Power breakfasts can be hard to keep exciting and oatmeal is the quintessential example of this phenomenon. I know so many people who suffer through eating the same old “bowl of mush” every morning and it’s a shame, really, because oatmeal is a great breakfast for active individuals. Having oatmeal for breakfast can be a great way to start your morning. Not only is it cheap and nutritious, it’s filling and can keep hunger pangs away until lunchtime.
Here are the top healthy ingredients you could out in your morning oatmeal to make it tastier:
PEANUT OR ALMOND BUTTER
Mix in a spoonful of protein-heavy peanut, almond, or sunflower butter to make your oats even heartier and more filling, then top with potassium-packed banana slices, which can help you maintain your level of electrolytes and prevent muscle cramping during workouts.
Fresh or Dried Bananas are a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and manganese. They’re also high in fibre, which is great for digestive health. Their nutritional content makes them a great addition to oatmeal. You can mash them into the oatmeal, or you can cut them into slices and mix them in. If you can find dried banana chips that have no added sugar, these can add a bit of crunch to your oatmeal before the heat softens them a little.
When in season, fresh berries on top of oatmeal are a real treat that doesn’t have to hurt your waistline. Berries are often great sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They may also have other great health benefits. Blueberries and cranberries, for example, may reduce the effects of ageing due to their high antioxidant content. Strawberries contain an antioxidant that may help Alzheimer’s patients. In addition to these health benefits, try fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries in your oatmeal for a refreshingly sweet and tangy flavour.
Create energy-boosting oatmeal by adding some flaxseed oil. This oil is virtually tasteless so it’s a perfect way to sneak nutrients into a picky eater’s diet. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to promote sustained energy levels, balanced blood sugar, a healthy heart, and beautiful skin, hair, and nails.
NON-FAT GREEK YOGHURT
A 6-ounce serving of nonfat Greek yogurt has 100 calories, 18 grams of protein, and 20 percent of your daily value for calcium. Its probiotics aid digestion, which diminishes belly bloat, and yogurt also reduces the amount of odour-causing bacteria in your mouth, so you won’t have to worry about bad breath.
If you like your oatmeal a little bit sweeter, forgo processed sugar and try honey. This natural sweetener is packed with a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds like quercetin and kaempferol. Resist the urge to reach for that artificial sweetener packet, too. While honey is relatively high in calories, it has less of a blood-sugar effect than table sugar, so it’ll help keep your energy humming all day rather than causing an inevitable sugar crash.
Put some chunks of pumpkin or a spoonful of pureed pumpkin (the unsweetened kind, please) into your oatmeal for a hearty, fall treat. Even better, this low-calorie ingredient has a bounty of benefits, like slowing digestion, helping your skin look younger, sharpening your vision with lots of vitamin A and increasing your immune strength.
Not only will these gorgeous pink seeds brighten up your beige bowl, they also offer huge amounts of antioxidants. And as an added bonus, the high levels of fibre in pomegranate seeds may help keep your appetite down, leading to easy, stress-free weight loss. One study also shows they lower hypertension and act as an anti-inflammatory, making them heart healthy, too.