We see and hear things all the time that tell us we should be eating breakfast. As we naturally fast when we’re asleep, breakfast breaks that period as it’s the first thing we consume after a night’s rest.
As kids, our parents made sure we had breakfast so we’d grow up to be big and strong… This is only somewhat true. However, are we any more knowledgeable about the benefits of eating breakfast now we’re adults?
Lots of people state that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what are the benefits of eating breakfast?
Well, let’s find out!
Is breakfast important?
Our parents encouraged us to eat breakfast in the morning for several reasons.
We’ve all heard the classics such as ‘carrots improve your night vision’, and as children, we never thought about it or questioned why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Our caregivers may not have necessarily been aware of the benefits, they were just happy we ate it.
Now we’re in adulthood and don’t have our parents to supply all our meals, we very often skip breakfast because of a desire to lose weight, lack of time, through inconvenience or that we choose to chow down a snack on the way to work.
I’m not talking about scoffing candy when I say this, but I am here to tell you why it is important to eat breakfast.
Why is breakfast so important?
Intermittent fasting is a popular choice for many dieters wanting to shed the pounds. However, it seems to be forgotten that we all fast naturally overnight. Now, most of us will have dinner around 7pm, meaning 12 hours can go by before we eat again.
And this is just for the early risers!
But this still begs the question, what are the benefits of eating breakfast? Why is eating breakfast so important?
Looking after your health
Firstly, does breakfast have an impact on your health? Yes, of course it does.
Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast reduce their risk of developing heart disease. It also gives you the vital nutrients and minerals that your body needs.
According to research, those early birds who get up and leave the house without food are increasing their risk of heart disease by a massive 27%, and that’s not the end of it. Further investigations show that those that skip breakfast have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
So instead of worrying about this, make time in your morning to get all the benefits of breakfast such as increased focus and energy, as well as soaking up all the important nutrients too.
There are many reasons as to why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One of these is, of course, energy. Glucose is our body’s energy source, this comes from the breaking down of carbs, but they aren’t all bad for you.
Foods that contain fat aren’t considered the same either. But hang on, before you grab that bag of donuts, it’s crucial to know the benefits of eating breakfast, a healthy one.
Naturally, our bodies store energy as fat, but some glucose gets stored there too as glycogen, mainly in your muscles and liver. This explains why, when we want to lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories and burn more. Doing this then kicks our bodies to turn to these fat stores for energy.
So when you choose to fast (basically not eating), like when we’re asleep, the liver breaks down the glycogen and releases it into the bloodstream as glucose. This is what keeps your blood sugars at a steady level.
Our glycogen stores are relatively low when we wake up, due to not eating for 10 hours or more.
If you find yourself questioning what our parents have been going on and on about for so long and still wonder, why is breakfast so important? It’s because it’s all about energy.
Now, we know having a cup of coffee and skipping breakfast sounds convenient and tempting. But a huge benefit of breakfast is that it is a steady source of energy. When you choose a filling and balanced meal – like porridge oats, they slowly release energy to keep you going and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Monitor your weight
Research has shown that missing breakfast is commonly associated with being overweight and obese. Whilst there is always room for more study into the benefits of eating breakfast for weight control, some research resulted in the following:
- Breakfast foods that fill us up and get us ready for the day help to stop those unhealthy cravings and make us less likely to snack.
- This first meal of the day helps us to maintain steady blood sugar levels, preventing huge peaks that may lead to snacking on foods at volumes you shouldn’t be.
Although, to stay in control of their weight goals, some people believe that not eating until lunch is the best way.
Vital nutrients and vitamins
As a kid, our Moms would always tell us that if we didn’t eat our fruit and vegetables that we wouldn’t grow up to be big and strong. It was the same with breakfast too.
Looking back, I completely get it, and now see how important breakfast is, not only to keep us going and give us the boost we need, but for the health benefits provided.
Depending on your choice of breakfast, many foods are rich in the things we need for our bodies to function, maintain a healthy lifestyle and repair ourselves. Loads of breakfast foods are high in fiber, vitamin B, calcium, iron and folate, giving us those essential nutrients.
If you’re someone who always skips breakfast, you’re likely missing out on vital nutrients and not reaching the recommended daily intake. Whether you don’t feel hungry in the morning and have enough energy to get to lunch, you’re still skipping breakfast and losing out on those vital vitamins and minerals.
There are so many benefits to eating breakfast in the morning, this is just one!
Benefits of eating breakfast: making better food choices
Generally, those who eat breakfast typically have better eating habits, a healthier diet and are less likely to fill a cart with snacks on their break from work.
When we were kids, getting set up for the day with a healthy breakfast has shown to motivate eating healthily long term, way into adulthood. Alternatively, those who skipped breakfast in the morning are more likely to grab quick meals or scoff snacks packed with sugars.
By this point, it really is no surprise that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, seeing as there is so much to attain from it! Eating breakfast aids us to steer clear of snacking, keeping us focused and opt for foods that contain important vitamins and are high in fiber – compared to unhealthy, easy snacks that are high in sugar, fat and sometimes salt too.
