Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, we understand its importance, but somehow choose to ignore it because of all the hustle and bustle in the mornings. But you are breaking the fast after your last meal, the dinner of the last day and that’s the reason ‘breakfast’ becomes all the more important, at least in regards to the health of your heart. Several studies suggest that eating a healthy breakfast every morning may help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Because the health of your heart directly depends on what you eat and when you eat.
Here are some basic heart-healthy eating habits that are good for all of us to follow:
- Cut back on foods with saturated fats like pizzas, burgers, high-fat dairy products, creamy sauces.
- Look for foods that have low sodium or no added salt. Read the labels for nutritional facts.
- Add fibre-rich foods such as beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet for that much-needed fibre.
Healthy breakfast foods
It is suggested that a heart-healthy breakfast should have fruits, vegetables, unprocessed whole grains and healthy proteins and fats. Here, we have three recipes with all of these food categories for you so that you can kick-start your day with a heart-healthy, delicious breakfast.
Mixed fruit oats smoothie
Preparation time: 5 mins
- 2 tablespoons curd
- ½ cup fresh pomegranate or kiwis
- 1½ cup low-fat milk
- 1 small banana or half of a big banana
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds, to serve
- Blend the banana, milk, pomegranate or kiwis, yoghurt and oats in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Pour the smoothie into two glasses.
- Top it with chia seeds and before serving.
Radish, cucumber, tomato, bean salad
Preparation time: 15 – 30 minutes
- 4 radishes
- 1/2 cucumber
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 cup of boiled rajma or chana
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, coriander, or mint
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp oil
- Rinse the vegetables before cutting them.
- Dice the radishes, cucumber, tomato. Add all the vegetables and then add the boiled rajma or chana to the mix.
- Add the chopped parsley, coriander, or mint.
- Now add the lemon juice, lemon zest and 2 tbsp of oil.
- Mix them in a large bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Stuffed ragi pancakes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- ¾ cup whole ragi/nachni (red millet)
- ¼ cup of rice flour
- Salt to taste
For vegetable stuffing:
- ¼ cup sliced spring onion whites
- ½ cup shredded cabbage
- ½ cup grated carrots
- ¼ cup chopped spring onion greens
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 tsp chopped coriander
- ½ tsp dry, red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp sugar
Other ingredients: 1 tsp oil for cooking
- Soak the ragi in water overnight.
- Wash, drain and grind it to a smooth paste using a little water.
- Add rice flour and salt to it. Mix it well and keep aside.
- Add oil to the pan and heat it.
- Add the red chilli flakes, garlic and spring onion whites and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, spring onion greens, salt and sugar. Mix them well and keep aside.
- Heat a non-stick griddle (Tawa). Grease it with a little oil.
- Spread a uniform layer of batter to make a five-inch pancake.
- Cook the pancake on both sides using a little oil until it turns golden brown.
- Spread the vegetable stuffing on one side of the pancake and fold it to make a semi-circle.
- Repeat the same procedure to make 5 more pancakes.
These delicious heart-healthy recipes will help add some exciting flavours to your palette and encourage you not to skip breakfast.
- AARP. Skipping breakfast may hurt your heart health [Internet]. [updated 2017 Oct 04; cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/skipping-breakfast-hurts-heart-health-fd.html.
- Healthfinder.gov. Heart-healthy foods: Shopping list [Internet]. [updated 2019 Feb 21; cited 2019 No 19]. Available from: https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/heart-healthy-foods-shopping-list.
- American Heart Association. How to make breakfast a healthy habit [Internet]. [updated 2017 Jun 07; cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-to-make-breakfast-a-healthy-habit.
- Harvard Health Publishing. A doctor’s recipe for a healthy breakfast [Internet]. [updated 2017 Nov 06: cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-doctors-recipe-for-a-healthy-breakfast-2017100612479.
- Heart Foundation. Banana, berry and oat smoothie [Internet]. [cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/recipes/banana-berry-oat-smoothie.
- Looking for a quick salad recipe? [Internet]. Heart Foundation NZ. [cited 2020 Apr 28]. Available from: https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing/healthy-recipes/radish-cucumber-tomato-bean-salad
- Dalal T. Low cholesterol recipes. Sanjay and Company; 2007.