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The Benefits of Eating Breakfast

4th Sep 2018

For years, nutrition experts have said that a healthy breakfast is a key start to the day. Not only do we think and perform better on the job, they tell us, it supports our well-being in many other ways.

Among these experts is Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "A lot of times, people think they know about nutrition because they eat," she says, "but you need large bodies of science and research to know what our bodies actually need."

And the research shows that there are good reasons to eat breakfast.

Fuel and Nutrition

The basic formula for breakfast: Pair carbs with proteins. The carbs give your body energy to get started and your brain the fuel it needs to take on the day. Protein gives you staying power and helps you feel full until your next meal.

It can be as simple as a combo of:

you might like

  • Whole-grain cereals or bread for carbs
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese for protein
  • Fresh fruit or veggies, again for the carbs
  • Nuts or legumes for even more protein

The literal meaning of the word "breakfast," is to break the fast between dinner and the meal eaten after a person wakes up the next morning. If you think about the amount of time spanning between dinner and breakfast, the meaning of the word is very fitting. For most people, it can be up to 12 hours since their last meal, and yet they are quick to skip it as they rush out the door. Here are 10 benefits of eating breakfast and why it should be considered the most important meal of the day.

1. Energy Boost to Start the Day

Everyone should start their day off right by eating as many vitamins and other nutrients as possible. The great thing about breakfast is there are so many common breakfast foods that can be considered super-foods because of their nutrition value:

  • Eggs: Including an egg or two for breakfast may require a few extra minutes of preparation time, but the potential health benefits make them worth cooking and eating. Not only are eggs packed with protein and amino acids, they are also one of the few, significant sources of vitamin D, which is important for absorbing calcium for stronger bones.
  • Whole grains: Whether you are taking them in the form of bread, cereal or oatmeal, breakfast is one of the best times to enjoy whole grains in your meal. This super-food is a great source of fiber, which is essential for a healthy heart and digestive tract, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
  • Vitamin C: You can hit your daily intake of vitamin C in your very first meal of the day, whether it's in the form of a juice or solid fruit. Oranges, grapefruits and apples are common fruits on the breakfast table.

2. Sharper Focus

Whether you are in class or on the job, the last thing you want on your mind is food, because once the thought of a hearty bowl of cereal with a side of fruit yogurt enters your brain, there is no use trying to focus on anything else. By eating breakfast every morning, you are able to be more focused and productive until it's time to refuel at lunch. But when you skip out on breakfast, it's hard not to think about anything except food, especially with a noisy stomach that needs to be fed.

3. Breakfast Helps Reduce Morning Crankiness

Feeling cranky during the morning is understandable - you probably wanted to stay in bed for a few extra winks, you don't feel like going to work, and what most people forget, you're starving! Imagine going without food for 8 to 12 hours during the day; you probably won't be the most approachable person in the office or classroom. Do yourself, your classmates and your co-workers a favor by eating breakfast to help you deal with any morning moodiness and stress.

4. Metabolism Boost

When you sleep, your metabolism tends to slow down. The only way to jump start your metabolism for the day is to start off right with a healthy breakfast. This will allow your body to start burning through calories from the very beginning of the day, rather than in the middle of it after you've eaten lunch.

5. Prevents Starvation

When you're asleep, your body isn't burning as many calories. If you delay your first meal of the day till lunch, your body goes into survival mode and starts storing calories, creating fat. Do yourself a favor and take the time to have breakfast so your body doesn't think you're starving and needlessly store calories.

6. Keeps You From Overeating

If you prolong the amount of time between dinner and your next meal of the day, it's only natural that you end up eating more than you should. The hunger pangs and the thought of food all morning will only cause you to gorge at lunch, eating extra calories that can lead to obesity and other health complications.

7. Allows You to Properly Portion Your Meals

You may not feel very hungry when you initially wake up, but eating a healthy, balanced breakfast can help you plan and portion out your meals for the rest of the day. That way, you won't be tempted to binge eat or snack unnecessarily, both of which are unhealthy habits that can lead you to ignore your nutrition by satisfying hunger cravings with fatty foods anytime you like.

8. Helps Lower the "Bad" Cholesterol

Eating breakfast every morning can help lower LDL cholesterol, also known as the "bad" cholesterol. When you skip breakfast, you are creating a chain reaction within your body:

  • First, you slow down your metabolism.
  • Second, fat is stored longer in your body.
  • Third, you have a higher tendency to overeat at your next meal.
  • Fourth, you gain weight and your LDL cholesterol goes up.

9. Breakfast Can Be Nutritious and Delicious

Don't let a shortage of time keep you from enjoying a bite to eat upon waking up. Start the day off with a healthy and delicious meal. You can even indulge a bit with some crispy bacon, sausage links or pancakes. Just make sure to have something with a high nutritional value on the side like a slice of cantaloupe or a bowl of fresh strawberries.

10. Eat Breakfast to maintain a healthy weight

One of the greatest benefits of eating breakfast every morning is that it can help you to maintain a healthy weight. Just from reading the previous health benefits, you can see how you're helping your body stay lean. Numerous studies have also shown that an increase in weight is commonly associated with skipping breakfast. The best part is, even if you eat too much or have something a little unhealthy, you still have the entire day to make up for it. Eating breakfast every morning is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy.