It’s hailed the “most important meal of the day;” so why do we often opt to skip breakfast? Find out how you can incorporate a nutritious morning meal into your routine for a healthy and productive day.
Breakfast may seem like a small thing to worry about, but constantly skipping the treasured “most important meal of the day” can negatively affect your health. A study conducted by NPD Group, a leading market research company, revealed that approximately 31 million Americans skip breakfast Between early work days, family responsibilities, or just don’t feel hungry, it’s easy to see how breakfast can sometimes be forgotten. But what can missing breakfast actually mean for your health?
Eating a balanced breakfast helps kickstart your body’s metabolism. During sleep, your body is in “fasting” mode. And when you skip that morning meal, you extend the fast and force your body to “protect” its energy source. So when you finally do have that first meal of the day, your body ends up storing these calories, rather than burning them for energy. This can make you more susceptible to weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
Missing breakfast has been shown to have a direct effect on the increased production of cortisol, a stress hormone, which peaks in the hours before we wake. During sleep, your body taps into your glucose reserves, pushing your blood sugar levels to peak. Cortisol works to regulate this release and prevent glycogen depletion; however, high cortisol levels have been shown to lead to depression and anxiety, osteoporosis, and muscle loss. Eating breakfast helps your body restore the glycogen and shut off this stress response.
A cup of coffee won’t cut it. Just like any other part of your body, your brain needs energy in the form of glucose to function properly. When you’re hungry you tend to lose focus. Studies have shown that eating a nutritious breakfast can improve one’s memory and concentration, which in turn boosts both mood and work performance. This evidence is most clearly seen in studies among school children.
Taking the time to incorporate this important meal into your morning routine can make a difference to your day. Establish good breakfast habits with your kids, tools that they can carry with them through their adolescent and adult life to keep them happy and healthy.
Build A Better Breakfast:
- Make it count; hit as many food groups as possible.
- Keep your grains wholesome. Choose breads and cereals that list “whole grain” or “whole wheat” as the very first ingredient.
- Stay away from sugar-rich jellies and jams on toast; rather, try adding fresh banana or apple slices for a natural sweetness.
- Choose lean proteins and healthy fats such as yogurt, eggs, avocado, or salmon to help you feel energized for longer.
- A cup of coffee or tea won’t cut it. While the caffeine can give you a boost in the morning, they can also leave you dehydrated. Balance it out with water or juice.
Recipes below courtesy of deliciousliving.com
Sit-and-Enjoy Breakfast Recipes:
Grab n’ Go Breakfast Recipes: