Are you the up and at ‘em type in the mornings?

Or does getting up in the morning drag on longer than the last two Hobbit movies (come at me LOTR fans you know it’s true).

Reaching for a cup of coffee might be your routine but pairing that with a donut or some form of pastry might not be the ideal way to get yourself going first thing as well as keep that energy going.

Here are 10 of the best foods in the morning that will get your moving quicker than Toronto mayor Rob Ford at last call..

1. Water

Wait, water isn’t a food? True but it is the most important macro nutrient. We need water, we are water. Over 2/3rds of our body is made up of water and it is crucial for the balance of body fluids. Among other things these fluids are required for:

  • digestion
  • absorption
  • circulation
  • transport of nutrients
  • balance of body temperature

After 6-8 hours without any it’s a good idea to drink some water to help the cleansing and detoxifying process being in your body. Before you have breakfast or your tea or coffee start with a large glass or two when you wake up. Don’t chug it but sip slowly.

2. Lemons

While you’re at it with the water you might want to try and squeeze some fresh lemon into it. Lemons help with cleansing the liver and aids in digestion. Lemons are also a great source of:

  • vitamin C
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • potassium

Try squeezing half a lemon into your water each morning for a mineral boost and an antioxidant charge.

3. Ginger

You are already getting some cleansing water with lemon into you for energy, cleansing and detoxifying first thing in the morning, how about throwing one more thing in there. Everyone knows about the anti-nasuea effect of ginger but it can also help to:

  • ease muscle pain
  • improve circulation
  • eliminate inflammation
  • can help with reducing migraine pain
  • acts as an antihistamine and decongestant
  • boosts the immune system

People have been using ginger for a good 4000+ years so a lot of research has been done over time. Grate a thumb sized peeled chunk of ginger and squeeze the juice from it into your lemon water for a zesty, nourishing morning beverage.

4. Blueberries

Possibly the king of fruits the small berry provides great amounts of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. These phytonutrients  play a key role in preventing disease and keeping the body running normally. They are a perfect thing to start the day off because:

  • high levels of vitamin C
  • cancer fighting properties
  • improve heart health
  • boost brain function and cognitive health

5. Chia Seeds

Yep the product from this commercial is making a comeback..

Actually however chia seeds have been used by Aztec and Mayans for millenia. They contain high amounts of Omega-3 as well as soluble fiber. The can balance blood sugar and are a complete protein allowing for more sustainable energy. Along with that they contain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. This tiny seed packs a lot of nutrition and health benefit punch.

6. Bananas

The portable and consistent banana is still a top choice for energy and a classic breakfast food. Also thanks to Gwen Stefani we will never have to worry about misspelling them again..

Bananas are technically giant herbs rather than trees and have been quite hybridized over the centuries. An original banana you might not even recognize due to its smaller size, color and vast amount of seeds that made it almost inedible. Bananas as we know them still are one of the best energy and nutrition sources around. Among their many benefits include:

  • high in antioxidants
  • can provide relief from heartburn and acid reflux
  • high in potassium
  • can act as a pre-biotic to grow healthy bacteria
  • lowers blood pressure
  • contain the mood boosting amino acid tryptophan

7. Almonds

Another powerhouse food almonds are packed with:

  • protein
  • vitamin E
  • copper
  • magnesium
  • fiber

Besides providing energy one of their big draws is ability to lower cholesterol as well as reducing the risks of cancer and heart disease. Interestingly a 3/4 cup of almonds has as much calcium as an 8oz cup of either low-fat, skim or whole milk. They are great raw, as almond butter or almond milk. Some people like to soak almonds over night or for up to 12 hours to help aid in the digestion of them.

8. Eggs

Eggs still are known to get a bad rap. If you can get some farm fresh, free range, non hormone treated chicken eggs you have a great morning food for energy. If you have seen a free range, organic egg yolk you have definitely observed the real difference in color than that of it’s store bought counterpart. Eggs are packed with:

  • an almost perfect source of protein
  • vitamin B2
  • vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A, D and E
  • Calcium & iron (found in the yolks)

There has always been the worry of the cholesterol content in eggs but more studies are pointing to the fact they don’t necessarily cause higher serum cholesterol in the body.

9. Oatmeal

Another long standing classic at breakfast and for pretty good reason. It has high levels of soluble fiber, protein, can lower cholesterol and can help control blood pressure.

I would say it is by far the best choice of all grains but if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity you still might want to be careful. Some people can still have some issues and a lot of oats are known to have traces of wheat in them as they are usually packaged in the same facilities. Look for organic completely gluten free oats to be on the safe side.

10. A Combination Of A Few Of These

Since you put up with the bad jokes here’s a way to combine some of these things together for a perfect energy boosting meal in the morning. You can make this the night before to be ready in the morning.

  • in a bowl mash 1 banana then add in 4 tbsp chia seeds. whisk in 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract and a pinch or two of cinnamon.
  • place in fridge overnight to thicken
  • in the morning add in more chia seeds to thicken or more almond milk to thin if desired
  • add a topping of blueberries and raw almonds or ideally almonds you have soaked overnight.

So there is a perfect way to start the day a power packed, nutritionally dense and energy promoting meal.

Now I’m off to deal with this hate mail from Peter Jackson..

 

Featured photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via flic.kr

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