This is a three-part series wherein we’re educating people on what, when and in what proportion to eat, so they do not end up binging while sitting in front of their computers, thinking that frequent gulping would keep them brimful and energetic for hours. It rather leads to weight gain. We are covering breakfast and mid-morning meals under this section.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not only because it breaks the overnight fast, but also because it restores glucose levels in your body and provides you with sufficient nutrients that are needed for your brain to function properly. This is why a majority of children (or even adults) who do not eat proper breakfast tend to faint or feel lethargic during their classes. Another important thing to know about breakfast is the time to have it; nutritionists advise that the breakfast should be eaten within the two hours of waking up; else it can adversely affect the functioning of your brain and also disturb the body’s metabolism rate.
Furthermore, you should consider a number of calories you need to consume during the breakfast. An average male requires about 2500 calories per day while women need 2000 calories. And when you eat breakfast you must consume 20-35% of your daily calorie needs, which roughly comes down to around 500 calories. Thus, to ensure you consume all essential nutrients you must combine meals rich in calcium, iron, Vitamin B, proteins and fiber and try to keep away from heavy options that are loaded with carbs and fat.
Healthy Breakfast options for the Vegetarians
A bowl full of cereals with skimmed milk, and an apple is the healthiest meal for the breakfast one can have. It’s full of essential nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates that kick-starts your metabolism and gives your body and brain and instant energy to function throughout the day.
|Cereal||50 grams||1.69g fat, 41.51g carbs, 3.62g proteins, 2.6g dietary fiber, 338mg sodium, 136mg potassium and 11.38g sugars||188|
|Skimmed Milk||250 ml||0.47g fat, 12.67g carbs, 8.88g proteins, 53% Calcium, 24% Vitamin-A, 1% iron, 12.67g sugar, 8.88g proteins and 123g monosaturated fats||91|
|Apple||1||5g dietary fiber, 25g sugar, 1g protein, 260mg potassium, 34g carbs, 2% calcium, 2% iron, and 10% Vitamin-C||130|
Some more options- Cereal or oatmeal with soy milk/milk and a seasonal fruit, a slice of whole grain toast with a boiled egg and fruit, 2 idlis with vegetable sambar and mint/coriander chutney, pearl millet (bajra) dosa with curd or green chutney, poha made with vegetables and peanuts accompanied by chutney or yoghurt and mix veg upma.
NOTE: Most of the people residing in the metropolitan cities have adopted western culture and started switching to cereals and milk in the morning, yet there are people who feel they cannot do without having a big, plate-sized parantha (with a scoop of butter on it). If you’re also among one of these food lovers who find it difficult to leave paranthas, here a small piece of information for you:
a traditional aalu parantha served with a spoonful of butter is nothing less than a dish that has plenty of calories, fat and sodium (triggers blood pressure) and is a major cause of heart problems in most of the north-Indians (especially Punjabis) who lifelong eat these kind of heavy meals, that too in abundance.
Healthy, veggie options for Mid-morning Snacks
One small granola bar, some peanuts or sesame (til) chikki are a few easy-to-carry options that you can easily consume at your workplace without binging on unhealthy chips or fried snacks. You can even carry a mixture of walnuts (rich in omega 3 fats), cashew/peanuts (rich in phosphorous), dates, dried apricot/ apples/ bananas/ raisins (rich source of potassium) and almonds/pistachios (rich in proteins) in a sealed
poly bag and eat a handful of them with a cup of green tea when you start feeling hungry an hour or two before the lunch time.
Healthy Breakfast options for the Omnivores
The biggest advantage with the omnivores is that they can always stay brimful of vital nutrients (esp. Vitamin B12) and have plenty of options to eat. Besides vegetarian options, omnivores can always hit on luscious non-veggie options (we are talking about breakfast here) like: poached egg with roasted bread slices or blanched spinach and sliced onions, lettuce and cherry tomatoes and dried herbs, salmon fish with tossed vegetables,
roasted chicken, multigrain bread sandwich, or egg bhurji with roasted bread slices. All these options are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, Vitamin B12, niacin (belongs to vitamin B family), potassium, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats.
|Poached Egg||1||5.51g protein, 4.36g fat, 0.34g carbs, 185mg cholesterol, 0.34g sugars, 59mg potassium, 18% Vitamin-B12 and 129mg sodium||64|
|1 slice of Whole wheat Bread||1||23.64g carbs, 2.8g dietary fiber, 3.86g protein, 4% iron, 3% calcium, 1.77g sugars and 2.4g fat||128|
|Blanched/ sliced Veggies||1 cup/ 226 grams||0.23g fat, 5.46g carbs, 1.13g proteins, 1.7g dietary fiber, 31% Vitamin-C, 57% Vitamin-A, 283mg potassium, 4% iron and 20mg sodium||24|
Note: Chicken, eggs and fish are good for the brain and consuming these in the breakfast helps in relieving stress, relaxing the mind, and also helps in keeping away from the dangerous brain disease called Alzheimer’s.
Healthy, Non-veggie options for Mid-morning Snacks
The non-veg lovers can always grab a bite of snickers (made of egg whites); it is rich in proteins, dietary fiber and good fats. Else, you can also grab a small slice of multigrain nutmeg and honey cake (rich in proteins and fiber), oats and cereal cookies made of eggs (rich in proteins, iron, good fats and fiber), one piece of shredded chicken and spinach puff (rich source of proteins, carbs, iron and vitamin B-6, B-12 and D) and
combine it with a small cup of black coffee or green tea for a perfect mid-morning meal. However, you must not consume more than a small piece of all these options as these have a high amount of calories too.