Most people know you shouldn’t skip breakfast, but many don’t know why. You probably had your mother tell you every morning, “Eat your breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.” Well, the notion that breakfast is an all-important meal isn’t just a parental device to get children to eat, it is actually true.
The body ‘fasts’ every night, and after about 12 hours without food, you need to replenish your energy supply. The term ‘breakfast’ is used because this is the first meal after the long night hours. It is essential to ensure you have breakfast every day, below are some of the benefits of breakfasting:
Breakfasters are smarter. People who eat breakfast are more likely to do better in school or at work; hunger can be distracting, so the level of concentration is higher when you are well fed. Thus, your mind is sharper and you are better at problem-solving.
Breakfasters are happier. Generally, most people who skip breakfast tend to be cranky and uptight in the mornings. Food boosts feelings of wellbeing and makes you happier, particularly when the food is high in carbohydrates.
Breakfasters are healthier. Especially for children, skipping breakfast may cause deficiencies in nutrients such as iron, fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Also, people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight or obese as they are more likely to participate in physical activities and less likely to stock up on junk food. Little wonder most dieticians and weight-loss experts advocate the importance of breakfast.
While any breakfast is better than no breakfast, it is important to keep your breakfast choices healthy. In order to get the most nutritional value and a daily healthy start, there are a variety of food groups you should pay attention to while preparing the ideal breakfast, these include:
- Carbohydrates/fiber (whole-grain cereals, breads and muffins, brown rice, whole-grain fruits).
- protein (low-fat or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts [including nut butters], seeds and cooked beans).
- vitamins (fruits and vegetables)
Although it is generally accepted that breakfast is important, many still skip the meal, either because they sleep and wake up late; or because they think it will keep them slim; or there simply isn’t time to prepare breakfast every morning. The following are tips that will help you get set for breakfast every day, even when you’re in a hurry:
- Fill your kitchen store with healthy breakfast choices
- Start preparations from the night before (e.g. ready the tools, mix the pancake batter, etc.)
- Have quick and easy takeaway alternatives for really busy mornings
Adhering to the simple code of the breakfast rule is one easy but vital step towards overall better health for your family. So get in the habit of giving everyone a healthy start for every day.