The Importance of Breakfast

importance-of-breakfast

According to statistics, only 44% of Americans eat breakfast every day. That means that over half our population skips out on the most important meal of the day. Now, I know you’re probably tired of hearing about how breakfast is so important, but it’s honestly the truth–one that no one should skimp out on. Some of the excuses people give as to why they can’t eat breakfast are “there’s no time”, “I’m not hungry”, “I don’t like it”…the list goes on and on. And while you may rather hit snooze 5 more times than get up 10 minutes earlier to eat, eating breakfast is a key aspect in living a healthy life and jump starting your day.

My grandma used to always tell me to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a prince. So, what’s the big deal about breakfast to call it a “king’s meal” in terms of importance? The first reason you should eat breakfast is that it provides your fuel for your day. No breakfast is like trying to drive a car with no gas in it, it just doesn’t run efficiently (if at all). In the same way, eating when you wake up kick starts your metabolism–which has been slowed down as you slept overnight–and begins to feed your body’s fire. Breakfast can also be a great way to start your day off with nutrients such as fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. In fact, people who eat breakfast regularly, get more vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients in their diet as a whole. Breakfast eaters also less likely to not overeat and over-snack on junk food (or any food) later in the day and evening. This can be very good news and helpful because often overeating can lead to weight gain, even if it’s “healthy” foods you are eating.

Breakfast isn’t only about helping to improve your physical self, but your cognitive abilities too. Studies have shown that eating breakfast may enhance memory and improve cognitive abilities and concentration. One reason for this could be that eating breakfast helps stabilize blood sugar, which has been lowered overnight, and low blood sugar negatively affects our mental concentration and abilities. (This is exactly why you always read to eat a good breakfast before interviews, tests, and other big events.) Eating in the morning, after a long slumber, also provides glucose to your “starved” brain. This improves brain functioning, increases mood and lowers stress levels. This means that those who eat breakfast are more likely to be happy and less likely to be grouchy (Hangry anyone?).

Lastly, eating breakfast has numerous long-term health benefits. It can reduce obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Having a healthy breakfast also sets you up to eat cleaner and better the rest of the day and to intake all your needed nutrients. And speaking of nutrients, the importance of breakfast only applies if you eat a healthy meal. If your breakfast consists of donuts, pop-tarts, sugary cereal or other unhealthy foods, you are just reversing all the good you are doing by eating breakfast in the first place. Find healthier alternatives that are delicious, nutritious and easy to make that you can eat. You wouldn’t want to fill your car’s tank up with water instead of gas, would you?

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle all around, eating breakfast could be one way to get there. And for those who say they don’t have time? Make time. Wake-up 15 minutes earlier, prep the night or week before, or find healthy breakfasts on the go (this does not mean Starbucks or fast food…if you have time to stop in for a McMuffin you have time to make a healthy meal at home). There are so many different ways to prep your meal before the morning of. Try overnight oats, freezer breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches, smoothie packs, etc…the list goes on and on. Remember breakfast is the “king”, the most important meal, the key start to your day. So find and make a way to eat breakfast every morning–your future, and current, self will thank you!

What are your thoughts? Do you make the time

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