Mood-enhancing, anti-ageing, colon-cleansing and de-puffing: how much can breakfast really impact your health and appearance? According to Lisa Oxenham, the answer is a lot.
I never have time to look after myself properly before a flight, so when I’m away I make like Elle and take a whole load of supplements with my breakfast. Granted, it’s a bit of a faff, but it really does make me feel – and look – significantly better.
I cornered Elle Macpherson’s nutritional advisor – and creator of my favourite green powder The Super Elixir – Dr Simone Laubscher for her expert advice on how to really make the most of breakfast. Read her tips and watch the video to learn how to supercharge your health every morning.
Get Your pH Right. To nail this one, eat more alkaline foods and fewer acidic foods, which basically means upping your plant intake and indulging in fewer animal products and junk food. While being constantly alkaline is impossible – both on a cellular level and when making choices (hello Sunday pancakes), making it a habit to start your day with alkalising foods will provide a good foundation for your health, which will result in ‘better skin, less irritability, a better disposition and more energy,’ according to Dr Laubscher. Try my favourite Super Elixir alongside oats, eggs or rye to up the alkaline content of your breakfast.
Spice Up Your Life. Your immune system loves herbs and spices such as turmeric, cayenne, pepper, chilli, garlic, ginger, basil, coriander and lemon grass. Since 70% of your immune system is in your gut, what you eat will affect its efficacy: ‘anything in the fruit, herb of vegetable family takes about 30-60 minutes to absorb, after which you’ll have a spike of immunity – if you time breakfast so that this coincides with your tube journey, you’re less likely to catch illnesses going round the carriage.’ (FYI: this short digestion time is also why you really shouldn’t have fruit as a pudding – it’ll start to ferment before your main course has digested, leading to bloating and discomfort).
Get Your Ratio Right. While you may need low GI cards like rye, oats or soda bread to satisfy your appetite in the morning, you want to keep an eye on your ratio of protein to carbs – adding eggs, nut butter (cashew or almond varieties are superior to peanut) or coconut yoghurt to your plate will ensure you feel full for longer and have fewer energy dips.
Hydrate. The average human body is made up of 70 trillion cells and 60% of your body is made up of water. As we generally don’t rehydrate during the night, Dr Laubscher recommends a pint of water or herbal tea immediately on waking. Ideally, you’d then wait around half an hour before eating so that your digestive enzymes aren’t diluted, but the most important thing is to ensure you’re getting enough hydration (also, the more water you drink, the more puffiness you’ll flush out).
Cut Caffeine. Caffeine massively dehydrates. If you can’t resist, bear in mind that your caffeine to water ratio should be 8 glasses of water to 1 caffeinated drink per day. Green and white tea only contain around a third of the caffeine found in coffee so if you’re desperate for a kick, try to switch to them to avoid hampering your key nutrition absorption.
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Stay Lean. Toxins live in our body fat so staying lean is vital if you want to reduce toxicity. Dr Laubscher suggests an easy way to rid yourself of some unwanted fat is to try a detox day a week where you only eat vegan foods for the day. The rest of the time, try to live by the 80:20 rule so your base meals are healthy with some room for fun.
Moisturise from the Outside In. Essential fatty acids – so called as they’re absolutely vital for cellular health – comprise omega 3 (derived mainly from fish and flax) and omegas 6 and 9 (primarily olive oil and avocado). A daily dose is key to maintaining good health: they help the cell membrane stay intact and therefore allow goodness into the cell and junk out. Being deficient means ‘your cell health is poor, ergo your health is poor.’
Get your Fibre. For your body to detox effectively each day you need to keep regular bowel movements. One way to ensure this is the case is by taking in enough fibre (and water). Try psyllium husks or milled flaxseeds, which will encourage your body to cleanse the intestines and colon (and, as an added bonus, are quite filling).
Chew. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to send signals to your stomach: if you eat too quickly the brain and stomach don’t have time to connect, resulting in overeating, which will not only lead to weight gain, but also put too much pressure on the digestive and metabolic systems. Get it right by chewing each mouthful 20 times – it requires discipline at first but you’ll wonder how you ever wolfed down your food once you’ve made it a habit.
THE SUPER ELIXIRTM is designed to support your healthy nutrition at a cellular level and the optimum function of all 11 systems of the human body including; the digestive, endocrine (hormonal), integumentary (hair, skin & nails) circulatory and nervous systems. It has been perfected and balanced, optimising the most effective combinations as part of an ongoing research process. The right balance of nutrients impacts and supports our natural body abilities.
THE SUPER ELIXIRTM is available online at www.welleco.com and exclusively in store at Selfridges.