Breakfast... you either love or hate it. While we have all heard it is “the most important meal of the day” it is still the most frequently skipped meal. Why do we need it?
A healthy, wholesome breakfast full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals provides the energy required to reset your blood sugar levels. Studies have linked breakfast with better health including lower low density lipoprotein “bad cholesterol” and the reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and being overweight. It also helps you be more productive and can increase your concentration and improve your mood.
What happens to your body when you skip breakfast? The body’s blood sugar store is low when we first wake in the morning and needs to be replenished in order for the muscles and the brain to function.
Skipping breakfast causes an imbalance to the body’s fast and famine cycle. When breakfast is skipped the body does not know when, or more importantly if, the next meal is coming and kicks into survival mode. It senses a famine and slows down your metabolism to compensate and conserve energy. Then, when your body is presented with food later in the day, it can become ravenous leading to bingeing and/or poor food choices that can result in weight gain.
Trying to lose weight? Studies have demonstrated that on average people who eat breakfast have a thinner waist line. In fact, skipping breakfast has been shown to increase the risk of obesity more than four-fold!
Benefits of eating breakfast Breakfast positively affects cognitive function and academic performance. It not only contributes to physical health, but it also supports emotional stability and mental alertness.
Eating breakfast means you are more likely to get your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. You are less likely to make up the lost nutrients at other meals of the day and fill up on nutrient-poor sweet or savoury snacks.
What if you are not a “breakfast” person?” If you just can't face food first thing in the morning, try easing into it. A simple remedy is to have something quick and light but satisfying.
Try a homemade green, berry or banana smoothie. Or eat oat porridge, natural yoghurt or egg first, then eat fruit an hour or so later. Your body will thank you for it.