Ever started your day without eating a morsel? You might have felt a bit sluggish and experienced difficulty in concentrating on things. To kickstart your day in a better way and improve your cognitive function, it’s important to have breakfast with right nutrients like proteins, folate, calcium, iron, B vitamins and fibre. A study has found that people who eat their breakfast more regularly do not develop nutritional deficiencies. (Also read: Healthy and delicious potato recipes that will help you lose weight quickly)
Breakfast is not considered the most important meal of the day without a reason. It especially supports functions of brain and helps us stay active and healthy throughout the day. After fasting for 10-12 hours in the night, breakfast is important to restore blood sugar levels and keep it steady. This in turn improves brain functioning too.
“Cognitive function and memory improve as a result of people having breakfast enriched with brain supportive nutrients. Studies have shown that when people eat breakfast, things like concentration, memory, energy, maintains blood sugar and blood pressure, making the brain more active and alert as well,” says Haripriya.N, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Hospital, OMR branch, Chennai.
Here are some breakfast recipes suggested by Haripriya which are loaded with omega 3, zinc, magnesium, protein, vitamin K, lutein, beta-carotene, flavonoids and folate that can improve brain function.
1. Flaxseed Paratha with Vegetable Raita
Ingredients for one serving
Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Chickpea flour – 1 cup
Roasted Flaxseeds – 2 tbsp
Carrot chopped – 1/4 cup
Few curry leaves chopped
Green chili chopped – 2
Salt as per taste
Red chili powder as per taste
Water as required to make dough
Beetroot (grated) – 50 g
Carrots (grated) – 50 g
Curd/ yogurt- 100 ml
Method of preparation
• Grind flaxseeds to form a powder.
• Prepare a dough of all the ingredients.
• Make parathas or roti by applying minimal oil or ghee.
• Serve hot with vegetable raita.
• Add thick curd and salt to the mixing bowl. Whisk them until smooth with fork or whisk.
• Next add grated vegetables and green chilies if you prefer spicy.
• Mix gently and add more thick curd if needed.
• Serve as a side dish for flax seed paratha.
Flaxseeds contain the right amount of fibre, antioxidants omega-3 fatty acids and are excellent for skin, hair and overall health. Specifically, it’s high in a type of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been strongly linked to brain health.
2. Wheatbread omelette with sauteed vegetables
Ingredients required for one serving
Whole Wheat Brown Bread – 2 slices
Eggs – 1 large or 2 small
Oil – 1.5 tsp
Green Chili – 1, finely chopped
Onion, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Capsicum, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Salt – as per taste
Pepper – as per taste
Sautéed vegetables – Perfect choice – broccoli, carrots, beans, tomatoes, spinach.
Method of preparation
• Whisk the egg in a bowl till the mix turns frothy. Add the veggies, green chillies, followed by the desired seasoning, and mix well.
• In a pan, add oil, drop the egg mixture onto the heated pan, spread it uniformly and let it cook for 2 minutes on medium flame. Flip the omelette once the sides start browning.
• Place one slice of bread on the same pan to toast it. Meanwhile, place the omelette on top of the bread and fold it in a square shape.
• Place the other bread slice on top and then flip it so that the other bread slice gets toasted.
• Once the surface crisps up, take it off heat.
• Slice the sandwich into half and serve hot with sautéed vegetables.
This power packed meal with wheat, egg and sautéed vegetables provides a good amount of antioxidants that reduces the inflammation in the body by reducing free radical scavenging. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, E and K along with omega-3 fats also rich in folate and vitamin B12. The yolks are also packed with tryptophan and tyrosine, and amino acids that help prevent heart diseases, reduces inflammation and improves brain health.
3. Omega Oat Meal
Rolled oats- 40g
Low fat Milk- 200ml
Ground cinnamon- teaspoon
Fresh berries – 6-8no
Ripe banana, sliced - fruit
Strawberries- 2-3 no
Chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds- 2 tbsp
Dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries – 1 tbsp
Unsalted seeds, such as pumpkin, chia, flax seeds- 1 tbsp
Pinch of salt
Maple syrup or honey (optional)
Method of preparation
• Combine the rolled oats and 1½ cups water in a small saucepan. Add milk and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the water has been absorbed for about 5 minutes.
• Stir in the cinnamon and salt. Top with the berries, banana, nuts, and dried fruit.
• If desired, pour a little maple syrup or honey on top. Serve hot.
One can also make this recipe by soaking the rolled oats overnight in water, then add yogurt or boiled milk. Top it up with fruits, nuts and seeds.
It’s a perfect easy to make breakfast recipe for busy people. All the ingredients added is a combination of protein, healthy fats Omega3 and 6 (PUFA, MUFA, ALA, DHA, EPA), insoluble fiber, micronutrients like vitamins and minerals which boosts the brain and keeps you active.
4. Black urad dal dosa with spinach chutney
Ingredients (2 servings)
To make dosa batter:
Rice – 2 cups
Split black urad dal – 1/2 cup
Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Water as needed
To make spinach chutney:
Palak / spinach (roughly chopped) – 1 small bunch
Coconut (grated) – cup
Small piece tamarind
Ginger- 1 inch
3 tsp oil
Urad dal-1 tsp
Chana dal-1 tsp
Dry red chili- 3no
Salt to taste
Water as required
Method of preparation
Wash and soak rice separately and dal with fenugreek separately for 3 to 4 hours. Blend rice and dal and turn it into a fine puree. Pour them into the same container. Add in salt, mix well. Cover and let it ferment overnight. Next day, mix well and make dosa with sesame oil and serve hot with spinach chutney.
First, in a large kadai heat oil and sauté urad dal, chBana dal, cumin, chilli and ginger. Sauté until blisters appear on the skin of chilli. Keep the flame on low, add palak and sauté well. Sauté on low flame until the palak shrinks slightly and turns dark. Cool completely, and transfer to the mixi. Add coconut, small piece tamarind and salt.
Blend to smooth paste adding cup water. Now do the tempering. Pour it to the palak chutney and mix well. Finally, enjoy palak chutney with dosa.
Traditional south Indian recipe used by our ancestors are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and selenium important for the brain function and prevents cognitive decline.