I really enjoy muesli as its delicious, nutritious and so versatile that you can change the ingredients depending on what you have available. This particular combination is packed with fibre, Vitamin C, potassium, phytonutrients and omega 3.
I am really lucky to have fig trees in my garden with an abundance of figs so I added both fresh and dried figs. I also grow my own organic strawberries which are delicious so those went in too.
4-5 strawberries, sliced
2-3 dried figs, chopped
2-3 fresh figs, chopped
6 walnut halves, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds
I decided to make my own almond milk by blending a large handful of almonds, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 450ml of water. Its a bit grainy but on the plus side it retains all the nutrients in the almonds and none of it is wasted. It can be kept in the fridge and is enough for a couple of days.
Coconut milk would also work really well.
These are some of the health benefits of the ingredients in this muesli:
Oats are a great source of soluble fibre which helps us feel satisfied, stabilises our blood sugar and energy levels and promotes regular bowel movements. Oats contain beta-glucans which have been shown to help lower potentially harmful LDL cholesterol. Oats also tend to be quite calming to the nervous system.
Both fresh and dried figs are rich in potassium helping to regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. Many modern diets are high in sodium (salt) at the expense of potassium so eating figs is a great way of topping up your potassium levels. Figs are also a good source of calcium which is needed for healthy, strong bones and teeth. 100g of figs provides a useful 162mg of calcium. Like oats and flaxseeds, figs are fibre rich, helping to tone the intestines and alleviate constipation.
It may surprise you that figs are one of the most strongly alkaline foods which is highly advantageous as it helps to normalise our PH balance. Modern diets tend to be overly acidic which disrupts the acid-alkaline balance and eventually predisposes to chronic diseases due to the body repeatedly borrowing alkaline reserves. Our bodies also hold onto toxins when we are in an acidic state so consuming more alkaline foods such as figs supports detoxification.
Strawberries are rich in immune supporting vitamin C and they are a potent anti cancer food. Strawberries contain ellagic acid which helps neutralise cancer causing free radicals and quercetin and kaempferol which protect the artery walls against atherosclerosis. Strawberries often contain particularly high pesticide residues so this is one fruit that I really recommend buying organic (this also applies to apples & peaches). I used to think I was allergic to strawberries until I switched to organic and realised that I had actually been reacting badly to the pesticide residues not the strawberries!
Walnuts are an excellent brain food. They even looks like brains! They provide anti inflammatory omega 3 essential fats which support mood, mental function, cardiovascular health, joints and hormone balance. The vitamin E in walnuts also nourishes the skin and helps prevent heart disease and cancer.
Adding nuts and seeds to muesli helps keep blood sugar and energy levels balanced as well as providing some crunch and a powerful nutrient boost. You can gain even more benefit from nuts and seeds if you soak them overnight before adding them to your muesli. This helps break down the phytic acid which can otherwise bind zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron making them less bioavailable. I used walnuts in this muesli but hazels, Brazils, pecans and almonds work just as well or a combination of them all.
Flaxseeds are an ancient food endowed with many health benefits which can be attributed to their high content of omega 3 fatty acids (alpha linolenic acid), soluble and insoluble fibre and plant lignans which have phytoestrogenic and antioxidant effects.
Studies show that flaxseeds help protect against breast cancer and have an anti cancer effect by slowing down the proliferation of breast tumour cells and triggering cancer cells to die.
Extensive research also supports the role of flaxseeds in lowering high cholesterol, reducing elevated blood sugar levels which has an anti diabetic effect and regulating appetite thereby preventing over eating and weight gain.
Additionally these amazing little bundles of nutrients provide us with magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B1, selenium, zinc.
The tough shells of flaxseeds are difficult for the digestive system to penetrate so it is best to grind them or buy them already ground. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container out of the light as they oxidise quickly and become rancid if exposed to air and light.
Have fun experimenting with your own muesli blends and nourishing your body at the same time!
Other ingredients that work well include berries, shredded coconut, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots and seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, chia and hemp. Its best to choose dried fruit that is sulphite free as sulphur dioxide is a preservative which can cause asthma, digestive discomfort and skin irritation in some people.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and it would be great if you could share it for other people who may be interested.
The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods, Dr. Michael Murray, Dr Joseph Pizzorno, Lara Pizzorno; Piatkus Books, 2008
Ankit Goyal & Vivek Sharma & Neelam Upadhyay & Sandeep Gill & Manvesh Sihag, Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. J Food Sci Technol (September 2014) 51(9):1633–1653
Calado Ana, Neves Pedro Miguel, Santos Teresa, Ravasco Paula; The Effect of Flaxseed in Breast Cancer: A Literature Review; Frontiers in Nutrition, Volume 5, 2018 https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnut.2018.00004