How to choose a healthy breakfast cereal
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The ideal breakfast would contain protein, fibre, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and of course vitamins and minerals. You can find all of these nutrients in various natural seeds and grains. Here are some examples of nutritious ingredients to look out for when choosing a healthy breakfast cereal…
Rolled Oats are a source of beta-glucans, polysaccharides that have been clinically proven to decrease cholesterol levels. Beta-glucans also have a beneficial effect on lowering blood sugar and insulin levels after meals in both diabetics and non-diabetics. Oats also contain one of the highest levels of soluble fibre compared to all other grains.
Rolled Barley is also a source of beta-glucans and is beneficial for lowering cholesterol. In one study adding barley to the diets of Japanese men was shown to not only decrease total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, but to also decrease visceral fat, Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference.
Rice bran is the outer layer of the rice grain. It is rich in insoluble fibre and contains significant quantities of starch, protein, vitamins and minerals. Rice bran oil is also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Quinoa is technically a seed but has the appearance of a grain when cooked. Compared with other grains, it’s one of the highest sources of protein, iron, magnesium and fibre.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E, and are low in saturated fats. They also contain a range of numerous minerals and are especially rich in zinc, magnesium and iron.
Flax seeds also known as linseeds, are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibres, including lignans and mucilage. Flax seeds are also one of the richest sources of alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 essential fatty acid. Flax seed fibre is known for its bulk-forming, soothing and laxative effects in the digestive tract.
Pepitas are pumpkin seeds without the shell. They are high in protein and are a rich source of iron. They are also a good source of zinc, magnesium and manganese.