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Harvard Expert Suggests Good Breakfast Options

| Updated: April 15, 2024 10:47

Dr Uma Naidoo, a psychiatrist and nutrition expert, has studied ‘brain foods’ for years

When it comes to top breakfast options, several experts have given their own opinions. Here we have Harvard-trained psychiatrist, nutrition expert, and professional chef, Dr Uma Naidoo, suggest her favourite options and explain the reasons behind every choice.   

She is also the director of nutritional lifestyle and metabolic psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been studying ‘brain foods’ for over 20 years. 

Dr Naidoo, who is of Indian origins, says that the breakfast items she has suggested are rich in key nutrients and thereby promote energy, clarity and mental health. 

Blood sugar levels

She rues that most of the breakfast items that are popular are full of sugars and simple carbohydrates. These cause a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. They also contribute to inflammation around the brain that causes brain fog and poor concentration.

She suggests drinking a glass of water immediately after waking up to fight dehydration and anxiety. According to her, these are the five good breakfast options:  

  • Chia pudding: Chia seed pudding has a great deal of fibre which optimises gut-brain communication and produces brain chemicals which improve mood. This dish also contains omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the brain, thereby enhancing cognition and memory.  
  • Scrambled eggs or omelet: Eggs are full of healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins that are vital for a healthy brain. The yolks are rich in vitamin D and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. 
  • Tofu scramble: Tofu is a versatile protein that’s rich in tryptophan and soy isoflavones, which have known to have reduced symptoms of depression. Scrambled tofu can be flavoured with sea salt, turmeric and black pepper.  
  • Green smoothie: Leafy greens like spinach can be blended with berries, protein powder and some fat from hemp seeds to make a smoothie rich in nutrients.  Leafy greens are good sources of folate which is needed for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain that improve mood and ward off depression. 
  • Milk and turmeric: This may not be a meal in itself. However, it is a good option to begin the day with lower anxiety levels, more energy and mental clarity. Use unsweetened plant milk with turmeric and a pinch of black pepper to make the nourishing drink.

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