Eating in Color: Easy Tips for a Bright Breakfast
Numerous studies have shown just how important it is to eat the first meal of the day.
From helping to maintain a healthy weight to improving mental focus in kids and adults, breakfast offers up a ton of benefits.
The morning meal is also one of the best opportunities we have all day to get in some servings of colorful fruits and vegetables, which most of us don’t get enough of on a daily basis. Eating in color – both at breakfast and throughout the day – means packing in more nutrients. Foods that naturally contain vibrant color tend to include phytochemicals that may provide health benefits.
From Beige to Colorful Breakfast
While there are plenty of healthy ways to start your day, many of these foods – whole grain breads and cereals, yogurt, oatmeal – are pretty boring looking on their own. Breakfast is the prime time to load up on colorful phytonutrient-rich foods, including Montmorency tart cherries.
Ruby-red and pleasingly tart, Montmorency cherries contain anthocyanins, a flavonoid that gives the cherries their deep red color and delicious flavor. And dried Montmorency tart cherries are also rich in vitamin A, which is necessary for skin and eye cell growth, and it’s vital for a healthy immune system and reproductive system.
You can find tart dried Montmorency tart cherries, Montmorency tart cherry juice and frozen Montmorency tart cherries year round. There are so many amazing and tasty ways to use them to add a pop of red to your morning meals!
Bright Breakfast Ideas
Here are my favorite ways to brighten up your breakfast with nutrient-packed Montmorency tart cherries:
- Add Montmorency tart cherry juice or concentrate to your smoothie (See my Cherry-Almond Smoothie recipe);
- Toss a handful of tart dried Montmorency tart cherries onto your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt. Their gorgeous color and chewy texture add a boost of flavor and nutrients to your bowl in just seconds;
- Add tart dried Montmorency tart cherries to pancake or muffin mix. Their naturally tart flavor helps balance out the sweetness of baked goods;
- Layer Montmorency tart cherries with creamy yogurt and fresh fruit for a phytonutrient packed parfait! (See my Cheery Cherry Yogurt Parfait recipe).
In addition to their gorgeous color and addictively tart flavor, Montmorency tart cherries also provide a wealth of health benefits. Some researchers suggested that Montmorency tart cherries have more inflammation-fighting content than any other food. Thanks to this specific asset, Montmorency tart cherries have the potential to lower the risk of gout attacks and help manage osteoarthritis pain. This anti-inflammatory effect also helps athletes recover faster after running and cycling races. Tart Montmorency tart cherry juice also helps decrease some of the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage after strength training.
The anthocyanins in Montmorency tart cherries are also associated with a decreased risk of heart disease in young and middle-aged women. Tart cherries may also help reduce the risk of stroke and lower both triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. And that’s not all! Recent studies indicate Montmorency tart cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep. I’ll drink to that!