Did you skip breakfast this morning? If so, you’re not alone. As many as 30% of people head out the door in the morning with a “low tank of gas” in their bodies because they haven’t eaten. It’s a habit that gets worse with age and is more prevalent in females.
Eating that first meal of the day is essential for your health. Here are three great reasons why you should jump-start your day with breakfast.
1. Breakfast boosts your brainpower
When you eat breakfast, your memory and concentration improve. Studies show breakfast eaters have greater attention spans and perform better on spatial and cognitive tests.
On the flip side, breakfast skippers are more likely to get stomach pains and headaches caused by hunger, making learning and test-taking challenging.
2. Breakfast helps your nutritional status
In general, breakfast eaters are healthier. They are more likely to meet the nutritional recommendations for their age groups, especially for vitamins A, C, riboflavin, calcium, zinc, iron and fiber.
Chronic conditions like diabetes can also be significantly improved by maintaining a healthy diet, starting with a good breakfast. Diabetes is difficult to control if meals, especially breakfast, are skipped. (But always remember to consult your doctor before making changes to your diet, especially if you have a chronic condition.)
Breakfast shunners tend to have higher cholesterol levels, increasing their risk for heart disease. They also tend to snack more on high-fat, low-nutrition foods and are more likely to overeat at lunch because of excessive hunger.
3. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism
Some research suggests that regular breakfast consumption can help you lose weight and maintain that weight by revving up your metabolism to burn calories throughout the day.
It makes sense: if you skip a meal, your body doesn’t know when its next meal is coming. If your body doesn’t know when its next meal is coming, it will store everything it can as fat to use later.
Eating foods with protein and fiber in the morning also gets you off to a smart start by keeping your appetite in check for the rest of the day.
Making breakfast part of your daily routine
Eating breakfast can give you the energy boost you need to get things done and make more mindful healthy eating choices. But don’t just choose any breakfast.
A healthy high-protein breakfast includes foods from various food groups, such as whole grains, fruit and dairy, to ensure that you get a good mix of both nutrients and fiber. If eating breakfast is new to you, give your body a couple of weeks to adjust.
The key to fitting in a healthy breakfast is to plan ahead. So think twice before passing on breakfast tomorrow morning and take steps to stay healthy, active and fit.
Questions about food choices? Find a dietitian near you today.