The 5 Breakfasts you Need if You're Wanting to Be the Healthiest Woman you Can Be
This is the first in an educational series of blog posts in partnership with Brisbane based musculoskeletal specialists Thrive Health Co.
Getting in a healthy breakfast is worth the effort
Are you the kind of person that if you get breakfast right, you end up being pretty healthy for the rest of the day? Or on the flip side, if you don’t get a healthy breakfast in, the rest of the day can be a disaster? If this is you, it’s definitely worthwhile getting it right.
But what exactly is right? In a world where you can access an abundance of nutrition + health information online, how do you know exactly what to eat every day?
There are a few core principles that underpin women’s health that will probably never really change all that much (with the exception of genetic variation) + I find if you design your food to cover off on these core principles, then you can’t go too far wrong.
So read on to find out how to design your next five breakfasts to cover off on all your womanly bases!
Breakfasts for Hormonal Balance + Fertility
Even if you don’t want to have children, or perhaps you’re no longer wanting to add to the brood, or you are sitting on the other side of menopause, optimising your fertility is of prime importance. Why? Because the same hormones that promote ovulation, conception + healthy pregnancies do so many other things in the body to promote health (even after menopause is long gone).
Hormone receptors exist all over your body (not just in your reproductive system) + play important roles in mood regulation (both in pre-menopausal + post-menopausal women), sugar metabolism (ever get serious cravings with PMS? You can blame hormone fluctuations for that!), bone health + heart health. When hormones out of balance, they can contribute significantly to disease. If your hormones are in working order however, you are both healthy + fertile - even if you don’t want to use it ;).
Good fertility requires a wholefood rich diet high in the B vitamins (for hormone production), choline (for the clearance of hormones), zinc (for hormone regulation + the management of inflammation, which can impair hormone balance) + vitamin A (which plays a role in oestrogen regulation + period health).
What sort of brekky gets some runs on the board if you’re wanting to cover off on these nutrients? Well Iif you start one or two days every week with this Hormone Balancing Paleo Power breakfast you are off to a cracking start.
Breakfasts for a strong musculoskeletal system
A strong skeletal + muscular structure is incredibly essential for women’s health. Not only do your bones carry you around, but they are constantly being broken down + built back up again + as a result, they serve as a dynamic + ever changing contributor to your overall health. Your bones are your largest store of calcium + phosphorous, meaning they help to keep plenty of nutrients available for neurotransmission + heart health. They also play a role in keeping your body at the right pH. Similarly, your muscles do so much more than just help you move around all day. They play an important role in moving nutrients all around the body + help to produce heat to keep you warm.
A strong + healthy musculoskeletal system requires many nutrients, with the ones of note being calcium, magnesium, manganese + vitamin K2. Emma Galloway’s Tahini, Orange + Coconut muesli is a perfect answer to supporting a strong + healthy bones + muscles. Now, for those of you nutrition nerds out there, this recipe is NOT high in Vitamin D or K2. That’s because these two nutrients are a little harder to find + we need to look in special places to get them. Eat your breakfast in the sun + you’ll get a dose of vitamin D + mix in a spinach or broccoli powder + you’ll get your K2! Ahhhh that’s better.
Breakfasts for a good mood
Achieving happy moods means supplying our nervous system, our adrenals (the organs that respond to stress) + our gut (yep, it’s that good old gut-brain connection that you keep hearing about) with all the nutrients required for effective function. Neurotransmitters (the messages sent by our brain to + from different parts of the body) + the cells that house them, require certain nutrients to function. We also need to be able to manage inflammation properly as it is known to contribute to mood disorders. Women can be particularly vulnerable to mood fluctuations due to our changing hormonal profiles (remember the PMS example? Anyone experience anxiety or depression prior to or with the onset of your period?) + chronic exposure to stress.
Our food can have a dramatic impact on our moods because it supplies the nutrients required for optimal function + when used therapeutically can help to ameliorate inflammation at the same time. While there are a myriad of reasons why you may experience rollercoaster moods, providing yourself with the fundamental nutrients for your nervous, adrenal + gut health goes a long way towards giving you happier moods.
Some of the nutrients critical to the health of these three systems include protein (to form the building blocks of neurotransmitters + fuel cellular function both in the nervous system + the gut), B vitamins (for brain energy + neurotransmitter production), magnesium (for neurotransmitter release) + essential fatty acids (for gut integrity + cell wall stability in our neurons). What sort of a breakfast covers off on this huge list of nutrients? Well this smoothie has a good go at it with chia for essential fatty acids, turmeric as an anti-inflammatory + beets with fibre for gut health. But I’d recommend you use it as a base + add two things to it. Boost your protein intake with a tablespoon of organic whey protein + (go with me on this one) a teaspoon or two of frozen, organic liver. Yes liver. You can’t taste it when it’s frozen + blended in + it’s like a little wholefood Berocca but waaaaay better for you.
Breakfasts for a strong immune system
Your immune health isn’t just about how many colds you get in a year. Inappropriate immune responses are implicated in everything from mood disorders, autoimmune diseases, degenerative brain diseases + cancer among others. Thus it makes sense to support your immune system to grow + mature appropriately not only so that you don’t get laden with a regular cold virus, but as a preventative measure to ensure you maintain great health into your old age. While this recommendation isn’t necessarily specific to women, our unique hormone profiles can impact the immune system directly (especially when they are out of balance), which makes our immune responses slightly different to males + worthy of extra special attention.
Having a robust immune system requires another diverse range of nutrients but the key players are not just good old vitamin C + zinc. We also now know that vitamins A, D, E, + the minerals Iron + Selenium are equally as important. I spoke above about how it’s tricky to get vitamin D into your food (so eat this one in the sun too!), but this salmon breakfast bake gives all of the other nutrients a good look in! Chop up an orange + have it alongside it + you’ve got a pretty amazing immune boosting brekky.
Breakfasts for a happy liver
Finally, the hepatobilliary system (our liver + gall bladder) is the master processor of all of our female hormones (plus everything else that goes into our bodies). It also does a tonne of other cool stuff so it’s worthy of some love. Making sure our liver is in tip top shape will determine how well your body handles + balances hormones as well as how your body manages sugar + also how you make + distribute protein (remember how important that is for your mood?).
In my books, good liver health is not about ‘detoxing’ the liver, it’s about strengthening the liver so it can do it’s own detoxing properly. To do this, it needs a heap of B vitamins + protein so beginning your day with a breakfast choc full of these nutrients is ideal. You can try this beautiful steel cut oats recipe to get both a good dose of protein + a great range of B vitamins all in one hit.
Your body will thank you!
So there you have it. Your next five breakfasts to help you become the absolute best version of yourself that you can be! If you’re dealing with a specific women’s health issue + you’d like to start addressing it using nutrients, I’d love to help! Go ahead + book an online appointment below + we can get started!
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Hey! I’m Zoe Morosini, a Brisbane based nutritionist on a mission to show every woman that wants to lose weight that she doesn’t have to lose her mind trying.