One of the most important meals of the day is breakfast, in it we must gather forces for the whole day, and of course, we must take food that is most appropriate for us.
But what should we eat for breakfast? What is the right way to have breakfast? In every country in the world everyone has different breakfast habits and that is excellent because it allows us to observe that we are not forbidden to have only coffee with milk and toast for breakfast. We can and must experiment until we look for our perfect and balanced breakfast. But let’s take a look at what’s being done around the world.
In France, Italy or Spain for example, breakfast usually consists of bread or toast with jam, butter or honey or pastries such as croissant or brioches, biscuits, orange juice and hot drinks such as coffee, milk, tea, chocolate.
But if we take a look at our friends, the English people, things change a bit. Traditionally in England breakfast was the most important meal and that is why they make their breakfast a full meal. You can include in your breakfast; orange juice, cereals or fresh fruit. But the heart of the complete breakfast will always be the bacon and eggs (especially scrambled) that will be accompanied by sausages, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, tea, toast and jam.
In Germany they also have a hearty breakfast; bread with sausages, cheese or a soft-boiled egg, some muesli mixed with milk and honey and a cup of coffee or tea.
In Mexico, for example, they make real dishes with a lot of preparation for breakfast, for instance, chilaquiles, quesadillas, drowned eggs, tamals, among other recipes in which they put a lot of corn, meat, cheese, eggs and of course a lot of spice.
In Argentina, the tradition of mate, an astringent bitter drink based on mate herb, which is drunk hot with or without sugar, is well extended as a breakfast almost a must among Argentines. It is usually accompanied by toast with fresh cheese and jam, for example.
In Asian countries they have other preferences, Thailand, for example, starts the day by taking a bowl of rice called Jok with cooked chicken or pork, seasoned with garlic, soybeans, ginger and prawns. All this accompanied by egg and pickles in vinegar, although we can always find variants of this dish.
In China you can find at breakfast time soy milk and youtiao (fried dough sticks), steamed buns stuffed with meat, soup or nothing, wheat noodles, rice noodles or rice soup among other dishes.
In Japan, rice is the staple breakfast, with a raw egg that is scrambled with chopsticks and cooked with hot rice. It can also be a poached egg to which dried seaweed (nori) and natto can be added. As for protein, Japanese people love the Japanese omelette, grilled salmon, or a salad made with a small fish called shirasu, and/or tofu. Another must-have for Japanese breakfast is Tsukemono, a pickled vegetable that includes cucumber, eggplant, plum, and daikon (white radish).
As we have already said on other occasions, in Ayurveda we always recommend food based on our predominant dosha, our imbalance and the season of the year in which we are. Many of the people who come to our practice ask us about breakfast, what they could eat and what they could not, and many reflect the lack of ideas to find the perfect breakfast. That is why we wanted to show you the different possibilities that the world offers us, so that with your food tastes and Ayurvedic guidelines based on your dosha and imagination, you can make your own compositions and thus know that in addition to eating something you like, you are balancing your body.
In Ayurveda, although breakfast is important, the main meal is the midday meal when the sun is at its highest point and synchronizes with the digestive fire in its maximum functioning, this means that the digestive capacity will be higher.
Although breakfast is adapted to each constitution you should first scrape your tongue and brush your teeth, drink a glass of water and warm it up on an empty stomach to cleanse your body. It would also be ideal before breakfast to do your needs and a little yoga, but we already know that it is often difficult to have time for these routines, within our possibilities is good to take it into account.
Ayurveda recommends certain foods for each constitution and seasons. The idea that at breakfast you have to eat cereals, dairy products and fruits is not Ayurvedic, in fact you can eat food that suits you well within the recommended times and let your imagination fly.
In general breakfast has to be light in summer and whenever our agni or digestive system is low, and eat more in winter and when we have a strong agni. The recommended times are:
- For Pitta between 7:30 and 8h
- For Vata at around 8 a.m.
- To Kapha at 7:00 a.m.
These are ideal times, if you have hypoglycemia they should not be taken into account.
We will give you some ideas to adapt typical Western breakfasts to Ayurveda and other less frequent breakfasts in this part of the planet.
Frequent food in the Ayurvedic kitchen:
- Infusion of fennel, cumin and clove.
- Fresh fruit in summer.
- Nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
- Ghee (purified butter)
- Lassi (beaten yogurt diluted with water) with ginger and cinnamon when cold and cumin powder when it is hot.
- Chapati (unleavened Indian bread)
- Homemade yogurt with ginger and cinnamon when it’s cold and cumin powder when it’s hot.
The idea you should keep in mind is to eat fresh and untuoso products, cereals that go well with you are wheat, rice and oats. Fruits are figs, grapes, peaches, pineapple and bananas (better eat them alone). Dairy are generally good,l as long as they are fresh. Nuts are also recommended.
- We recommend cereal biscuits (recipe of our bars) or whole wheat bread with ghee and jam.
- A vata drink for the summer could be a shake of carrots, beetroot, ginger and lemon.
- Lassi with its spices with cereals, raisins and almonds. You can accompany it with dried figs and dried apricots.
- Rice pudding and cinnamon.
- Apple compote with cinnamon and chapati (in case you don’t have wholemeal bread) with ghee.
- Wholemeal cakes with jams
- Hot cow’s milk with cardamom and ginger, oat or almond milk.
- Fruits with nuts and an infusion
- Quinoa porridge or oatmeal with nuts.
- Oatmeal pancakes.
And if you want to innovate:
- Quinoa with vegetables.
- Pancakes or chapati with vegetables, coconut milk and carrots.
Apart from the food we can have for breakfast, it is also advisable an Ayurvedic restorative such as Chavanprash.
Stimulant drinks such as coffee or tea are not recommended for Vata.
Fresh and cold products in general. Infusions go well as long as they are not spicy. The cereals that go best are wheat, amaranth and oats, as well as spelt and barley. Fruits are sweet apples, figs, sweet red fruits, pears, plums and mangoes. The best dairy products are goat’s and always fresh. Pitta peolple are very hungry in the morning. It could be a satiating breakfast.
- A slice of whole wheat bread with ghee, fresh cheese, cucumber.
- An ideal Pitta juice could include mango, cardamom and cinnamon.
- Vegetable milk with cardamom and cinnamon.
- Infusion of cumin and fennel or mint and anise.
- Fruits with raisins and almonds.
- Lassi with oatmeal, chocolate and almonds.
- Chapati with ghee.
- Spelt cake with cane sugar.
- Oatmeal pancakes with ghee.
- Oat or almond milk.
And if you want to innovate:
- Quinoa with vegetables and almonds.
- Chapati with hummus and mutabal.
- Chapati with asparagus and tzatziki.
Better to eat warm and not too much. The best fruit is apple and pear. The best cereals are barley and rye. And almost all herbal infusions, especially the spicy ones, always without going too far!
- Infusion of ginger and cinnamon or pepper with cardamom.
- Lassi with barley.
- Rye bread with walnuts.
- Fruit with walnuts and raisins.
- Quinoa pancakes with vegetable pâté.
- A kapha juice would be apple, carrot and celery with basil and aniseed, accompanied by a toast with ghee.
Kapha does very well to eat vegetables for breakfast, as it has more possibilities:
- Wholemeal toast with alfalfa sprouts and hummus.
- Chapati with leeks, spinach and walnuts.
- Quinoa with vegetables.
Perhaps now we have it a little clearer, taking into account some guidelines and with a little imagination we can turn our first meal of the day into something more fun, tasty and balanced.