Training

Seven great porridge toppings

Porridge is great fitness fuel at any time of year but it’s a particular favourite of ours on cold, dark winter mornings. The slow-release carbs will ensure you feel fuller for longer, power you through a morning run and keep you going until lunch (ok, elevenses). Instead of reaching for the golden syrup though, try these tasty – and nutritious – toppings to start your day the healthy way…

1. Bananas

Potassium-rich bananas will help level your blood pressure, keep body fluids balanced and aid heart function. They’re also high in dietary fibre, so you’ll stay full for hours.

2. Dark chocolate

Lower in sugar than its milk and white counterparts, dark chocolate has been found to help lower blood pressure and pack more antioxidants than green tea and red wine. What a way to start the day – whoever said chocolate wasn’t for the breakfast table?

3. Cinnamon

Daily consumption of cinnamon has been found to settle blood sugar levels, meaning you’re less likely to get a mid-morning crash. Pair it with chopped apple for added vitamins and one of your five a day.

4. Honey

With 25 per cent fewer calories than white sugar, honey is a better choice if you’re watching what you eat. It’s also thought to help your body process calcium – good news for your bones.

5. Peanut butter

It’s not just for bagels! Sometimes criticised for being high in fat, rest assured that the majority of peanut butter’s fat content comes from healthy fats. Plus, it’s rich in B vitamins and phosphorous, which help your body turn food into energy.

6. Blueberries

Sweet, tasty and a hearty source of wound-healing vitamin K, blueberries are particularly rich in polyphenols, which offer anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Carrots

Yes, carrots. It may sound wacky, but try grated carrot, raisins, cinnamon and honey: it’ll offer lots of immune-boosting vitamin A as well as delivering tasty carrot-cake flavours.