10 of the best ingredients for a deliciously healthy breakfast shake
Breakfast. If there was ever a time to indulge in a delicious healthy shake this is it. The best breakfast shake will set you up for the day with all the nutrients you need for sustained energy. And it should taste good too.
A good breakfast should be as nutrient dense as it is delicious, and ideally cover all the macronutrients of protein, fats and carbohydrates, with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. A few additional superfood boosts will keep you firmly on track until lunch.
But what are the best ingredients to include in your breakfast shakes for a balanced morning meal?
What should my ideal breakfast shake contain?
To fuel the first part of your day you are looking for something that will fill you up without feeling sluggish and keep you fuller for longer. You want sustainable energy without stimulation. And you want that to come in a package that contains as many micronutrients as possible. Grains, nuts and fruits should cover it. Add a little milk, dairy or non-dairy is up to you, and you are good to go. More than ready.
Ten great ingredients for a healthy breakfast shake
Quite possibly the best breakfast food there is, oats are ridiculously good for you. Rich in vitamins and minerals, oats are a great source of antioxidant polyphenols. The soluble fibre in oats, beta-glucan, leads to an increased feeling of fullness, delays glucose absorption and is even known to promote gut health.
As part of your breakfast shake they lend a thick creamy texture especially if left to stand for a while after blending. They also add a milky sweetness.
Banana is another breakfast champion. High in heart-healthy potassium, mood-enhancing magnesium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 they also contain soluble fibre, in the form of pectin, that helps to control blood sugar and promote gut health. Bananas contain tryptophan, another mood-enhancing nutrient, the precursor to serotonin the feel-good neurotransmitter.
Like oats, they add creamy texture and milky sweetness to your breakfast shake. Plus, they taste like banana so its all good.
You could substitute banana for our banana powder…
To turn your breakfast into a shake you will need a liquid. Any liquid is good, but for a thick breakfast shake with all the creamy elements like bananas and oats, milk is the obvious choice. Cow milk is a source of easily available calcium and is often fortified with Vitamin D. It is also a good source of protein, with a full spectrum of essential amino acids. Because of food intolerances, allergies, and also ethical choices, non-dairy milk is a popular alternative. They vary widely in nutrient content and flavour according to the manufacturer.
In your breakfast shake, milk will add creamy body and silky texture.
Protein powder is the modern way to add easily digestible protein, and therefore all essential amino acids, to your foods. You can choose whey concentrate, derived from cow milk, or vegan pea protein which is derived from um…peas. Extra protein will add to the satiety value of your shake, making you feel full and keep hunger away for longer. Whey concentrate contains no lactose so is an alternative for those with lactose intolerance.
Both types of protein powder will add creamy body to your shake. If you have no reason to stay away from dairy then choose whey protein for flavour and texture.
Almonds are high in fibre, protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Full of antioxidant Vitamin E that supports the immune system and is great for skin, the skin of almonds also boasts many other antioxidant compounds. High in magnesium, almonds can help to control blood sugar.
Keep the skin on and blitz in your breakfast shake or add a spoonful of whole almond butter for extra body and a nutty taste.
Maca. Superfood of superfoods. From a group of healing plants known as adaptogens, maca adapts to the body strengthening and balancing its systems as needed. It gives energy without stimulation, regulates stress and balances hormones. And is also full of powerful phytonutrients.
In a creamy banana breakfast shake maca powder adds a malty undertone.
A natural sweetener, honey contains as many calories as sugar but also has a host of nutritional benefits. Composition of honey varies wildly, as does quality, yet it is full of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Look for good quality, local varieties of honey – darker honey may contain more beneficial compounds.
Add just a teaspoon of honey for sweetness and nuance of flavour.
Mango is one of the highest food sources of vitamin C. Packed with fibre, vitamin A, and potassium as well as plenty of antioxidant phytochemicals, mango is a superfruit any time of day.
The richly textured flesh of mango makes it an ideal addition to a thick breakfast shake. Or choose our mango powder for an easy vitamin C boost.
Who doesn’t love berries. Among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, berries are little powerhouses of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. Boasting the highest levels of antioxidants in all fruits, berries will help support your immune system and are also anti-ageing. They also taste amazing. Berries deterioriate quite quickly so freeze any fresh berries you have leftover.
Frozen berries add icy cold texture to your smoothies and go surprisingly well with creamy sweet flavours. For an instant flavour and nutrient boost add a few teaspoons of berry powder to your breakfast shakes.
Bursting with anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids (aka EFA’s) flaxseed is really good at keeping your brain, heart and joints all healthy. With vitamin E for glowing supple skin, and a decent amount of fibre, flaxseed powder is a good addition to any smoothie, breakfast or otherwise. Flax is also hormone-balancing too, so is an excellent addition to any superfood arsenal.
Flax has a mild taste that is well hidden in smoothies, although it does particularly the thick and creamy variety with its vaguely nutty tones and thickening capacity. Try our LSA mix for flax, sunflower seed and almond all in one handy powder.
We hope you are feeling more confident to blitz up some healthy breakfast shakes.