We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s vital to eat a nutritious breakfast, but how important is it really?
Mornings are busy times for most people; rushing out of the house to work and school, and the unfortunate reality is that sitting down to eat a proper breakfast doesn’t happen for many. Whether you are a student running out to catch the school bus, or a nurse throwing on your Barco One scrubs (my favorite!) on your way to your day shift at the hospital, mornings are hectic for all. Studies reveal that more than half of American skip breakfast, from the young to the old. This percentage is lower for school age kids, but is still quite high at approximately 12%. After reading the benefits of eating a nutritious breakfast below you are sure to join the breakfast eaters club and help make America a healthier place.
So why is eating a healthy breakfast so important?
Energy, Memory and Concentration
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and who doesn’t want to start their day off right?
After (hopefully) getting a good night’s sleep, this is the time to kickstart your metabolism, allowing you to burn calories throughout the day. When you wake up in the morning your blood sugar is low due to fasting the whole night. Eating a healthy breakfast will bring up your blood sugar to a healthy level, and provide you with energy for the day ahead. By skipping breakfast you will feel low on energy, and you will wind up overeating later in the day, thus adding unwanted and unhealthy calories to your diet. This is the time you want to provide the fuel your body will need to have energy and stamina to have a productive and accomplishing day. Choosing healthy foods that provide you with 350-500 calories will help sharpen your focus and have better memory retention throughout the day. Eating too much will make you feel sluggish and drowsy, and eating too little won’t give you the necessary energy you will need to concentrate and feel good.
Sitting down and eating a healthy breakfast has also shown to help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Sounds surprising? Some people tend to skip breakfast thinking that by avoiding the breakfast calories they are going to lose weight. They couldn’t be more wrong. Eating a nutritious breakfast will stimulate your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories. Your metabolism works faster in the morning than in the evening, making it an important time to eat those healthy calories. When people skip breakfast and plan on not eating until lunch time they will often find themselves very hungry before lunch hour, and will end up snacking on high calorie, or unhealthy foods to stave off the hunger pangs. When you eat a proper breakfast you should remain satisfied until lunchtime, and be able to make healthy food choices once you start to feel hungry. Research shows that those who eat breakfast are on average thinner than those who don’t take the time to eat this important meal. But this doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. Try to incorporate good carbs, protein and fiber into this morning meal. Sounds a bit overwhelming? Have no fear! There are plenty of delicious and easy breakfast options that include these types of foods. Try oatmeal with a bit of honey and milk for a filling and nutritious breakfast that tastes good too! Greek yogurt with banana, eggs, and even healthy fiber filled whole grain cereal make great breakfast foods.
And for those of you, who still can’t come up with the time to prepare breakfast on those hectic morning, there are also some great breakfast bars that really pack a punch and provide you with all the necessary breakfast nutrients, all in a cute little bar. But, don’t be fooled by anything that says breakfast bar on the packaging. Many of these bars are loaded with sugar and have little nutritional value. Read the nutrition facts carefully to ensure that what you are eating something that will actually keep you feeling full, and give you energy and fuel for your day ahead.
So, next time you are ready to leave the house in the morning without eating this important morning meal, think again, and take something quick and nutritious to eat before your school or work day begins. Your body will thank you later.