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Does the perfect breakfast exist?

The topic of breakfast is back on the agenda for this back-to-school season. Read on to discover our naturopath's opinion on the matter.
Breakfast bowl with berries surrounded by flowers
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Does the perfect breakfast exist?

Time for yourself

Whether you enjoy a daily breakfast or your first meal usually isn’t until midday, it’s never a bad idea to take some time for yourself in the morning after you wake up. A glass of lukewarm water after getting out of bed is a great way to finish eliminating toxins from the body and gently revive the digestive system. This time – no matter how long – conditions the rest of your day, and the quality of your breakfast does the same. These moments in the morning are a great opportunity to fill yourself with good energy and give your body the fuel it needs for the day ahead.  

Intermittent fasting or breakfast?

Each person is different, has their own temperament, constitution, metabolic, digestive, enzymatic, and organic capacities. For some not eating breakfast is the better option – some don’t have their first bite until 10am or midday. This of course is not the case for everyone. Intermittent fasting can be excellent if it’s well managed and if the body gets sufficient calories throughout the rest of the day, with a good balance of macro- and micro-nutrients. But for those who do eat breakfast, what should we eat? As you might already know, classic breakfasts with coffee, orange juice, white bread or brioche with butter, jam and honey turn your hormones, neurotransmitters and energy upside down: too acidic, too sweet and not at all adapted to what your body needs in the morning.

But then, what should we eat?

Most people need good proteins and fats and very little sugar, in order to not impact blood sugar levels. As usual, it all depends on your temperament, your constitution, the environment in which you live, the type of work you do, the physical activity you engage in, whether you are chronically tired or not, whether your metabolism is high or low, and so on. We also don't necessarily always need the same things throughout the different seasons. In autumn and winter we typically eat more nutritionally dense, hotter and spicier food – in summer: fresher and more raw.  

So, should we eat breakfast or not? As with everything, the answer isn’t black and white. It depends on the individual. There’s no simple rule for the perfect breakfast, it's a case-by-case thing. However, what we know for sure, is that there are general guidelines for eating well that apply to everyone looking to achieve good health.

How to make a good breakfast?

For most people living in the West with a high pace in life and high levels of stress, it is important to respect the body's chrono-nutrition and provide it with what it needs most in the morning: good proteins, good fats and good carbohydrates (sugars). Here’s how to compose your breakfast in the best possible way:

  • Good proteins: eggs (keep the yolk uncooked to benefit from all its nutritional properties), a little bit of cheese, preferably goat's or sheep's cheese, Bündnerfleisch or Valais dried meat (not every day as it is very salty), smoked trout, chia seeds, oil seeds (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), etc.
  • Good fats (absolutely necessary for your nervous system, your brain, your hormonal system, etc. to function properly): eggs, mashed almonds or hazelnuts or cashews, a spoonful of organic first cold-pressed walnut, hemp, camelina or flaxseed oil (rich in omega 3), possibly to be put in a muesli or in a compote, avocado (this should be consumed sparingly due to the environmental cost) and smoked salmon (also consume this sparingly, due to fishing conditions and contamination of certain seas such as the North Sea), or trout (as a salmon replacement, as it can be sourced locally with better conditions)
  • Good "sugars": Opt for bread made from whole meal flours, preferably organic, and sourdough, cereals from organic shops, whole meal cereals with a low or medium glycemic index such as oats, vegetable and fruit juices, homemade jams, homemade spreads, etc.
  • Avoid the bad "sugars" (for yourself and your children, especially if they are hyperactive, ADD, ADHD): white bread, sandwich bread, rice or corn cakes, rusks, supermarket cereals, pastries, industrial fruit juices, sodas, industrial jams, Nutella, etc.  
    All these foods contain refined sugars which are demineralizing, oxidizing +++ (hello premature ageing) and acidifying, some of them are ultra-processed, have (very) high glycemic indexes which greatly disrupt blood sugar levels, hence the well-known 10am cravings and hunger attacks. This type of breakfast leads to a chain of hyper-hypoglycemic reactions, which are harmful to the pancreas and the liver in the long run.
  • Light and raw: Lighter breakfasts with a higher amount of raw food (especially fruit) are welcome – depending on your digestive and intestinal tolerance. The seasons and what each one offers us serves as a guide to what we should consume during that time.
  • Drinks: If you are a coffee fan, make sure you choose a quality coffee (avoid consuming more than two per day, as coffee is a superficial stimulant that causes a lot of adrenal fatigue in the long run) or green coffee, which is much richer in micro-nutrients. You can also replace some of the day's coffee with chicory. Green tea rich in antioxidants is a good option, but it’s best to drink tea outside of food intake because tea is a great iron chelator, meaning it "drains" the body's iron stores. If you are a hot chocolate fan, remember to choose a high quality 100% cocoa, and add a little honey or whole meal sugar yourself, if necessary. As for juices, opt for vegetable juices with a little fruit added (you can read more about this topic in right here). To get your energy up in the morning, certain infusions are highly recommended, such as rosemary infusion, as this does not cause adrenal fatigue like coffee does. You can also think of "golden milk" in autumn-winter, which strengthens the immune system and is anti-inflammatory (Ayurvedic drink made from turmeric, black pepper, ginger, coconut oil, vegetable milk, a little honey). Of course, this list is not exhaustive.
Raspberries in a bowl with flowers, breakfast crackers and a jug on a table

Breakfast recipes

Traditional breakfast revisited

A few slices of good whole meal sourdough bread or gluten-free bread (made from rice flour, corn flour, with seeds) with 1 or 2 eggs, oilseed puree, possibly homemade spread, hummus, avocado, guacamole, tapenade and a yummy drink.  

Complete smoothie

To be prepared in a blender: 1 banana or 1 other ripe and seasonal fruit, 1 big handful of greens (fresh or dried nettle leaves, fresh spinach leaves, mint, basil or other herbs, kale leaves, salad leaves...), red fruits (fresh or frozen), 1 tablespoon of almond puree or flaxseed or walnut or hempseed oil (omega 3) and a plant milk. You can also read our article on juices and smoothies to learn more about how to make a good smoothie.

Healthy pancake

Mix 1 egg with 2 large spoons of whole meal almond powder or buckwheat flour, with a little vegetable cream (10 cl of coconut or rice or oat cream) and cook in a pan with coconut oil (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, rich in lauric acid, in good medium-chain fatty acids). Then to add on top: a fresh fruit cut into pieces or a few crushed nuts, grated coconut and a little honey. You could also opt. for savoury toppings (mushrooms, tomatoes, rocket, herbs, a bit of cheese...), or no toppings at all. It’s just important here to not add too many sweet toppings (no commercial jams, but honey in small doses or low-sugar jams). Enjoy this with a yummy drink and you’re all set.

Chia pudding

Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of chia seeds in a bowl the night before with vegetable milk or cream and leave to stand overnight (at room temperature or in the fridge). The next day the mixture should be thick and homogeneous. Before enjoying this treat in the morning, add oilseeds, coconut shavings or raw cocoa, 1 spoonful of honey or maple syrup, dried fruit (organic), fresh fruit such as bananas, or frozen or fresh red fruit in summer, fresh pollen, etc. The variations are endless. Chia seeds are a real treasure from a nutritional point of view, as they are full of proteins, omega 3, they’re gentle on the intestinal mucosa and they fight against inflammation.  

For those in a hurry

Simple, effective and above all very alkalising: a banana and a good handful of almonds or walnuts with a tasty drink.

Original Language: French

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