According to Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, as we transition from late Autumn into Winter, we should aim to eat more foods that are warm and moist to keep us in a healthy balance aligning with the seasons. For breakfast, that'll usually mean porridge for many of us. But my body sometimes has a hard time digesting porridge, and it often feels a little too heavy for me.
Recently I've been LOVING this grain-free and oat-free warming breakfast 'pudding', which also just so happens to be fantastic for hormone balancing, containing some of the best ingredients to help support perimenopause and menopause symptoms. These 3 seeds pack a densely nutritional punch with healthy fats, prebiotics, fibre, high quality proteins, phytoestrogens and lots of calcium, along with other vital nutrients for hormone health and balance.
Prebiotic foods feed our gut microbiome, this helps the gut absorb nutrients effectively from our food, and help from the neurotransmitter 'happy' hormones in the brain. Prebiotic foods also help reduce inflammation in the gut which in turn reduces inflammation throughout the whole body, including the brain. Great food sources of prebiotics include leeks, onions, garlic, cabbage, beets, fennel, asparagus, dark berries, cacao, parsley, ginger and other fresh and dried herbs and spices.
Fibre is crucial to optimise digestion, improve gut function, and reduce inflammation. Most of us don't get enough, but it's easy by adding in more whole foods such a vegetables, fruits, pulses, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Foods that support optimal liver functioning are so important during perimenopause and menopause because if the liver isn't functioning optimally, it can exacerbate symptoms, especially hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog and fatigue. Berries are in this category, as well as all dark green leafy veg, cruciferous veg like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, beets, artichokes, avocado, fresh herbs, apples, ginger and turmeric
Nuts and seeds give the body anti-inflammatory oils, minerals and proteins that have been shown to help reduce common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Flax Seeds are the highest source of PHYTOESTROGENS which are plant forms that gently mimic the body's natural estrogens. They can also lock onto and block the body's own estrogen receptors which protect against estrogen dominance. They can also be found in pulses, beans and legumes, as well as pomegranates and blueberries
Hemp Seed Hearts are incredibly high in calcium, for bone health, but they're also a fantastic source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids which help reduce inflammation, and may help with healthy weight management, metabolism and skin health, as well as mood boosting properties.
Chia Seeds aid digestion, increases energy, support blood sugar regulation and weight loss, and improves brain function. They are an excellent source of fibre and magnesium and a good calcium, iron and B vitamins
Not bad for one delicious breakfast bowl, right? Why not give it a go, it's SO quick and easy to prepare.
I'd love to hear what you think, so drop me questions or comments and let me know how you get on
For the 'pudding'
1 1/2 cups milk / non-dairy mylk
A dash of organic vanilla extract (optional)
2-3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
2 tablespoons Shelled Hemp Seeds / Hearts
(Optional - I add in some organic vegan protein powder too for extra oomph and flavour but you can totally leave this out)
Choose anything you enjoy, but some great options for hormonal balancing are fresh berries, pomegranate seeds, nuts and cacao nibs. Try to avoid dried fruits or additional sugars to prevent intensity of symptoms such as hot flushes
Heat the milk gently in a saucepan until it's hot but not boiling. Add vanilla if using
Turn down the heat to minimum as you stir in the seeds (and protein powder if using)
Keep stirring until you notice the chia seeds are no longer crunchy and have formed a gel-like consistency
Serve immediately, top as desired and enjoy!