Consuming breakfast has always been emphasized as it helps us keep energetic as well as improves our cognitive abilities. According to a 2013 study conducted by Kellogs across the metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, it was seen that 1 in 4 people skip breakfast and the ones who do consume breakfast have meals that lack essential nutrients. A well-balanced breakfast meal should include food groups like cereals, dairy and fruits. It is also important that just like adults, kids shouldn’t skip breakfast either as kids have higher nutritional demands than adults. Let us look at some benefits of consuming a healthy breakfast meal.

Benefits Of Consuming Breakfast

Let us look through some of the benefits of consuming breakfast.

1. Provides You With Energy

After long periods of not eating overnight, the first thing that we consume in the morning is usually our breakfast. Lack of breakfast can contribute to dizziness, fatigue and lowered attention span. This can greatly hinder our productivity at work or college.

2. Lowers Your Appetite And Helps In Weight Management

If you consume a well-balanced breakfast, you are less likely to feel hungry or suffer from hunger pangs. Skipping breakfast might make you crave processed or unhealthy foods (high in fat or sugar) which might contribute to weight gain.

3. Reduced Susceptibility To Diseases

Some researches have found an association between skipping breakfast and increased susceptibility to diseases like Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases or Obesity. There are also lower levels of LDL cholesterol seen too.

4. Improves Cognition

Consuming breakfast helps improve our memory, attention span and concentration. According to some studies, children who consumed breakfast were able to perform well academically than those who skipped breakfast.

5. Source Of Nutrients

A good breakfast is a good source of nutrients like vitamin A, C, B complex vitamins, fibre, calcium and iron. A good breakfast would provide around 20-25% of your daily nutrient intake.

Does Skipping Breakfast Contribute To Weight Gain?

Many studies have associated skipping breakfast with weight gain but is it necessarily true?   In a 2013 study, it was observed that people who skipped breakfast did consume calories higher than the ones who consumed breakfast but not necessarily higher amounts that could lead to weight gain. Skipping breakfast led to a reduced energy intake and an effective way of losing weight for some people. There were also long-term studies conducted for around 3-10 years which also supported this notion of how skipping breakfast did not contribute to weight gain. 

Other studies have also associated skipping breakfast with positive health benefits like reduced energy intake, improved metabolism and weight loss.

A study conducted in children observed that though breakfast eaters consumed more calories than non-breakfast eaters it was less likely to cause weight gain. Hence consuming breakfast should be encouraged as a part of a healthy diet. Another thing to note here is that skipping breakfast does not work for everyone (for example diabetics). Skipping breakfast can lead to fatigue, dizziness and reduced blood glucose levels.

Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner: What Is The Difference?

Breakfast is the first meal of the day consumed in the morning. Lunch on the other hand is consumed in the afternoon while dinner is consumed during the night-time. The timings of these meals might vary depending on location, culture or occasion. For example, some people prefer consuming dinner during evenings or mid-day. The same applies to lunch as some people consume lunch during noon or afternoon. Breakfast is supposed to be the heaviest meal though some people have difficulty consuming heavy meals in the morning. In such cases, lunch would be the heaviest meal.

Nutritious Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is a good start to the day and helps keep you productive throughout the day. Let us look at some healthy and delicious breakfast recipes that can help us keep energetic and lighten up our moods!

1. Sprouts Pancakes

This pancake is rich in fibre, calcium and iron and is good for anaemic, diabetic as well as high blood pressure patients.

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values: (1 pancake approx)

Energy: 105 kcals

Carbohydrates: 15 gms

Protein: 6 gms

Fat: 4 gms

Calcium: 30 mg

Iron: 1 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong (sprouted)
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup spinach (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup fenugreek (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup besan
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt as required
  • Oil as required

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix moong sprouts and water. Pour the mixture into a mixer and turn it into a smooth paste.
  2. Now pour the paste into a bowl and add besan, methi, spinach, ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, jeera and grated carrots. Mix well so that no lumps are remaining in the mixture. You can add a little bit of water as well for consistency.
  3. In a pan, grease oil using a brush. Pour the mixture onto the pan.
  4. Cook the pancake. After some time, flip over the pancake so that the other side cooks well too. Serve hot with chutney.

