THE IDEAL BREAKFAST
According to Dr Frankie Phillips, the ideal breakfast would combine unrefined wholegrains, a dairy or a fortified dairy alternative to provide calcium, some nuts, if you can, and some fruit. ‘All of these elements give you a different range of nutrients,’ she says. An orange, or orange juice, provides vitamin C, which will help absorb the iron from the wholegrains - though if it’s juice, be sure to get one without added sugars.
Steel-cut oats are the best option as far as porridge - and, indeed, breakfast cereal - is concerned, because they are most closely related to the whole, unprocessed oat kernel, says Professor Tim Spector. They take longer to prepare - about 15-30 minutes - but retain all the nutrition of the original oat groat, and the cooking time is reduced if you soak them or cook them in a rice cooker overnight. Add chopped dried fruit, fruit compote and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds (or a dollop of sugar-free peanut butter), or enjoy a piece of fruit alongside.
Poached eggs and spinach on sourdough toast
The cholesterol in egg yolk has led to eggs being demonised in the past, says dietitian Azmina Govindji, author of Vegan Savvy: The Expert’s Guide to Nutrition on a Plant-based Diet - but dietary cholesterol has very little impact on your blood cholesterol, so you can enjoy these eggs with a clear conscience. Meanwhile, low glycaemic index (GI) foods can help to keep your blood-sugar levels steady - and sourdough bread has a lower GI then many other breads, even if it’s white.
Smashed avocado AND charred red peppers on rye bread
Avocado gives you good fats, and in this breakfast it has a double function, says dietitian Azmina. Vegetables such as red peppers contain beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body; however, you need some fats in order for your body to do this conversion efficiently - the fats in avocado are the perfect partner.