Breakfast enhances focus
As much as it’s good that having something to eat in the morning helps put a spring in your step, another benefit to eating breakfast is its ability to increase brainpower.
When you opt for something unhealthy or skip eating breakfast altogether, it’s easy to feel unmotivated and lethargic. This takes us back to the point I made earlier on glucose levels. As our stores are low from our natural overnight fast, you’re depriving your brain of essential energy (glucose) by skipping breakfast.
Research has shown that there are many benefits of eating breakfast, including increased productivity and boosted brainpower.
If you’re sitting at your desk struggling to stay awake or staring into space unable to concentrate, it sounds like it’s time to work breakfast into that morning routine!
Perks of eating a healthy breakfast
Waking up and reaching for something easy to eat in the morning isn’t quite the same as consuming a healthy breakfast. Of course, breakfast is a good way to fuel yourself for the day, however, convenient foods that are full of sugar can have less of an impact than you may realise.
Now I know that lots of us love sugary cereals and they’re still a favorite across the US. Saying that, pouring a bowl of Fruit Loops may feel like the right thing to do, but it won’t supply us with the same vital nutrients that a healthy breakfast would.
So, alternatively, why not switch up those sugar-filled cereals for some oatmeal? It’s full of nutrients and can help in lowering your cholesterol and protecting LDL (good cholesterol).
Also Read: How to boost your mood with food
Also, whole oats are jam-packed with antioxidants, meaning you’re not only feeling boosted to take on the day, you’ll feel full for longer too … Wave goodbye to snacking!
Best breakfast foods
Now we already know that scoffing those sweet cereals won’t fill you up as much as you think, and more to the point, they are lacking in the important nutrients we need.
Alternatively, try giving the suggestions below. They’re easy to put together and totally affordable:
- Wholegrain cereals – untoasted muesli and bran cereals
Add natural yogurt or low fat milk
- Wholewheat toast with boiled or poached eggs
- Fresh fruit and nuts
- Oatmeal – Go for plain oats and use fruit to create sweetness. Steer clear of flavored oats as they tend to contain preservatives and added sugars
- Natural yogurt – add fresh fruit for natural sweetness
- Smoothies – Perfect if you haven’t got the time to sit for breakfast and need something on the go
Too busy in the mornings?
It goes without saying that we would all rather spend the extra time in bed or simply don’t feel we have time for a healthy breakfast in the morning.
Thankfully, lots of healthy breakfast foods like smoothies, muffins and overnight oats, can be prepared the night before.
If you find that you’re short on time, why not keep some breakfast foods at work (if possible) to eat when you get there. Of course, we would always suggest setting an alarm and getting up a bit earlier to be able to eat breakfast at home.
So instead of scrolling through social media, laying in bed, get your ass up and get yourself into the kitchen and get your healthy breakfast.
The impact of skipping breakfast
As we’ve already covered the benefits of breakfast and why it is important to eat breakfast, let’s discuss what happens when you decide to skip it.
You’d think it is just the opposite of the benefits of eating breakfast… Let’s find out!
Research has shown that skipping breakfast in the morning increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as many other health problems. Generally, it is older women that are the most likely to skip breakfast, as well as:
- Those with low activity levels
- People who don’t get enough sleep
- Those that are overweight or underweight
- People with a poor diet
The question is, why are there so many people not eating breakfast? And how important is breakfast to your health really? Let’s look into it some more!
It seems there are several reasons why people choose to not have breakfast.
Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Lack of breakfast foods in the house
- Avoiding eating to lose weight
- The boredom of having the same breakfasts
- Cultural reasons
- The costs of buying breakfast
- Too tired to make breakfast
- Not feeling hungry in the morning
- Opting to spend the extra time in bed or not having time in the morning
Whilst we have gone over the many benefits of breakfast and discussed why is it important to eat breakfast, if you do skip it, you’ll need to get the nutrients you’ve missed out on. Best get cramming those vitamins into your other meals throughout the day.
If breakfast doesn’t appeal to you
Lots of us say that we simply aren’t the type of person to eat breakfast. Nevertheless, there tends to be a reason why some people prefer to not have the many benefits of breakfast. Seems crazy now doesn’t it?
- It can be easy to feel bored with breakfast foods. When this happens and you have some time, give some new recipes a try and get inspired!
- If you’re really not hungry in the morning, try having breakfast anyway, just a little later. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smoothie on the way to work or something once you get there, you have to find what best fits into your routine.
Ready to hit your goals?
Whether you’re someone that dashes out the door or has plenty of time to sit down in the morning, having a healthy, nutritious breakfast can benefit your body in many ways.
Sure, not all of us feel hungry enough to eat first thing! It could be that you need to eat earlier in the evening or mix up your breakfast to find the right food for you and your lifestyle! Either way, a healthy breakfast can help you stay on track for achieving your goals.
But if you need a little help, why not try PhenGold? Our powerful, natural formula increases your metabolism and suppresses your hunger, so you can focus on smashing your goals!