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5 Heart-Healthy Breakfast Ideas Other Than Oatmeal

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The latest scientific statement from the American Heart Association is yet another confirmation that breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day.

The Benefits Of Breakfast

Sufficient scientific evidence suggests that people who eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are well-recognized risk factors for heart disease.

On the contrary, those who skip breakfast were found to be obese, inadequately nourished, have impaired glucose metabolism, and diabetes.

Interestingly, breakfast can also work wonders for a child's performance in school. A 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association review of 47 breakfast-related studies found that eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance.

Other Than Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a mainstay of most heart-healthy diets. Its soluble fibers, according to the National Institutes of Health, reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and lower levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL, also known as the "bad" cholesterol.

But let's be honest, eating oatmeal every single day can become boring in the long run. Spice up your mornings with these yummier and healthier oatmeal alternatives:

Amaranth

Frequently, amaranth gets mistaken as a grain — it is, in fact, a seed — because of its texture and nutrient profile. It is loaded with essential nutrients like iron, potassium, calcium, and protein. Amaranth is good for the heart, because it contains phytosterols, which studies suggest have cholesterol-lowering properties.

To prepare this nutty substitute for oatmeal, boil a cup of amaranth seeds on a stove top and pair with your favorite slices of fruit for a hearty breakfast.

Wheat Berries

Filled with all the fiber goodness, wheat berries can keep you going beyond lunch time. They contain substantial amounts of thiamine (which helps support nerve and heart health) and antioxidant-packed vitamin E (which helps cells fight damaging free radicals).

Start your day right by adding a quarter cup of wheat berries, flaxseeds, and honey into 1 cup of plain yogurt.

Teff

Teff is an ancient grain originally grown in Abyssinia and more recently in Ethiopia. It is considered the smallest grain in the world. It's so small, it's impossible to process or refine. An amazing superfood that can bring you a combination of benefits, teff is gluten-free, high in iron, and high in protein plus eight essential amino acids necessary for the body's growth and repair. It's low in sodium, making it an ideal candidate for a heart-healthy diet.

Like cooking porridge, boil teff for 10 to 15 minutes and season with a pinch of salt.

Spelt Berry

Spelt, like other high-fiber food, is linked to a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. It also has manganese (which supports bone health) and zinc (which can help boost your immune system)

For a no-fuss breakfast fix, combine spelt berries, boiled oats, almond milk, granola, and your favorite fruits together. Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup or honey if you want it a tad sweeter.

Quinoa

The United Nations didn't name 2013 as the "International Quinoa Year" for nothing. A staple component of the diet of the ancient Incas, quinoa seeds have small amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and have rich deposits of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make them valuable for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

For a healthy but hassle-free breakfast, cook quinoa in a sauce pan for five minutes. Add almond milk, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle with fresh berries and nuts if you like.

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