It's widely believed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In the cold winter months, there's nothing quite like a warm breakfast to stoke the fire and get you ready for the day ahead.
Real wholegrain porridge is one of the best breakfasts you can give yourself. It's packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates that can give you the energy you need to just keep on pedalling. Here's why we love starting our day with a healthy bowl of oats...
- Real porridge oats are made up of complex carbohydrates which take longer for our bodies to digest, and thus provides us with lasting energy that's slowly released throughout the day.
- Iron minerals are in abundance in porridge. Iron helps our red blood cells carry oxygen around the body which is essential for when you're exercising on the bike and you need those muscles working hard
- The high phosphorus content in porridge is great for muscle recovery after extensive exercise, and aids energy production for your next ride.
Toppings To Boost the Flavour, and the Body
Porridge doesn't have to be dull and bland, it acts as a great foundation for adding your own flavour and creating a tasty dish that provides you with all the great benefits, as well a bonus benefits, for the day.
There are quite a few incredibly popular porridge toppers that have been considered optimum decorations for a good bowl of oaty goodness for decades - but did you know about the health benefits most of them carry? We've taken a look at exactly why your favourite porridge adornments are so good...
By honey, we mean real honey. The expensive kind, and not the honey flavour syrup most supermarkets stock which is cheaper and riddled with sugars and preservatives. Manuka honey, or real local honey is a tasty and healthy topping for your breakfast. It aids digestion, and contains natural anti-oxidants which boost your immune system.
A good tip is to eat honey that is from your local area if you suffer from pollen allergies. This is because the honey is made from the pollen of the flowers local to you, so by eating local honey, you help boost your immune system to these flowers and it will help reduce the effects of hay fever.
This fruit is a brilliant addition to your porridge bowl in the morning, as well as a great snack for the ride. Banana's are high on the Glycemic Index (GI) which means it has a lot of naturally occurring sugars that can break down and be absorbed into the bloodstream quicker. Not only this, but banana's are great for muscle recovery and energy stores as it contains potassium minerals.
Seeds aren't just for birds, and many people underestimate the fantastic healthy benefits of adding seeds to your daily diet. They are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, as well as healthy fatty oils. Different seeds will provide different benefits, but they are a great addition to your oaty breakfast
All fruit contains natural sugars, water and a variety of great vitamins and minerals. Berries, especially blueberries are not only tasty, but they are crammed full of antioxidants. Along with properties that benefit digestion and keep the mind sharp!
Similar to seeds, nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein and they have great beautifying benefits such as strengthening nails, making hair glossier hair and skin clearer. Nuts are really tasty and when combined with porridge, they make for a great energy boosting meal.
Natural yoghurt is a great snack, but it can also be added to your breakfast meal as a side or mixed in. Yoghurt is high in protein, and packed full of healthy vitamins and minerals. It aids with muscle recovery and helps to reinforce your immune system
Not to be overlooked as a simple spice, or Christmas seasoning, Cinnamon has many secrets that can aid a healthy mind and body. It has the ability to lower the fat content in your blood after a meal and help regulate the sugar content also. Cinnamon aids with better brain function because it helps with cognitive brain activity.
Find your own flavour
Having looked at our favourite porridge toppings for the winter months, why not try your own recipes and create a tasty warm breakfast that will help the mind and body, and allow you to perform your best when you're riding. Don't be afraid to mix any of these topping ideas together as well!
Play around with the flavours and find something just for you. If you feel like treating yourself, or you've earned a cheat day, add some dark chocolate pieces for a irresistible melted chocolate topping.
Not into porridge? Well, we can't convince you all - head over to this piece for more breakfast ideas guaranteed to fuel your adventures...