Whole grainsWhole grains are much less refined than their processed counterparts so they still retain their natural goodness and fibre. They are a complex carbohydrate so they release energy at a slower, steadier rate than simple carbohydrates, such as sugar so your cereal keeps you going for much longer. Oats are a particularly useful component of your cereal as they contain beta-glucan; a soluble fibre that keeps you full for hours and can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol absorbed by the body.
Vitamins and MineralsA lot of cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals to give you a health boost. Different vitamins have different roles, including helping the body to utilise energy efficiently and aiding cell growth and repair, so it is important that your cereal contains a mix of several vitamins and minerals. Cereals are often also fortified with iron which helps enable red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body efficiently and zinc which helps to support the immune system.
Added FruitExtra fruit in your cereal adds taste, fibre and extra nutrients and just a tablespoon of dried fruit counts as one of your five portions of fruit and vegetables so you don’t need to eat masses of cereal to reap the benefits. One word of caution- some dried fruit contains extra sugar, so check the nutritional information to make sure that your cereal isn’t loaded with empty calories.
Healthy FatsAlthough we get told to eat less fat, what we really need to focus on is cutting down on the amount of unhealthy saturated fats in our diet and to have plenty of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3 instead. Certain added ingredients, such as flaxseed in Bokomo’s granola and nuts and seeds add valuable healthy fats to your breakfast so you look and feel healthier.
When you are reading the ingredients, make sure that sugar isn’t one of the top 3 ingredients as too much sugar not only adds up to a lot of empty calories, it gives you an initial rush of energy shortly followed by a crash, meaning your cereal won’t keep you going for very long. Also, try to avoid too many additives and artificial ingredients- if you can’t pronounce it, you don’t want to put it in your body. Choosing a cereal full of wholesome and delicious ingredients instead will start your day off in the best possible way.