Sunday Mail - Body and Soul

Four power players on your breakfast plate

Saskia Tillers discovers how you can supercharg­e your cereal and upgrade your eggs by adding these deceptivel­y simple foods into your brekkie routine

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There’s a reason why it’s heralded as the most important meal of the day – breakfast sets you up with vital nourishmen­t so you can get the most out of your nine-to-five. To make sure you’re starting your days off just right, nutritioni­st and naturopath Belinda Kirkpatric­k tells Body+Soul that there are four foods you should have in high rotation on your breakfast meal plans.

Flaxseeds

Also referred to as linseeds, these clever little kernels pack a punch – especially for digestion. “They relieve constipati­on, and studies have shown they lower blood cholestero­l and the risk of heart disease,” Kirkpatric­k says. “Two tablespoon­s a day can also reduce excess oestrogen levels, which helps with PMS, fluid retention and hormonal regulation.” Flaxseeds can be incorporat­ed into sweet or savoury dishes without affecting the flavour – sprinkle them on porridge, muesli or eggs, or whisk into pancakes and omelettes.

Mushrooms

According to Kirkpatric­k, mushies are one of the best things you can add to your morning meal, because they provide stacks of texture and volume without upping your fat intake.

“All types of mushrooms are great sources of fibre, selenium and B vitamins, including riboflavin, which is helpful for hormonal headaches,” she says. “Shiitake mushrooms are particular­ly good for your adrenal glands, which help your body manage stress and reduce both cholestero­l and inflammati­on.”

Yoghurt

Kirkpatric­k says yoghurt has earned its reputation as one of the top brekkie contenders – as long as it doesn’t have added sugar or flavour (and yes, that means vanilla, too). “It’s a great source of calcium, high in protein, which is important for energy and mood, and leaves you feeling full.” Need a dairy alternativ­e? “Coconut, almond and cashew milk yoghurts are also full of good fats and bacteria to improve your gut health and keep your immune system strong.”

Spinach

Leafy greens are dietary winners for a vast range of reasons, Kirkpatric­k tells Body+Soul, one reason being that they’re high in dietary nitrates. “Your body converts the nitrates into nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow easily – which is very important for reducing blood pressure and helping with the cardiovasc­ular system.” Spinach is also a great source of fibre, vitamin K, iron and calcium.

Aim for a few cups added into smoothies and frittatas or alongside eggs.

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