Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
You’ve probably heard this many times in your life. Is there truth to it? Yes, there is.
Now breakfast could be seen as a compound word that can be broken into two parts. These parts comprise ‘break’ and ‘fast.’ To fast means to go without food for some time. Breaking your fast means consuming food to end your period of no eating.
Breakfast is supposed to be in the morning, so it ends the fast your body undertakes when you sleep.
There are numerous health benefits from eating in the morning before you begin your day.
For varied reasons, people skip breakfast. Well, here is why you should not.
It gives you the energy to tackle your day
Lack of breakfast could lead to tiredness much later. The lack of calories means your body will have to use its reserves. Your body burns hundreds of calories every day through voluntary and involuntary actions. So it is essential to fill your calorie tank before you begin your day.
The same way you check fuel tanks and fill them before you use your car is the same way you should fill your stomach before you embark on your daily activities.
Failing to eat when you wake up will only make your body much slower and less productive as the day wears on.
However, the fact that you should eat in the morning to fuel yourself for the rest of the day doesn’t mean you can consume anything.
There are specific healthy meals that can still provide your body with enough energy to navigate the day.
Research published by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition reveals that eating breakfast low in carbohydrates and high in fiber makes you more energetic and active throughout the day. In addition, you can have some whole grains and healthy fats, which also equally help you stay active.
When your breakfast is rich in protein, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, your brain levels are kept high throughout the day.
If you’re a consumer of coffee in the early morning, you can maintain that habit as it helps you stay active. However, to help the coffee fully assimilate into your body, so you get access to the maximum energy quickly, you must accompany it with some protein.
It helps keep you in the best mood
Ever met a person who was grumpy and snobbish for no reason?
Chances are the person probably didn’t have breakfast. But, unfortunately, most people underestimate the impact of not having breakfast.
One area largely affected when you don’t eat in the morning is your emotional state. Without calories, your brain cells become less active, and as a result, you become duller and less tolerant of people.
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Physiology and Behaviour, eating breakfast is directly related to people’s moods. For example, 144 people were gathered for a test, and those who had breakfast cereal appeared to be calmer and in a better mood than those who didn’t have breakfast.
Breakfast, when eaten right, provides you with the necessary nutrients to keep you powered, so you stay in the right mood.
There’s this famous African saying: “A hungry man is an angry man.” Most times, someone who is hungry is at a tipping point and easily gets annoyed.
Moreover, more research shows that skipping breakfast and other meals allows your body to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone. Therefore, if you know you easily get stressed, it is advisable to ensure you eat well and have breakfast.
Reduces risk of heart attack
You probably didn’t know, but eating breakfast can help reduce the risk of contracting a heart attack.
Research shows that you increase your chances of heart-related diseases when you regularly miss breakfast. Not having breakfast consistently has also been linked to increased obesity, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
The science behind the research is that skipping breakfast leads to low sugar levels, which could affect the heart due to the level of stress in the long term.
When you eat in the morning, you reduce the temptation and need to have midmorning snacks, reducing your chances of obesity and type II diabetes.
Of course, this doesn’t mean eating a huge bowl of fufu in the morning for breakfast will still prevent obesity. You still need to make sure the food you are consuming is a balanced diet with various minerals and vitamins essential for the heart.
Eating healthy meals clears up your arteries and allows smooth blood flow, protecting your heart.
It helps keep good memory and concentration
Have you ever spent time looking for your phone when it’s just in your pocket? People underestimate the sharpness of your memory sometimes.
When your memory is sharp, you remember everything to the minute detail. But to get this sharpness, you must start your day with a healthy breakfast.
Even when you’re running late and need to be on the move, try your best to consume something little because it has been proven that breakfast helps improve your memory.
Usually, the nutrients in breakfast go a long way to improve the short-term and spatial memory of both young and older adults.
Therefore, focusing on eating balanced meals can help parents and kids perform better at work and school.
For children especially, eating breakfast with oatmeal improves short-term and spatial memories vastly, making them perform excellently in school.
Research also shows that eating breakfast consistently helps improve levels of concentration.
Studies conducted on young students prove those who had breakfast before school showed better concentration, attention, memory, and academic performance than those who didn’t.
The fact is the body solely relies on glucose for energy when asleep. Hence, there is a need to replace it immediately when you wake up and start engaging in more physical activity.
To get the optimal concentration level and good memory, include oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, and fruits in your breakfast. This allows you to access your full cognitive function throughout the day entirely.
It helps you lose weight
It might sound weird suggesting that eating breakfast makes you lose weight, but it does.
If you aim to lose weight, then eat breakfast.
From a psychological point of view, when you eat breakfast, you feel less hungry and won’t be tempted to snack and eat more.
When you eat healthily after you wake up, you motivate and stimulate your food choices during the day.
Research shows increased levels of overeating once people skip breakfast. This leads to your body consuming more calories than needed which becomes excess fat, gaining weight.
Also, eating well in the morning doesn’t just satisfy you and prevents you from overeating. It also helps you boost your metabolism, which is crucial for weight loss.
Once you speed up your metabolism, your body will naturally burn calories faster, making you lose weight.
Research by Havard on a number of men showed that people who consistently ate breakfast had more control of their weight and generally weighed less than those who barely or never ate breakfast when they were awake.
Therefore the key to your weight loss journey is having breakfast.
Gibney, Michael J et al. “Breakfast in Human Nutrition: The International Breakfast Research Initiative.” Nutrients vol. 10,5 559. 1 May. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10050559
Ferrer-Cascales, Rosario et al. “Eat or Skip breakfast? The Important Role of Breakfast Quality for Health-Related Quality of Life, Stress, and Depression in Spanish Adolescents.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 15,8 1781. 19 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijerph15081781
(PDF) Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?” ResearchGate, www.researchgate.net/publication/303951509_Is_breakfast_the_most_important_meal_of_the_day
Sievert K, Hussain S M, Page M J, Wang Y, Hughes H J, Malek M et al. Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials BMJ 2019; 364 :l42 doi:10.1136/bmj.l42