The morning power boost

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Hit the pause button on that habit, because breakfast is not just a meal, it’s a powerhouse of benefits that set the tone for your day. Here are just a few of the advantages to making a healthy start to the day.

Gut health: Fuelling the microbial symphony
Picture your gut as a bustling city where trillions of microbes reside, working tirelessly to maintain balance. Breakfast kick-starts your digestive system, promoting a diverse microbial community. A well-balanced breakfast, rich in fibre, pre- and probiotics, can keep those gut inhabitants content, ensuring a smooth operation throughout the day.

Concentration: Breakfast is the brain’s best friend
Do you ever find yourself zoning out or struggling to focus on tasks? Your brain needs fuel, and breakfast provides the essential nutrients for cognitive function. A combination of complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats provides a steady release of glucose, the brain’s preferred energy source.
By giving your brain the boost it craves, breakfast becomes the secret weapon to enhancing concentration, memory and overall mental performance.

Weight loss: Start your day with a slimmer you
Contrary to the belief that skipping meals leads to weight loss, breakfast plays a pivotal role in a successful weight management journey. Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast revs up your metabolism, signalling to your body that it’s time to burn calories efficiently. Moreover, a satisfying morning meal can help curb mid-morning snack cravings, preventing you from reaching for those unhealthy options that may sabotage your weight loss goals.

Heart health: A hearty breakfast for a healthy heart
A morning feast that includes wholegrains, fruits and nuts can contribute to lower cholesterol levels and better cardiovascular health. The fibre content aids in reducing blood pressure and maintaining optimal cholesterol levels, protecting your heart from potential risks later on down the road.

Mood boost: Rise and shine with a smile
Ever noticed how your mood can be directly influenced by what’s on your plate? Breakfast is like a mood-boosting potion, influencing the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin. A well-balanced morning meal can help regulate mood, reducing the likelihood of irritability and stress.
From supporting gut-health to enhancing concentration,
promoting heart health, aiding in weight loss and even influencing
your mood, breakfast is the key to unlocking a healthier, happier you. Next time you think of giving it a skip, remind yourself that your body and mind will thank you for a nourishing start to the day.

Powerhouse bowl
Think of this yummy bowl of nutritional marvels as the cornerstone of your day.
Ingredients

• ½ cup prepared granola • ¾ cup
yogurt or milk • 2 tbsp each of mixed nuts, shaved coconut and pomegranate seeds • A light drizzle of honey or maple syrup
Method
Place the granola, yogurt or milk in a bowl. Top with honey or syrup and scatter the remaining ingredients on top. You can also add ½ cup of fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas or sliced peaches, or ¼ cup of dried fruit such as dates, raisins, prunes and/or apricots.
5-ingredient all day bars
Ingredients
• 1 cup pitted dates • ¼ cup
maple syrup or agave nectar
• ¼ cup salted peanut butter
• 1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews, peanuts – whichever you fancy)
• 1½ cups rolled oats • A handful of dried cranberries

Method
Pulse the dates in a food processer for about a minute or until they come together (the consistency of bread dough). Place into a mixing bowl along with the nuts, oats and cranberries. Set aside. Over a low heat, warm the peanut butter and honey or syrup in a small saucepan. Pour this over the oat mixture and mix well, breaking up the dates. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray or dish that has been lined with baking paper to prevent them from sticking. Press down firmly until equally flattened; you can use a spatula or the bottom of a wide glass. Cover with parchment paper and leave in the fridge to firm up, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan or tray and chop into 10 equal-sized bars. Store in an airtight container.

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