 2. Lauki Thepla

These tasty theplas can go well with your morning chai and get you moving for the day.

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values: (1 serving approx)

Energy: 70 kcals

Carbohydrates: 2.5 gms

Protein: 15 gms

Fat: 1 gm

Calcium: 22 mg

Iron: 1 mg 

Ingredients:

  •  ½ cup lauki
  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • ¼ cup curd
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients including lauki, wheat flour, curd, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Knead it into a dough.
  2. Divide the dough into required portions and start kneading using a rolling pin.
  3. Grease the tava with oil and cook the thepla. Flip the thepla so that the other side cooks as well.

 3. Oats Upma

This is a variation of the normal upma which is much healthier and tastier. The addition of vegetables also adds to the fibre content too.

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values: (1 serving approx)

Energy: 195 kcals

Carbohydrates: 28 gms

Protein: 6 gms

Fat: 5 gms

Calcium: 30 mg

Iron: 1 mg 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup carrots (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup peas
  • 1 red chilli (for tempering)
  • Oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar  (optional)

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Now add oats to the pan and saute for a few minutes till it turns brownish. Add turmeric powder as well.
  2. Add onions and saute well till they become golden in colour. Add green peas and carrot after onions become translucent. Add salt and sugar (optional).
  3. Add water (1-2 cups) and cover the pan so that the mixture cooks well. After the water dries up, take upma off the flame.
  4. In another pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. After the crackling of seeds, add red chilli and urad dal as well. Mix well and take it out of the flame. Add this mixture to upma and mix well. Serve hot.

4. Mixed Mini Vegetable Dosa

Loaded with fibre and nutrients, this delicious mini dosa is sure to satiate your appetite and win your heart!

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values: (1 dosa approx)

Energy: 12 kcals

Carbohydrates: 4 gms

Protein: 3 gms

Fat: 0.5 gms

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup dosa batter
  • ¼ cup cabbage (chopped finely)
  • ¼ cup cauliflower (chopped finely)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients and keep it aside.
  2. In an uttappa pan, pour the batter into each of the moulds.
  3. Cook them till they turn brown in colour.
  4. Repeat the second and third steps for making more mini dosas.

5. Dhokla

This yummy dhokla can be consumed for breakfast as well as snacks. You can also carry it in tiffin to your office or for your kids.

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values: (1 serving approx)

Energy: 250 kcals

Carbohydrates:  25 gms

Protein: 5 gms

Fat: 10 gms

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup maize flour
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  •  ½ cup curd (dahi)
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp hing
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to taste
  • Few coriander leaves (for garnishing)

Method:

  1.  In a bowl, mix curd, flour and water.
  2. To the above mixture add corn, curd, ginger-garlic paste, hing, turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Mix well.
  3.  Pour the batter onto a thali and let it steam for 20 mins.
  4. Take it out from the steamer and cut it into the desired shapes of your choice.
  5. In another pan, crackle mustard seeds and add little hing to it as well. Cook it for a few seconds.
  6. Pour the tempering onto the dhoklas evenly and garnish with coriander leaves.

Key Takeaways

  1. Though skipping breakfast might not contribute to weight gain, it is still important to consume breakfast as it helps in keeping us productive and energetic throughout the day.
  2. Consuming breakfast also helps keep our glucose levels stable and there is reduced susceptibility to diseases.
  3. If you are not hungry in the morning, make a quick breakfast meal for yourself like vegetable idli, cereal porridge or poha.
  4. Avoid consuming processed or oily foods for breakfast. Have something simple and fresh.
  5. Include foods containing protein for breakfast as protein gives you the feeling of fullness. For example, you can consume roti and sprouts bhaji for breakfast.
  6. Enjoy your breakfast. Chew foods slowly and properly. Mindful eating is a must. 
  7. If you do not have the time to sit and eat breakfast properly, you can eat on your way to work.
  8. Make a meal plan to ensure a steady and healthy intake of the necessary calories and nutrients throughout the day.