There are many times during the day dedicated to eating food. Dinner and lunch are some of the most known times set for food consumption. There are also many others such as brunch, afternoon tea, midnight snacks, and morning tea (just to list a few). Breakfast is also one of those times designated to eat food and is considered to be the most important. However, a lot of people seem to substitute eating breakfast with something like drinking coffee or tea or simply not eating at all. This is primarily due to a lack of time during our morning schedules with work and school to prepare for.
What actually is breakfast?
Breakfast is the meal you eat right after you wake up in the morning. It is, as the name implies, a meal that “breaks” the overnight “fast”. It replenishes your glucose supply to help you feel more energised and alert, as well as supplying other vital nutrients for good health. Breakfast should account for one-third of your daily calories, and a variety of foods should be included.
Carbohydrates, such as wholegrain cereal or toast, are a good source of energy and fibre, making them a good breakfast choice. Breakfast, though, does not have to be only a bowl of cereal. You may also incorporate a broader range of foods. Protein-rich foods, such as eggs or baked beans, can help stave off hunger pangs. Breakfast is also a perfect time to get some extra calcium, so include some yoghurt, milk, or cheese in your breakfast. Similarly, while vegetables aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to breakfast, cooked tomatoes, spinach, or mushrooms will help you meet your daily vegetable goal of five serves.
5 Benefits of Breakfast
Helps your body’s health
People who consume breakfast have healthier diets, improved eating habits, and are less likely to be hungry for snacks during the day. Children who do not eat a nutritious breakfast are more likely to make poor food decisions during the day. Those who eat breakfast on a daily basis have a lower risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes than those who do not. There is also some evidence that people who skip breakfast are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
People who miss breakfast are more likely to snack in the afternoon or mid-morning. This can be a concern if the snacks are high in fat and salt but low in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Some people become drowsy without the extra energy that breakfast can provide, and they turn to high-energy foods and beverages to get them through the day.
Aids in weight control
Many people who eat breakfast on a daily basis are less likely to be overweight or obese. The reason for this is still being investigated. Breakfast is thought to help you regulate your appetite by preventing significant increases in your blood glucose levels. Breakfast often fills you up until you get hungry, so you’re less likely to have snacks later.
In simpler terms, people who eat a nutritious breakfast fill themselves up until their next major meal and reduce the chances of them snacking unhealthily once they become hungry. This in turn assures that they do not gain weight or become unhealthy due to eating high fat and high sugar snacks.
Boosts your brainpower
If you don’t eat breakfast, you can feel slow and find it difficult to concentrate. This is because the brain lacks the energy it requires to function. According to studies, skipping breakfast has an effect on your mental performance, including your focus, concentration, and memory. This can make certain things feel more difficult than they would otherwise.
When opposed to those who miss breakfast, children and adolescents who eat breakfast on a regular basis do better academically. They also have a stronger sense of connection with their teachers and other adults at school, which contributes to improved health and academic performance.
Gives you energy in the morning
The liver breaks down glycogen and releases it into your bloodstream as glucose during periods of fasting. This is in order to maintain your blood sugar levels at a steady level. This is particularly essential for your brain, which runs on glucose almost entirely.
Your glycogen reserves are poor in the morning after going without food for up to 12 hours (while asleep overnight). When your glycogen reserves are depleted, your body begins to break down fatty acids to generate the energy it needs. Fatty acids are only partly oxidised in the absence of carbohydrate, which can lower energy levels.
Breakfast increases your energy levels and replenishes your glycogen reserves, allowing you to keep your metabolism going during the day.
Provides you with important nutrients
Breakfast foods are high in folate, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and fibre, among other nutrients. Breakfast accounts for a large portion of your overall nutrient intake for the day. People who eat breakfast are more likely to fulfil their daily vitamin and mineral requirements than those who do not.
The fibre in popular breakfast foods will help you meet your recommended fibre intake. It not only nourishes the digestive system but also aids in cholesterol reduction. The protein gained from breakfast keeps you fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating.
Is Breakfast More Important than lunch and dinner?
As a meal on its own, breakfast is no more important than lunch or dinner according to dieticians.
They are all important meals to have during the day. This is because they ensure you meet your daily intake of nutrients, keep you full, and help control your weight. Breakfast however is more disadvantageous to skip than lunch or dinner due to the reasons listed above. So you should never skip eating breakfast.
In the end, we can see how important it is to have breakfast every day. From helping to keep you healthy, to giving you energy for the day, it is easy to see how people view it as “the most important meal of the day”. Even though this is the case, lunch and dinner should not be neglected as they are still important meals to have.