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Fueling Breakfast To Increase Memory Power

by BD Basu(more info)

listed in nutrition, originally published in issue 160 - July 2009

The completion of morning rituals leads us to the breakfast arena; consumption of breakfast ignites and invigorates our physical and mental energies to start the day with a in the optimum frame of mind. Breakfast is the central system of food because our health is confronted with various physical and mental activities, and to achieve the demands of the body, proper attention towards breakfast and other food habits is desirable and intake must fulfil the required caloric value. A fuelling breakfast helps us to achieve high energy levels with a cascading effect on memory power. It is a proven fact that memory power is the cognitive activity of recalling information that you have learned or experienced in the immediate past in your professional or social life. The cognitive power is derived from cognitive science; we can use the following chart to know it better.

Cognitive Source

Now, the one component which is 'learning system' is mental energy, which is very much interrelated with proper intake of food, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and sleep. Further, the food intake must focus on balanced calories, fuelling and more importantly, low fat breakfast. You may skip dinner, put less concentration on lunch, but breakfast must be honoured by way of eating religiously. This breakfast is the backbone of all foods which we normally consume throughout the day, to make ourselves fit and energetic. 

Memory power is induced by consumption of a nourishing, measured calorie breakfast. Our  learning system depends on memory power. If you possess high memory power, your learning curve will doubtlessly increase. The Learning system process can be depicted as follows.
Food Pyramid

The Neural Network is the model that is based upon the human brain. Neural Network helps us in self-learning and adapting to changes. Now, if you analyze this neural network, you will realize that the central processing unit (CPU) is the human brain. And, if this CPU is energized and able to process accurately and efficiently, then no doubt, the memory power increases; the only thing is that the intake of food must be balanced, well-measured and nutritional.   

The following food should be eaten during breakfast; this will enable your body and brain to be more alert, make you full of vigour and also allow you to concentrate, be calmer and have greater retaining ability.

One small size each of bitter-gourd, cucumber, tomato is to be soaked in warm water to make the same hygienic. All these vegetables are then chopped and are to be consumed without salt and lemon.  This salad will help to reduce blood sugar / type-2 diabetes. If this can be taken regularly and throughout your life, then this will reduce the likelihood of diabetes. Further, if nagging joint pain annoys you, then this salad is to be garnished with 3 or 4 seeds of walnuts. 

This salad is to be consumed on an empty stomach. People who are accustomed to drinking bed tea have to first get rid of this habit before they start consuming this salad. This is not a luscious food, and so quantity can be reduced as against the one informed above. If you are not able to digest the salad in its raw condition, you may opt for a half cup of juice made of these three vegetables. Still, if you are not comfortable with its bitter taste, you may at least start the breakfast with one small piece of a boiled bitter-gourd. 

After consuming this salad which is required, you can make a breakfast based on the various varieties given below.
  • Wholegrain carbohydrate:
    As stated above, if memory power is to be sharpened, then blood sugar level must be very steady.  So, say strictly NO to sugary cereal and white bread. Instead of that, opt for wholegrain cereals.  These contain B vitamins, very specifically B1 and along with blood sugar, it produces acetylcholine.  This acetylcholine increases the memory power because it is nothing but the memory boosting brain chemical. 
  • Sufficient intake of proteins:
    You may opt for a glass of low fat milk which provides an excellent protein. This again adds power to concentration.  The more you are able to concentrate, the more your memory power gets sharpened. The proteins can also be found from a bowl of sprouts or boiled / scrambled eggs.
  • Magic power of fruit:
    Fruits are the high ranking foods which supports the bodily system with varieties of vitamins. The natural sugars existing in the fruits make your neuro cells super charged. You may like to have a ripe banana or a plate full of papaya or even a glass of orange / apple / pineapple juice. These juices act as a stimulant to wash down the breakfast.
  • Some fat intake:
    Omega-3s (the quality fats) are also very important for maintaining a good health. These carry EFA (Essential Fatty Acids). EFA energizes your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) level and increases the memory power. Please make a practice of munching of nuts like walnuts, almonds seeds like flax seeds. These nuts can be taken with bitter-gourd salad or it can be taken in between the breakfast with a quantity of 3 to 4 seeds.
  • Water, of course:
    Please reach for a fruit juice, plain water, milk, anti oxidant rich green tea. It is better to avoid coffee.  Though coffee acts as a stimulant to make you awake, if you are sleepy but overdosing on it, this may make you little bit nervous because of its over stimulant power. The consumption of water of 4 to 5 litres per day including around 250 to 300 ml. before 10 minutes of breakfast is a highly suggested. A glass of fruit juice or milk can be substituted by a cup of green tea, if you are a tea lover. But intake of coffee must be avoided preferably during the time of the breakfast and can be taken during the course of the day, limited to only 2/3 cups.
  • Proper sleep:
    Adequate and proper sleep of at least 6 hours must be maintained without fail. This will rejuvenate your brain and memory power and you will be recharged for the next day. 
  • Physical exercise: 
    You must ensure to engage yourself in any type of physical exercise for at least a period of 30 minutes in the morning or evening. Any one of the exercises, namely walking, jogging, running, jumping, cycling, swimming, etc. will serve the purpose of physical fitness. This fitness will also have a direct bearing on mental health. And, when the same is further complemented by proper food intake, then well groomed mental health will increase the memory power.
Apart from the above, another exercise which is a combination of free hand and 'Pranayam' can be tried for 30 minutes on daily basis. By stretching your limbs namely hands, legs, etc., you will be able to flex the joints and tone the muscles. Blood circulation gets intensified. Then, do the 'Pranayam' which includes 'Kapal Bhati', Anulom-vilom' and 'Bhastrika'. These are basically breathing exercises. All these are intended to set right the breathing rhythm, because most of us inhale/exhale in an unsystematic and improper way, which ultimately invites health complications. When you learn proper breathing techniques, your body will be full of vigour. 

