It is no secret that breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. It gives a great kick-start to your day and should be filling and nutritious. India has an amazing array of breakfast dishes, varying from region to region. 

Further, breakfast items from the southern part of India are known for their taste and health value. These breakfast foods are known for their simple preparation methods and high nutritional value. These items are usually made from easily available ingredients. 

Varieties of rice and lentils are involved in the preparation of these dishes, both of which are full of health benefits. The cooking methods for these breakfast items usually involve steaming, sautéing, stewing, or pan-grilling, thus retaining the nutritive value of the ingredients. 

Now, let’s look at 3 healthy breakfast foods and analyse their nutritional value.

Healthy South Indian Breakfast Foods

1. IdliEveryone has heard of idlis. These are steamed cakes made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils. As these are steamed, and the overall use of oil is minimal, they are low on calories and high on nutrition. 

Idlis pack a good blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and dietary fibre. These are light on the stomach, yet keep you full for long. The fermentation process involved in making idlis increases the bioavailability of vitamins, antibiotics, and anti-carcinogenic substances.

Adding sprouts or chopped vegetables to the batter can increase the nutritional value of the idlis. You can eat idlis with coconut, mint, or tomato chutney or pair it with sambhar, a lentil-based vegetable stew cooked with pigeon pea, tamarind, and aromatic Indian spices.

1 medium idli has 35-39 calories, 6-10 g of carbohydrates, 2-3 g of protein, and 2-5 g of dietary fibre.

2. Adai: Adai is a popular protein-rich breakfast food. It is a crepe/pancake made up of a batter of toor daal, chana daal, and rice. Other lentils or vegetables of your choice can also be added. You can eat adai with honey, jaggery, curd, or any chutney. 

Nutritionally, it serves as a balanced source of carbohydrates, proteins, and fibre. Adai is rich in fibre and can improve the functioning of your digestive system. The lentils help in reducing cholesterol levels and keep your blood pressure in check. The combination of rice and lentils is a great source of energy to keep you active throughout the day.

1 medium adai has 100-120 calories, 1-2 g of fat, 20-25 g of carbohydrates, 3-5 g of protein, and 1-2 g of dietary fibre.

Include these delectable and nutritious items in your breakfast menu for a power-packed start to your day. 

3. Upma: Upma is one of the most common breakfast options. It is made by dry roasting sooji or rava (semolina - a coarse flour made from durum wheat) and cooking it in water with sautéed vegetables. 

Semolina is rich in protein, fibre, and vitamin B. It is low on the glycemic index, which means that it is digested and converted to blood glucose in a slow manner. Semolina is a refined grain but adding vegetables to upma adds fibre and makes it a wholesome meal. 

1 cup of homemade vegetable upma contains about 140 calories, 3-4 g of protein, 20-25 g of carbohydrates, 4-5 g of fat, and 2-3 g of dietary fibre.

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