Is eating paratha with tea for breakfast healthy?


During the winter season, paratha with tea for breakfast becomes everyone’s favourite. But is it a healthy combination? Let’s find out.

Nothing beats the goodness of sizzling paratha in the morning, especially when your mother makes it with so much love! While we all love this on lazy winter mornings, it is not the healthiest for you. I recently came across a certain post on Instagram by a renowned nutritionist suggesting that having paratha and tea together might not be the healthiest choice to kickstart your day. So, if you’re someone who begins their day with this combo, this article is worth a read.

Why is “paratha with tea” not a healthy combination?

“Paratha with tea” is everyone’s favourite during the winter season. However, the high calorie and fat content of paratha, often made with refined flour and oil, makes it an unhealthy option for breakfast. Moreover, using traditional fillings, such as potatoes, may lack the variety of essential nutrients needed for a balanced breakfast. Consuming tea with paratha or immediately after eating paratha may hinder the absorption of iron due to the presence of tannins in tea. This combination may even disturb your digestion and affect your liver health.

However, there is a way to make this breakfast combination healthy. In a recent Instagram post, nutritionist Leema Mahajan shared how we can convert our ‘paratha with chai’ breakfast into a nutritious meal.

7 tips to make paratha chai breakfast healthy

1. Mix green leafy vegetables with flour

To make your plain paratha even more nutritious, incorporate green leafy vegetables into your paratha dough. Spinach, fenugreek leaves, or kale can be finely chopped and kneaded into a flour. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, providing essential nutrients to kickstart your day. This simple change may also support your digestion!

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spinach paratha
Enjoy spinach paratha in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner this winter. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Use protein-rich paratha stuffing

Mahajan says, “Instead of relying solely on potatoes or other starchy fillings, use protein stuffing such as paneer (cottage cheese), lentils, or eggs to make your paratha a more balanced and satisfying breakfast.”

You may also use radish (mooli) and cauliflower (gobhi) as fillings for your paratha. This addition not only helps in muscle repair and growth but also keeps you feeling fuller for a more extended period and energised throughout the day.

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3. Use more stuffing than flour

“Use more stuffing than dough to make a paratha,” advises Mahajan. This change not only reduces the overall carbohydrate content but also increases the nutritional value of your breakfast. A well-stuffed paratha tastes delicious as well!

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4. Cook it on an iron tawa

Do you use a non-stick tawa to cook your paratha? If yes, you should use an iron tawa to make them, recommends Mahajan. Cooking on an iron surface can increase the iron content in your paratha, which is especially beneficial for those prone to iron deficiencies. In comparison, non-stick pans can release toxic fumes if overheated, while iron tawa holds heat well. Additionally, cooking on an iron tawa increases the flavour of the paratha.

Also read: Breakfast recipe: Start your weekend with a quick and easy methi bajra paratha

5. Cook it plain and then spread ghee on it

You can make your morning paratha healthier by changing your cooking method. Mahajan says instead of cooking your paratha with unhealthy oils, cook your paratha plain without using oil. Once your paratha is ready, spread a spoonful of ghee on it. Ghee not only adds a rich flavour but also contains healthy fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and antioxidants.

methi bajra paratha
Follow these tips to enjoy the benefits of paratha. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Enjoy it with curd

While paratha and chai may seem like the best breakfast combination during the winter, it is not a healthy choice. Mahajan explains, “You can eat your paratha with curd, chutney, or homemade achar.”

Curd, packed with probiotics, is healthy for your digestion. Additionally, the combination of a protein-rich paratha and probiotic-rich curd creates a wholesome meal that helps maintain a healthy balance of nutrients. She also advises avoiding using butter and market-made achaars.

7. Drink tea after an hour of breakfast

Many of us just can’t resist tea during the cold weather but drinking it first thing in the morning may disturb your digestion. Mahajan says instead of consuming tea with paratha, consider drinking it an hour after breakfast. This allows your body to absorb nutrients from the meal more effectively without the interference of tea’s tannins, which can hinder iron absorption.

Keep these simple changes in mind to make your breakfast healthy!

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