Suggestions for fuelling breakfast:
  • Boiled egg salad on a whole wheat toast garnished with a sliced tomato plus a glass of low fat milk;
  • Two/three whole wheat chapattis plus a small bowl of steamed sprouts with a glass of low fat milk;
  • Wholegrain cereal or muesli with low fat milk, two boiled eggs and a glass of fresh orange juice;
  • A bowl of oats porridge with sultanas / dates and a cup of moong sprout;
  • Whole wheat toast plus one sliced banana and a cup of low fat yogurt;
  • Two moong-chana pulse cheelas with yogurt and coriander chutney.
Fruits should be consumed depending on your choice and liking for the types of the fruits.

Out of the above six types of fuelling breakfasts, the last one is not predominantly used though it  has tremendous nutritious values. The recipe of the same is furnished below:


 Moong dal  100 gms  Channa dal  100 gms  Onion in chopped condition  1/2 cup  Tomatoes in cube form  2 cups  Cilantro chopped and fine  2 tablespoons  Green chilies cut and fine  1 to 2  Salt  1 tablespoon or as per taste

Method of preparation:

Both moong and channa pulse are to be washed in running water for 2/3 times and thereafter to be soaked for 3 hours. Then, it is to be ground to a smooth batter using the water they were soaked in.  You can grind the mixture and refrigerate the previous night itself. Stir the remaining ingredients into the batter. Heat a non-stick griddle on the oven. Vegetable oil is to be sprayed. Now, take a ladleful of batter, pour and spread gently on the griddle. Cover and allow cooking for 30 seconds until the bubbles start emanating and at the same time, the lower side begins to become golden brown. Turn over with a spatula and allow for cooking for another 30 to 40 seconds until cooked thoroughly. Slide them into a plate. This item should be served with mint/coriander chutney and it is to be accompanied with yoghurt or a glass of milk.

The nourishing and fuelling breakfast is necessary to maintain good health. People who are averse to the dietary habit of breakfast and only depend on tea and cookies as breakfast; should not feel guilty or sink into lazy habits of providing excuses for their tiredness.

While concluding this article, my recommendation is as follows:

Parents ought to advise their children to follow the habit of consuming bitter-gourd salad on a regular basis, and that too, from the adolescent stage. If they are able to digest this salad as a pre-breakfast menu, health related problems will not affect them in later life.

Evidence of success:

Why do I assert such strong recommendations for the above fuelling breakfast?  Because I practise the same first, and then preach. In the end of the year 2003, I was suffering from serious health problems mainly related to severe pulmonary infection. I was profusely bleeding from the mouth.  Doctors at my place conducted extensive tests, but failed to diagnose the real reason, and only put me on high medications.   I was glum, and most of the time left  energy-less and languid. This scenario continued up to the end of August-2006. In between, I was afflicted with type 2 diabetes. You could easily imagine my mental condition prevailing then. Somehow, out of fear of my life, I determined with shear grit to set right my health, and after lot of deliberations with various medical practitioners and with the help of my own studies and perception, I changed my pattern of life to the formula indicated in this article, and today, I am hale and hearty without the help of any medicine except the moderate dose of one tablet of 25 mg for diabetes. I am also fairly certain that I will not need any medicine after a period of 6-8 months, because my fasting blood sugar level is almost normal at 114 to 115 mg/dl.

So, in my view, the quintessence of a quintessential healthy person is based on following formula.

Physical health + memory power = Two glass of water immediately after wake up
  • Bitter gourd salad
  • Fuelling breakfast
  • Adequate lunch, not sumptuous
  • Tea or coffee with light snacks
  • Moderate dinner
  • Exercise for 30 minutes per day preferably 'Pranayam' and exercise of stretching your limbs, namely arms, legs.
  • Sound sleep for minimum 6 hours daily.                


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About BD Basu

BD Basu BSc (Engg)-Mech MBA Dip Export MA (English)  is a native of India and is a Director (Contracts) with an engineering company named Anupam Industries Ltd., Anand, Gujarat, India, looking after the entire range of marketing and contracts' execution. The company is 35 years old and engaged in manufacturing of EOT, Goliath/Gantry, Ladle cranes. Mr Bosu is a member of the Writers Bureau, Manchester UK and a freelance writer writing in various genres namely management, health, spiritual, motivational and novels. He has completed two nonfiction e-books, In Search of Peace and 16 Wisdom to acquire Spiritual Happiness.’ Mr Basu has also written short books of around 7000 words on home furnishing, food and health after getting contracts from BD Basu may be contacted via,   Please view the BD Basu's writings at his Times of India blog

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