Nature's cereal is a food trend that started on TikTok. The original recipe includes equal amounts of pomegranate seeds, blackberries, and blueberries in a bowl with coconut water. Lizzo, a popular singer, was one of the first celebrities to contribute to its viral popularity. She added ice cubes to the original recipe.
Thousands of people have posted their own versions of nature's cereal on TikTok. Supporters of the new breakfast trend claim it gives them an energy boost in the morning, and the recipe's creator also states it's good for relieving constipation.
Nature's cereal is touted as a vegan, grain-free alternative to traditional breakfast cereals. Coconut water is used instead of milk. A registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine offered an opinion on nature's cereal. She pointed out the nutrients found in berries and pomegranate seeds, such as phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium.
Nature's cereal is similar to previous food trends, including the superfood craze. Superfoods became popular after the National Institute on Aging and the USDA created the ORAC rating tool, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The tool measured antioxidants in various foods. Pomegranates and blueberries were listed in the ORAC database. However, the USDA retracted the ORAC listings in 2012 after realizing that antioxidants have many functions. Although ORAC ratings no longer exist, the superfood concept is still going strong.
Blueberries and blackberries are packed with nutrients. Their dark color comes from anthocyanin, a phytochemical associated with lowering the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Berries also contain bioactive molecules called flavonoids that may help lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight.
Pomegranates contain ellagitannins that may act as prebiotics. Gut bacteria metabolize ellagitannins to produce another molecule: urolith A. Most cellular energy comes from mitochondria inside cells. A recycling process removes older, dysfunctional mitochondria to make room for new structures. This process can slow down with age, but urolith A may restart or enhance the cellular recycling process and boost energy levels.
Nature's cereal is a low-calorie breakfast choice. A cup of blackberries and a cup of blueberries contain 62 calories and 85 calories respectively, and half of an average-sized pomegranate contains 122 calories. Coconut water usually contains 45 to 60 calories per 8-ounce serving.
These ingredients also have low scores on the glycemic index, which groups foods by how much or how quickly they raise blood glucose levels. Foods with low GI values raise blood glucose gradually instead of causing a spike in blood sugar levels.
Coconut water is the fluid inside a coconut. It is not the same thing as coconut milk, which is made by soaking and straining coconut pulp. The coconut water in nature's cereal is good for hydration because it has more water content than dairy or plant-based milk. Electrolyte content, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium, varies according to the maturity of the coconut.
Although nature's cereal contains fiber and many nutrients, it doesn't contain protein or fat. Nature's cereal alone isn't a well-balanced breakfast, and some people may feel hungry again shortly after eating the fruit-filled dish.
Eat other foods with nature's cereal to add protein and fat, both of which are essential nutrients and contribute to fullness. Healthy options include egg whites, a slice of sprouted grain toast with avocado, or oatmeal with nuts and chia seeds.
Smoothie bowls are a breakfast trend similar to nature's cereal. Bowls start with soy, coconut, oat, rice, or almond milk, and mashed avocado or unsweetened yogurt is added as a thickener. Proponents then add fruit, dates, or pumpkin puree to the smoothie, along with almond or sun butter for extra protein. Coconut flakes, chia seeds, almonds, quinoa, or raisins add texture.
Any food becomes boring after too much repetition, so it's a good idea to try a variety of healthy breakfast foods. Hard-boiled eggs can be made ahead of time and eaten on toast with avocado and tomato slices. Fill small jars with yogurt topped with fruit, granola, cinnamon, or dark chocolate nibs for quick grab-and-go breakfasts. Spread nut or fruit butter over whole-grain waffles for another quick option.
Many plant-based breakfast choices energize and keep you full throughout the morning besides or in addition to nature's cereal. Alternatives to bran or corn-based grain cereals include quinoa porridge with almond milk and blueberries and oat porridge with rice milk, sliced apples, and cinnamon. Sweet potato hummus is filled with fiber and nutrients. Add chia or pumpkin seeds for a satisfying crunch. Vegan breakfast skillets are fun and easy to customize. Use tofu or potatoes as a base and add any combination of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other protein.
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