Breakfast – how to super-power your start to the day

Breakfast.  We all know it’s supposedly the most important meal of the day – but how do you super-power it when you’re busy?  Now the thing is, I eat pretty erratically plus I’m a careless vegetarian, so my diet doesn’t necessarily hit muster as far as providing energy and vital nutrients goes. Of course I could just take supplements but it dawned on me that actually there was a better way, because the best way to supercharge our diet is not with manufactured supplements but with foods dense in natural nutrients – the so-called ‘superfoods’.
My favourite pharmacist Shabir Daya (from Victoria Health) agrees.  ‘They offer great benefits,’ he says.  ‘Providing not only vitamins and minerals but
phytonutrients which have many beneficial properties.’ He points out that superfoods are also much safer than synthetic supplements.  ‘Superfoods do not offer mega doses – mega doses of any nutrient can have a detrimental effect.’  And who wants a detrimental effect, huh?
However he is swift to point out that they aren’t necessarily a magic bullet and that you should take some of their miraculous claims with a pinch of salt. Quite so.
I figured that the easiest way for me to boost my energy and so on was to have a mega superfood charged breakfast.
First I soak oats overnight in unsweetened almond milk. Why oats?  They give sustained energy and are known to keep cholesterol levels (as in bad cholesterol) down.  Then I add goji berries because, firstly, I like the taste and secondly they are mega-high in antioxidants with potent anti-ageing and immune-enhancing properties. They’re said to increase stamina, strength, longevity and sexual energy.  Good enough, huh?
      Then, come morning (usually after my morning gym workout), I add a tablespoon or so of mixed crushed organic flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin
seeds
(rich in protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin E).  Why crushed?  Cos you ever tried getting flaxseeds out of your teeth?  Trust me – crush ‘em.
      Then I add another loving spoonful of hemp seeds. Why?  Cos they’re a superb vegetarian protein (a much better choice than soya or whey protein) with the ideal ratio of essential fatty acids.  Hemp can encourage weight loss and a healthy immune system (so they – the infamous they – say).  It is also said to promote glossy hair, healthy skin and nails, and may balance hormones and reduce inflammation.  Plus studies show it can help battle depression.  Hi ho hemp!
      Next up, a sprinkle of Acai.  Exceedingly high in antioxidants, acai is said to help prevent premature ageing. Its amino acid profile gives a sustained energy boost and its high essential fatty acid content helps regulate blood sugar levels.   Only downside? It turns your breakfast a sort of sludgy greyish black.
      A really good dose of Cacao nibs next.  Cacao is known as ‘Nature’s Prozac’.  Pure raw cacao (the raw ingredient of chocolate) can reduce stress and anxiety and increase feelings of wellbeing. It is exceedingly high in antioxidants and in magnesium.  Plus it’s absolutely delicious.  Don’t cheat – you need the pukka nibs, not a slab of Cadbury’s.
      Then a goodly wallop of Chia seed.  Known as the appetite suppresser, chia was apparently used by the Aztecs and Mayans for endurance and energy.  It’s a gelatinous seed that adds
bulk to food, making it handy if you’re trying to lose weight. It contains the highest vegetarian source of EFAs (essential fatty acids) and is exceedingly high in calcium and iron.  To be honest,
it doesn’t really rock my boat but I need the protein.
      Then a sprinkle of Maca. Another powerful adaptogen, used originally by the Peruvians for energy and sexual prowess.   Maca is said to help reduce anxiety, stress and depression and enhance libido and fertility (not that I’m remotely interested in the latter, but hey some of you might be).  LOVE Maca.
Then I stir it all up and, if I’m feeling frivolous, add a sprinkling of berries.  It tastes great.  So great that, if left entirely to my own devices, I’d probably eat it three times a day.