A bowl of cereal is one of the simplest and healthiest breakfast foods available, making it a favorite breakfast choice for all ages. But not every cereal is made the same. In fact, some cereals lack important nutrients or contain unhealthy ingredients, which can quickly diminish their nutritional value. So how can you boost your morning bowl? Here are five easy ways to turn basic breakfast cereal into a delicious superfood:
Upgrade Your Cereal
There are many favorite cereals that are loaded with nutrition, but yours might not be one of them. Look for a cereal with essential vitamins and minerals, at least five grams of fiber per serving, and low sugar and sodium contents. If you already consume a healthy cereal, you may not be eating the best brand. Upgrade to organic, preservative-free bran flakes, wheat squares, or granola. If oatmeal’s your go-to cereal, avoid the prepackaged kind that’s sweetened and contains mix-ins.
Add Pseudo-grains or Seeds
Unlike wheat grains, pseudo-grains are superfoods that come from broadleaf plants rather than cereal grasses. What’s great about pseudo-grains is they’re packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, they’re gluten-free, for those with wheat allergies. Popular pseudo-grains to sprinkle on cereal or try alone include buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Or, add a tablespoon of fresh, ground flaxseed or chia seeds to cereal for a quick and simple way to increase nutrition.
Toss in Organic Berries
Berries are nutritional powerhouses and can turn an ordinary bowl of cereal into an extraordinary breakfast meal. Richly colored berries, like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, contain high levels of polyphenols–powerful antioxidants that help fight degenerative diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. A handful of these superfood fruits also add fiber and flavor to any cereal. Since commercial berries can be heavily sprayed with pesticides, wash berries thoroughly or go organic.
Switch to a Better Milk
Milk contains calcium and other nutrients that can enhance any cereal. Depending on the milk, though, it can also have a downside. Many brands of regular milk come from cows that have been given growth hormones or antibiotics, which may be harmful to health. Dairy-free milks, like coconut milk, almond milk, and hemp milk, are other tasty options that have their own characteristic health benefits, although these milks may also contain questionable additives.
Blend, with Antioxidant-Rich Greens
If you prefer to drink your morning meal, why not blend cereal with some antioxidant-rich greens for a breakfast superfood in a cup? Mix kale or spinach with bran flakes, your choice of milk, and ice cubes for a healthy breakfast smoothie. Add a banana or some berries to sweeten the taste and bump the nutrition even more. Oats are another great cereal for making smoothies. Add your favorite greens, along with honey, milk, fruit, nuts, or peanut butter.
Breakfast has been touted as the most important meal of the day, and many people choose cereal to satisfy that meal. Take the above steps, and make your morning bowl the tastiest and most nutritious it can be.