‘Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food’
We all know the importance of eating healthy food – eat your 5-a-day and avoid McDonalds and carbs and sugar etc etc! But have you ever really stepped back and thought about why?
In this media-heavy world it’s easy to be distracted by wanting that perfect ‘beach body’ and attempting to eat a few salads and go to gym for a week then giving up when that slender figure doesn’t magically appear.
What we really should be striving for is a healthy ongoing lifestyle and recognising the importance of loving, respecting and listening to our own bodies, as food has a huge impact on our present and future body – affecting your energy levels, sleep quality, skeletal health and obviously digestive function. Now I’m never going to deny anybody that slice of chocolate cake or glass of wine after a long day! As long as providing the foods you’re eating the majority of the time contain the nutrients your body needs to ensure (within your power) you maintain a long and healthy life.
I believe you don’t have to spend a fortune at Wholefoods buying the latest craze of superfood but can have a healthy diet shopping at any cheap supermarket. The key is to buy a variety of fresh ingredients, including lots of vegetables in a rainbow of colours, fruits and wholegrains (brown over white to reduce the refined sugar hit).
Here is an easy and healthy breakfast recipe I’ve made that can easily be replicated and adapted to whatever suits you/what’s in your fridge!
Banana, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Porridge!
You will need:
Slice the banana, set one half aside and place the rest in a saucepan with a handful of oats, a tablespoon of chia seeds and around a cupful of water or milk of your choice.
Set pan over a medium heat, stirring it all together.
Once the water is bubbling lower the heat and mix in a spoonful of cacao powder, stir until combined and the porridge is at your preferred consistency (the banana and chia seeds plump it up so it’s nice and creamy even when cooked in only water). I then add a spoonful of peanut butter in the middle and let go all melty and delicious! You may add honey/agave or maple syrup if you wish, but I find the banana’s natural sweetness is enough! (Especially the more ripe they are!)
Top with the extra banana slices, nuts and berries and enjoy with your favourite morning beverage!
Oats: are a natural sedative which is good for anxiety, depression and insomnia; soluble fibre meaning they keep you fuller for longer which additionally can be useful in diabetes as this prevents big spikes in blood sugar levels; contain beta-glucan which studes have shown reduce LDL cholesterol levels (the unwanted kind).
Bananas: rich in potassium which helps maintain blood pressure; contain prebiotic compounds to help maintain a healthy gut to encourage best absorption of nutrients and fight bad bacteria; high in fibre and slow-release glucose and fructose to keep fuller for longer and regulate bowels; has an antacid effect which soothes stomach ulcers and heartburn.
Nuts/nut butter: high in antioxidants which fight free radical cell damage and inflammation; contain healthy fats which help lower cholesterol, improve blood vessel function and keep joints supple.
Chia seeds: high in omega-3 fatty acids which help many conditions especially reducing risk of cardiovascular disease; contain calcium and magnesium which contribute to strong bones and teeth; high in fibre which helps to maintain bowel regularity and blood sugar levels.
Cacao powder: high in antioxidants which support immunity and can have anti-cancer properties as protects free radical damage; flavonoids lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Thank you for reading and let me know if you tried out the recipe!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.