Butternut squash, a member of the pumpkin family, is the perfect base for this breakfast bowl because of its simple taste and health benefits.
Flavonoids and carotenoids, like beta-carotene in particular, are abundant in this vegetable. Studies have shown that beta-carotene in butternut squash is linked to lower breast cancer risk. Plus, beta-carotene converts into vitamin A in the body, helping you maintain healthy skin, vision and mucous membranes and increase your body’s defense versus lung and mouth cancers.
Bananas are known worldwide not just because of their sweet taste, but also because of their positive health impacts. These tropical fruits are recognized for their high potassium content that assists in controlling your heart rate and blood pressure. Bananas also have polyphenolics — antioxidants that effectively fight free radicals.
Almond butter, especially when made from raw almonds, is loaded in antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Almonds are also known to help improve heart health. A study published in the journal Circulation showed that people with high lipid levels who snacked on almonds lessened their risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Raw, organic nuts that serve as the “toppings” of this breakfast bowl are vital for you, as nuts are rich in healthy fat, vitamins and antioxidants. Studies have shown that people who regularly ate nuts experienced:
- Weight loss
- Reduced systolic blood pressure levels
- Decreased metabolic syndrome risk factors
- Lessened risk for diabetes and/or mortality
- Greater longevity
The three best types of nuts you can eat whole (perfect as a snack) or use for this breakfast bowl recipe (slice or chop them) are macadamias, pecans and walnuts. All three have high amounts of healthy fat, while being low in carbohydrates and protein. These nuts also have additional capabilities that are able to protect your heart and reproductive system, and even fight diseases such as cancer.
Just make sure to eat nuts in moderation, as most types have high amounts of protein, which can lead to high blood sugar levels when consumed excessively.
A Note on Coconut Flakes
You may add toasted coconut flakes to this breakfast bowl for extra chewiness. Fortunately, they can be bought in the baking aisle at your nearest grocery. Just make sure to check the list of ingredients to see if there are added sugars. These sugars which could be hidden in the coconut, are counterproductive and harmful to your health goals, especially when eaten in huge quantities.
If you have coconut flakes lying around in your home, you can toast them by placing the coconut in a dry pan on low heat over the stove and moving the pan constantly. Once the coconut starts to turn brown, remove the pan from the heat.
About the Author
Inspired by the ideas from the “Perfect Health Diet” and the Weston A. Price Foundation, Marisa Moon started her blog My Longevity Kitchen so she can share with other people her whole food and gluten-free recipes that maximize nutrition and minimize toxins. Her blog has been nominated for Paleo Magazine’s 2015 Best New Blog Award. All of her recipes are gluten free and compliant with a variety of ancestral diets and real food lifestyles.
Apart from managing her blog, Marisa also teaches nutritional lifestyle workshops and develops recipes for HI-VIBE, an organic superfood juicery, all in Chicago, Illinois.