You hear over and over that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you ever wonder why?
Kids need it for brain development.
It has been shown time and time again that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school. With their continuously growing and developing bodies and brains, children require regular intake of food. When breakfast is skipped, a child could be going 15+ hours without food, which can lead to physical, intellectual, and behavioral problems. Studies have shown that children and teens who do not eat breakfast are more likely to be overweight, be absent or tardy to school, have more visits to the school nurse, and not perform as well academically. It’s important to teach children the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. Nutrition and healthy eating habits begin in the home. Set a good example and eat breakfast with your kids.
It improves work performance in adults.
Adults may be done growing, but their bodies still rely on regular food intake for energy. Breakfast kick starts your body and helps it to function better to power you through your day. Our brains need fuel in the form of glucose from food to function properly. Skipping breakfast leads to low energy, feeling sluggish by late morning, the inability to focus and concentrate, and irritability. Many adults skip breakfast in a hurry to get out the door in the morning and then find themselves reaching for a cup of coffee or a candy bar mid-morning for a boost of energy. This sends your body into a hyper, caffeinated, sugar high, only to come crashing down shortly after. Studies show that adults who eat a breakfast consisting of whole grains and protein have increased energy, improved focus and problem solving skills, and elevated moods.
Eat breakfast for weight loss.
A reason for many people to skip breakfast is to lose weight. Well it has been shown that skipping breakfast can actually lead to weight gain, not loss. Studies show that those who eat breakfast are thinner than non-breakfast eaters. Breakfast is well named, in that you are breaking the fast from the night before. Your body has just gone 8+ hours without food so it is important to eat first thing in the morning to kickstart your metabolism so your body can burn calories efficiently. Skipping breakfast also leads to snacking, poor food choices, and overeating later in the day. Your body also won’t burn off these extra calories like it should due to being put in a state of starvation. When you skip breakfast and wait until later in the day to eat, your body actually tries to hold onto this fuel and store it for later use. When breakfast is eaten you are setting your body up for proper energy use throughout the day and telling it that it can expect regular food intake so it will burn off your meals for energy instead of storing them.
So whether you are sitting down to breakfast in the morning, eating on the run, or having your breakfast at the office, it is important to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal at the start of the day. Trust me, your body and mind will thank you.
Here are a few of my favorite breakfasts to kick my body into gear:
Whole grain, high fiber cereal with almond milk and a banana (Try to pick a cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber and that is low in sugar to keep you full and energized until lunch.)
Hot oatmeal with fruit (Oatmeal is low in fat and high in fiber and protein so pair it with some fruit and you are good to go!)
Banana scramble (A mixture of oats, banana, and peanut butter help carry me through my morning activities.)
Green Smoothie (If you have been reading my blog you have heard me talk about how awesome these are for you. If you are new to the blog, click on the link or read my Amazing Grass product reviews for more info.)
Whole grain pancakes (On mornings when I have more time, I like to make pancakes with whole wheat or spelt flour. Toss in some fruit such as bananas, blueberries, or strawberries for extra nutrition.)
Toast with nut butter (I am a nut butter fanatic so sometimes, that’s all I want in the morning. Spread your whole grain toast with all natural peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter for energizing breakfast. The combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats will keep you full through your morning.)