Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say. A bagel with cream cheese, however, doesn’t provide a whole lot of nutrition to help give you the energy and acuity you need to tackle your challenges of the day. Try these immune-supporting, anti-aging, nutritious suggestions instead.
1. Blue (or other) berries
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. With vitamins, minerals, and a delicious flavor, they are easy to incorporate into your morning meal. Black-, rasp-, straw-, lingon-, and bilberries have similar properties. The antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body, protecting cells from disease.
2. Chia seeds
These tiny black, gray, brown, and white seeds are full of protein, fiber, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. This member of the mint family is known now as a superfood–the word “chia” comes from the Mayan word for “strength”; Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to boost energy and increase stamina.
Sprinkled on oatmeal, yogurt, or your beverage of choice, it’s easy to eat these little gems. With their healthful nutritive powers, they can support brain function, help manage blood sugar, and reduce the risk of cancer.
Don’t make that face–many cultures eat specialized varieties of fish for breakfast. Wild salmon in particular is good for breakfast (but not that has been treated with nitrates). Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, you’re protecting your brain and the health of every cell in your body.
Vitamin C is a monumental support for the immune system. The phytonutrients narigenin, limonoid, and lycopene in grapefruit have been found to repair DNA damage and inhibit cancer growth. Its fiber in the form of pectin slows the progression of atherosclerosis, a precursor to heart disease and stroke.
5. Green tea
This variety of tea has more antioxidants than most others. It’s been found to effectively manage diabetes, help with weight loss, combat depression, and promote brain health. Good to keep your skin healthy and young-looking, have a cup or two during the day instead (or in addition to) your regular beverage–it’s a healthful way keep you hydrated, too. There is some caffeine in green tea but less than in black tea.
This is a timeless food that your grandparents ate for breakfast and it’s still a good idea today. With fiber to keep your digestive system up to snuff, it regulates blood sugar and cholesterol. There is also an antioxidant called avenanthramide in oats that acts in the body as an anti-inflammatory. Mix in some berries or banana and a little honey (an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant) and you’ve got a warm, satisfying, filling, nutritious food in your tummy.
7. Pomegranate juice
Who says you have to have orange juice with breakfast? Anita Bryant retired a long time ago. Put a little zip–and A LOT of antioxidants–in your first meal with pomegranate juice. It’s tangy and refreshing AND it’s been shown to arrest the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Another study found that people with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) who drank pomegranate juice over a three-year period reduced thickness of plaque lining the carotid and experienced a reduction in blood pressure. Without having to peel the fruit and chew the seeds.
The probiotics in yogurt maintain digestive health and we know that if your digestion doesn’t work well, you feel terrible. In addition, yogurt has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of cancer.
Mix with your berry of choice, and yogurt is a supportive and protective food. Use plain yogurt to avoid the added sugars of fruit yogurt–you can add your own fresh fruit. Blend together with berries, green tea, and chia seeds for a quadruple-impact breakfast smoothie!
Remember: “old” is thirty years older than you are now. You still have a long way to go.