All of us are well aware that breakfast is the first important meal of the day. The second most important thing is to have frequent meals to keep our metabolism high. Our body goes into the rest mode for almost 8 to 10 hours after dinner when we are sleeping through the night. Hence, it becomes essential to eat a good, balanced meal which has the right proportion of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibres, anti- oxidants etc.in the morning. More often than not it is a difficult task to incorporate all these nutrients in the morning breakfast due to our rush to get to work.But, one can always try to incorporate as many nutrients as we can out of the above if not all.
It is advised to include proteins in every meal. The inclusion of proteins to your breakfast becomes a challenging task especially if you are a vegetarian. Lacto- Ovo vegetarian breakfast can easily get proteins through the milk and eggs. The tough task is for vegetarians and vegans (those who limit dairy products).
Common Indian breakfast items are Poha (cooked Puffed Rice with some veggies), flat breadsUpma, Idli and Dosa (steamed Rice pancakes), flatbreads(Chaapti), Rice, Porridgeetc. Today, I am going to tell you how we add proteins in our 1st meal of the day – breakfast.
Whenever we have options like steamed rice pancakes (Idlisambhar) or bread omelette we’re obviously getting proteins from the dish. When we have options like Cooked Puff Rice, Upma, rice, cooked Wheat Flat breads (Chappati) etc. without any side dish we need to add some proteins to it.
Here are few items which you can add:
- Peanuts/ Groundnuts: A humble source of proteins and MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acids) will add to proteins in breakfast. We can use in different forms as peanut butter, chutney etc. spread it on your bread or chapatti. Excellent to be added in pre workout meal.
- 100 g of Dry roasted peanuts will give 24-26 g of proteins.
- Roasted Chana: Simple, easily available and can be stored. Just add a handful of black (Kabuli)or brown Chana to your plate or have it on the go post breakfast. If you couple it up with peanuts it will be even better.
- Mixed Sprouts: This one will need some preparation. Soak the sprouts for 6-8 hours, then drain the water and tie in the cloth for sprouts to come. Add handful of it either raw or steamed. Raw will give you good enzymes as compared to cooked ones. Whereas steamed will be easier to digest. Following are the rough values for sprouted and steamed sprouts.
- Moong/ Green gram 2-3 g
- Matki/ Moth bean 8 g
- Chana/ Chick peas 9 g
- Green peas: It is very to incorporate peas in any dish. Add it to your upma, poha, rice liberally. They will taste good as well as increase the protein value. Its green colour also add to the visual effect.
- 100 g of fresh green peas contain 5 g of protein
- Nuts like (almond, walnut, cashew nut): Again a very handy option. Just adding them to your bowl of breakfast is very easy. They are rich in minerals like calcium, good fats like MUFA, omega 3 fatty acids. Don’t forget to soak and peel almond to avoid anti nutritional factors in the peel.
- Almond 21.2 g
- Walnut 15.2 g
- Sesame, flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds: Dry roasted seeds can serve as a protein quotient of the meal. You can easily stock it in cool and dry place. You can have them as it is or grind to make into chutney. Dips like tahini can be made from sesame seeds.
- Milk: You can just add a glass of milk to complete the protein quota of the meal. It goes well with roti, chapati, bread, cereals etc. It is better to go for low fat milk. If having cow’s milk make sure it is Desi cow’s milk. Make sure you’re not having it with salty or savoury as milk and salt is not recommended to have together.1 cup of milk gives you 8 g protein on an average.
- Curds/ Yogurt: Add a bowl of curds or yogurt to make your breakfast not only protein rich but yummy. We can mix poha, rice with it to give a better texture and taste. Fruits with yogurt can be another hit option and light still complete meal. 1 cup gives you 10-11 g proteins on an average.
- Buttermilk: It is the best bet in summer. Having it post breakfast will help in digestion. It has good water content and therefore it will not be a concentrated source. Unlike milk it can be coupled with salty and savoury options as well.
- Cheese: I am yet to come across a person who doesn’t like cheese unless of course you are a vegan. We can add it with breads, chapatti, pancakes etc. You can use different varieties like cheese spread, cubes, and slices or just grate some cheese on your dish. People who are targeting weight gain can have it on regular basis. Those who are trying to lose weight should limit it once or twice in a week. 100 g will give approx. 20 g of proteins.