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My Morning Berries

blueberries, goji berries and chia seeds.

Blueberries, goji berries and chia seeds for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Recently I gave a workshop on healthy living to a group of office workers. At one point in my talk, I took a quick poll as to what each participant had for breakfast. Approximately 80% said that they picked up a breakfast sandwich on the way to work. If you fall into that camp, please know that you are not doing your gut bacteria any favors! The egg is great – a good source of protein, but the saturated fat from the meat and cheese and the refined carbohydrates in the roll offer little in the way of nutrients and when eaten regularly, carry some significant health risks. Yet, this is the way that most people fuel up their bodies to start their day.

I have written before about the fact that eating a healthy breakfast does not have to take up too much extra time in your morning:

If you have one takeaway from this blog, that is to try to include some produce in your breakfast. I once read an interview with a neuro-scientist who specialized in dementia. He said that the number one thing people should eat to prevent dementia is berries. Since I read that, I personally try to eat every berry I can get my hands on! Breakfast is a great time to try to get your berries in.

My trick is to set out my breakfast dish the night before. I put in some frozen organic blueberries, some goji berries (see, “Meet the Goji Berry“), and a tablespoon of chia seeds (see, “Chia Seeds“), and cover it all with a little water. The blueberries thaw, the goji berries soften, and the chia seeds swell up. I then warm up my oatmeal or amaranth porridge, then stir it into the berry/chia mix and add some hemp and/or ground flaxseed. Setting out the ingredients the night before allows me to enjoy the benefits of these super-nutritious foods without a nutrient loss through heating. This breakfast is a far cry from a fast food breakfast sandwich!

My morning berries (and seeds!) would be a good thing for you to try if you have IBS. With the exception of blackberries, most berries are low in FODMAPs so you can eat them without worrying that they are going to cause you to bloat up. Goji berries, to my knowledge, have not yet been tested for their FODMAP content, but my educated guess is that they should be low as they are not super-sweet. Chia seeds and ground flaxseed both play a very helpful role in stool formation. Starting your day off with these super-foods should please your friendly gut bacteria and help you to have a happy belly day!