It’s one of the most common sayings, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Yet, our busy morning routine may prevent us from fueling up in the morning. In honor of Better Breakfast Month, we would like to pay homage to this essential meal by sharing why it is important and how to incorporate it into your daily schedule.
Breakfast: A Science
There’s a scientific element to why breakfast is so important to your health. The word “breakfast” has actually been around since the fifteenth century, and it comes from the phrase “to break your fast,” i.e. eat your first meal after sleeping all night (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). As the first meal of the day, breakfast jump starts your metabolism, which is the energy that you burn throughout the day (Byrne). It’s hard to change your metabolism’s natural pace, but eating breakfast is a way that you can catalyze it and get it working as optimally as genetically possible (Byrne).
Assuming your body is functioning normally when you wake up, your blood sugar levels are low. In order to function throughout the day efficiently and get through work without feeling exhausted, you need to replenish yourself and eat breakfast to get your nutrients in early, enhancing your potential throughout the day. Breakfast also helps you curb your appetite, particularly if you choose to eat high-fiber, protein-rich, low glycemic foods (WebMD). People who don’t eat breakfast, often find themselves hungry later in the day and grab what’s convenient, such as processed foods, which are generally high in fat, sugar, salt and calories but low in essential vitamins and nutrients. Typically processed foods will only temporarily subdue appetite. Researchers have found, in addition to having higher energy levels, people who eat breakfast usually have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) and lower cholesterol (WebMD).
It’s about starting your day off right, and that’s what makes all the difference. This applies doubly to kids.
Kids, Too, Need Breakfast
Kids are still growing and they especially need to eat breakfast every day. Research has a lot to say about the importance of kids eating breakfast. Kids who don’t eat breakfast tend to have a harder time focusing in school and achieving high test scores (WebMD). Their moods also might suffer, and they will likely eat more processed ‘junk food’ throughout the day as their blood sugar levels sink, causing them to have a higher risk of obesity (WebMD).
What to Eat?
So now that you know the importance of breakfast, the question becomes: What should you eat? The answer: low glycemic carbs which are rich in fiber, and lean proteins. These will help keep your appetite from getting out of check throughout the day, and they will also give you the boost you need to have healthy or steady blood sugar levels (MacMillan). Foods such as Greek yogurt and low glycemic fruits like blueberries and strawberries, are also great sources of antioxidants and vitamins. Eggs with sauteed onions and mushrooms, topped with low fat cheese, is also a reasonable choice.
“I’m just too busy in the morning for breakfast.” If this is a common theme around your household, there are ways you can fit this essential meal in without losing time.
How to Fit Breakfast Into Your Busy Day
If your morning routine always seems like a rush, consider waking up earlier. Breakfast is important enough that you should set your alarm for fifteen minutes earlier than normal if it means you’ll have time to eat. Your body and energy levels will thank you for it. You might be waking up earlier, but you’ll end up having more energy, paradoxical as that sounds.
Consider pre-making your breakfast the night before, or, at least, getting everything ready and easy to reach beforehand so that your morning starts off quickly.
CardioMender, MD offers a variety of low glycemic muffins, protein bars and other quick on-the-go bites you can eat while running out the door or during your morning commute. Come visit our pantry to learn more or shop on-line at www.cardiomendermd.com.
As you can see, there are many benefits to eating a healthy breakfast at the start of your day. It gets your metabolism moving, helps raise and maintain balance of your blood sugar, and ensures that your appetite is kept in check throughout the day. Low glycemic high fiber fruits and vegetables, coupled with lean protein, can provide a nutrient-rich breakfast for people of all ages.
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Byrne, Christine. Okay, What Is Your Metabolism—And Can You Actually Make It Faster?29 11 2012. Web. 15 09 2018.
MacMillan, Amanda. The 20 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast. 15 01 2016. Web. 15 09 2018.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Definition of breakfast. 2018. Web . 15 09 2018.
WebMD. Breakfast: Is It the Most Important Meal?2018. Web. 15 9 2018.