brain and body love. Both are great sources of magnesium and sunflower seeds also contain vitamin E and selenium which studies suggest may help to prevent cognitive decline. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which is important for memory function and contain plenty of B vitamins and tryptophan, which is the precurser to the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin.
Coconut is very high in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and multiple minerals including iron, selenium, calcium and magnesium. Adding some flesh (dessicated coconut in this case) and also the milk gives some really good health benefits and also makes these taste creamy and pretty darn delicious. If you don’t like it, just leave it out and use almond milk, or another milk of your choice instead.
Berries are great for adding sweetness and they are filled with antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. Some studies suggest there are specific cognitive benefits of berries too, possibly preventing cognitive and motor decline related to age and this study found eating blueberries may reverse memory loss.
So, here’s how to make this great breakfast – it takes about 5 minutes in the evening.
1. Take a cereal bowl (or a jar if you need them on the move) and add some oats to the bottom of the bowl.
2. Then a mixture of seeds on top. I usually use some combination of chia seeds, desiccated coconut, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – whatever I have in my jars.
3. Add some cinnamon, whatever berries you have (I usually use a mix of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), a good lug of coconut milk (or your choice). If you like, you could add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup too.
4. Give it all a stir, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
5. In the morning all you need to do it take them out, put them in a posh glass dish if you like, add some more berries on the top if you like and a spoonful of bio yoghurt (I usually use homemade coconut) if you like. Seriously yum!
Tip: I often use frozen berries as they tend to be cheaper and last longer. Just stir them in and by morning they’ve defrosted to a delicious mush in your oats.