Often breakfast becomes boring if we keep eating the same items over and over again. Here, we give you 10 easy-to-make, power-packed and low-cal options that continue to top the breakfast menus of Indians.
Being low in calories, these will keep you active without feeling bloated leaving just enough space for a wholesome lunch.
Sandwiches are a great way to eat raw veggies in a tasty way. And if made from whole wheat bread, the sandwich becomes a powerhouse of nutrients, as whole wheat is abundant in fibre, vitamins E and B, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
A German study published in The Journal of Diabetes Care says that whole wheat bread prevents diabetes. The researchers found that eating it for even three consecutive days improved our body's insulin sensitivity by eight per cent.
Whole wheat bread is low-fat and regulates the efficient working of almost all enzymes in our body. You could add raw vegetables, boiled or baked chicken or even left-over dry vegetables to it to enhance its nutritional value.
Just the thought of steaming, soft idlis could make anyone hungry. Health benefits of idlis make them an ideal choice for breakfast. Made from rice and black gram, idlis are rich in carbohydrates and proteins, besides being loaded with vitamins and minerals.
They are also low on calories, high on energy and are easily digestible. You can team up idlis with any side dish like chutney, pickles or any leftover gravy like sambhar, kurma.
Tip: The toughest part of making idlis is the batter. Hence, it's a good idea to prepare the batter over the weekend and use it when required during the week [the batter can be refrigerated for about four days].
Just one serving of oats fulfils 20 per cent of our body's daily fibre requirement. Oats also supply us with antioxidants like avenanthramides that prevent blood clots and heart complications. The beta-glucans [a carbohydrate] in oats enhance immunity, normalise blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and also prevent cancer.
The energy oatmeal endows will keep you active the entire day; it will also satiate you till lunch time—this means no more mindless munching in-between meals.
But, the one reason that sure will make you opt for this breakfast is the research published in The Vancouver Province. It says that eating oatmeal results in clear, glowing skin, reduced acne breakouts, and significant weight loss.
Eating cereals like corn, rice, bran, or soy [to name a few] for breakfast is the simplest way of providing your body with maximum nutrients at one go. These cereals are rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and fibre.
They are low in fat but high in minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and zinc. Most breakfast cereals available in the market today are fortified with nutrients like folic acid, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
Health researchers also strongly support eating cereals for breakfast. Research conducted at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA, found that breakfast cereals provide the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants as compared to other food options.
Another Michigan State University reports that having cereals for breakfast helps manage body mass index and also aids in efficient weight loss. Not only that, a study published in the Daily Mail says that a bowl of cereals for breakfast is as revitalising to your body as a high-energy health drink.
Milk is a complete food in itself. Using the low-cal variety of milk will ensure that you reap all its benefits minus the calories. Milk is an abundant source of calcium, protein, vitamins A and B, carbohydrates, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and riboflavin.
All these nutrients guarantee that we have healthy bones and teeth, glowing skin, sharp eyesight and proper nerve functioning. The proteins [casein and whey] in milk are excellent for the growth and development of our muscles.
Ayurveda recommends regular consumption of milk to reverse ageing and its ill effects. An Australian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that when you drink low-cal milk regularly at breakfast, you will feel fuller and consume fewer calories throughout the day. Fruits, when added to milk, multiply the health gains [see fruit salads for benefits of fruits].
Chapattis [Indian bread] made from whole wheat flour are healthy, nutritious and filling. They are rich in fibre and protein, and low in fat and carbohydrates. You can make chapattis more nourishing by adding the flour of soy/ragi/oats to the whole wheat flour.
Chapattis are light and help in weight maintenance. Cooked veggies are nutrition-packed and when combined with chapattis make a wholesome meal that will keep you charged throughout the day.
7. SCRAMBLED EGGS
Scrambbled eggs are easy to make and yummy to eat. Eggs are a rich source of protein and vitamins A, B and E. They also have abundant calcium, potassium and essential minerals. All these nutrients make scrambbled eggs a complete meal that bestows numerous health benefits.
Regular consumption of eggs averts cardiac complications, regulates the nervous system and prevents cancer. Being rich in sulphur, eggs promote the growth of healthy hair and nails. The proteins [lutein and zeaxanthin] found in eggs protect our eyes from the harmful rays of the sun and also improve eyesight.
According to a University of Connecticut, USA, study eating eggs for breakfast aids weight loss. By keeping you satiated for long, it ensures that you eat fewer calories in the day.
8. FRUIT SALAD
Fruits make the best and tastiest sources of vitamins, minerals, sugar, energy, carbohydrates, fibre and proteins.
By mixing different fruits together, you can be assured of meeting most of your body's nutrient requirements for the day. Seasonal fruits are nature's way of providing essential nutrients required by our body during that particular season.
Combining seasonal fruits with some common ones will make for a complete meal every morning. Besides, Ayurveda recommends that you eat fruits in the early part of the day [to gain maximum benefits]—making fruit salad a perfect breakfast option.
Take at least four different types of fruits, the more the better. Eat them fresh. You can also add fresh yogurt to the fruits to augment the calcium quotient and make it tastier and filling.
9. RAVA UPMA
This simple dish will provide you with loads of protein, fibre, carbohydrates and B vitamins. Rava [semolina in English or suji in Hindi] is rich in sodium and has zero cholesterol.
Some varieties of rava available on the market are enriched with iron and folic acid, further contributing to the nutrient contents of this food. It is quite a filling dish that will keep you satiated till lunch.
10. RAGI PORRIDGE
Many may not find ragi appetising, but one look at its nutrient list and you'll know why it is listed as one of the 10 best breakfast options.
Ragi or finger millet is extremely rich in calcium, iron and protein. A study at the Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home-Science in Mumbai recommends eating ragi regularly for breakfast. This is because ragi is extremely rich in iron [an essential, but neglected nutrient] as compared to other Indian breakfast options.
Ragi is low in fat and carbohydrates. It is an ideal food for diabetics and keeps blood pressure, liver and heart complications, constipation, and asthma under control.
Ragi is also believed to have properties that could delay the ageing process and promote longevity.
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