Get A Shot Of Protein In The Morning To Boost Your Immunity

A protein-rich breakfast can kick-start your day on the right note

Neelanjana Singh Updated: Apr 9, 2020 13:38:56 IST
Get A Shot Of Protein In The Morning To Boost Your Immunity Image courtesy: Theka Gym Da/Facebook

Breakfast is considered the king of meals and for all the right reasons. The advantages of eating a good breakfast are very many. For one, it is linked to better concentration and enhanced efficiency through the day. Eating breakfast within an hour of waking up also boosts your body’s metabolism. 

Although there is plenty of variety in our breakfast foods—upma, dalia, cheela, idli, paratha, puri, theplas and kachoris— you will notice that they tend to be carb heavy and predominately starchy foods. 

However, it is important for the breakfast menu to include an adequate portion of protein. Eating protein in the morning helps us stay alert through the day, while meals rich in carbs can make us sluggish. Proteins serve another important function of supporting the body’s immune system, which is more important than ever in the current circumstances. Without adequate protein in the diet, the body’s immune cells cannot function at their optimal level.

Make sure you review your breakfast menu to ensure that you are getting a variety of nutrients through it, including protein.

Recipe: Lentil Poha

In this recipe for poha, I have replaced the use of the rice flakes (conventionally used for preparing poha) with lentils. This recipe provides 12-15g of protein, which is ideally what the breakfast of an adult should provide.

Lentil Poha

Serves 2


1 cup moong dal (dehusked)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small boiled potato, chopped

10-12 curry leaves, shredded

2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise

A pinch of asafoetida (hing)

½ tsp grated ginger

½ cup edible green leaves (any variety, or coriander), shredded 

¼ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp black cumin (kalonji) seeds

½ turmeric powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp raisins

1 tsp cooking oil

Salt to taste


Wash and soak the moong dal in adequate water for 30 minutes. In a wok, heat the oil and add the asafoetida, followed by the mustard and kalonji seeds, and allow to splutter. Add the green chilli, curry leaves and grated ginger, and cook slightly for a minute. 

Drain the dal from the water and add it to the wok along with the cooked spices. Add the turmeric, salt and a sprinkling of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. The idea is to leave the dal a little crunchy and not to overcook it. 

Remove the preparation from the wok and add the chopped potatoes, green leaves and raisins. Add lemon juice and mix well. 


This dish makes for a balanced breakfast item with legumes as the main ingredient, which provides protein and soluble fibre. The potato is the source of starch and energy. The green leaves and curry leaves are good sources of folate, vitamin A and Omega-3 fats.

The spices—asafoetida, mustard seeds, kalonji seeds and ginger—are valuable for their immunity- enhancing role. The lemon juice adds a flavourful shot of vitamin C to the dish and also improves the absorption of iron available from the ingredients.

Neelanjana Singh is a nutrition therapist with 30 years experience and the author of Our Kid Eats Everything.
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