The Importance of BreakfastMany people skip breakfast, but a healthy breakfast is, as the saying goes, the most important meal of the day, for many reasons.
By: Ruby Martinez , Sibley Scribe
Breakfast literally means, “breaking the fast”. By eating a healthy meal in the morning you are jump-starting your body and mind. Children who eat breakfast tend to perform better in school, behave better, and concentrate more than those who do not. Not only does breakfast give us more energy, it also helps us maintain a healthy weight. A study in the 1999 issue Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who ate a hearty breakfast containing more than one-quarter of their daily calories (usually in the form of a ready to eat breakfast cereal) consumed less overall fat during the day than people who skipped on food in the morning.
Why is eating breakfast so important? There are many reasons. First, eating a healthy breakfast provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals. People who have breakfast with at least one serving of fruit are more likely to reach the five recommended servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Further, a study published in the American Journal of clinical Nutrition in November 2000, researchers found that a glass of orange juice everyday boosts “good” HDL cholesterol, which helps keep arteries from getting clogged. Orange juice also contains vitamin C and is a good source of potassium that has been shown to lower the risk of high blood pressure or stroke. It also reduces the danger of heart disease by having lower serum cholesterol levels.
Nutritionists recommend a breakfast rich in fiber, because fiber helps fill us up sooner and slows the digestive process to prevent hunger pangs mid-morning. Usually the best most recommended meal to eat is something as simple as a bowl of cereal that we will most likely get all the nutrients we need. Most breakfast cereals contain important vitamins and minerals including folic acid that helps prevent birth defects and helps decrease the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
Eating breakfast provides the energy we need to think clearly throughout the morning. Without breakfast, many people have a mid-morning slump. There is also a link between eating a healthy breakfast and weight loss. This sounds strange to some people, but the fact is that eating breakfast helps control hunger and food cravings throughout the day. People who eat breakfast don’t get food cravings as often or as intensely as those who do not, and therefore they are less likely to overeat at lunch or dinner time. One study that tracked 10,000 young people from adolescence through their twenties found that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to be overweight and compensate for the missing morning calories by eating more throughout the day.
Starting your day with something nutritious that will help keep you satisfied and thinking clearly is an overall good idea and it’s a key component to a healthier lifestyle.
Sources for this article include WebMD and EverydayHealth.com.