Eating breakfast is about looking after our diet to protect our health, prevent illnesses and satisfy ourselves. Many people miss breakfast, using any of the following excuses for not making it part of their morning routine: “I don’t have time”, “I’ll eat something later”, “I can’t even look at food so early in the morning”, “I want to lose weight”. Anybody that has ever uttered any of these excuses, still hasn’t understood just how important breakfast is for keeping healthy.
We all know that missing the first meal of the day doesn’t mean that you’re going to instantly pass out because the body uses up nutrient reserves as an energy source. However, it can lead to metabolic changes that can hinder the body’s normal functioning. Those hoping to lose weight by skipping breakfast are wrong because it is proven that when you miss a meal it makes you hungrier for the next meal, causing you to devour anything you find, without taking into account your diet. In fact, none of the excuses are valid.
What does breakfast do for us?
In the past decade, the first meal of the day has been proven to be the healthiest way to start the day. Breakfast, especially if it is low in fat and rich in carbohydrates, enhances children’s, teenagers’ and adults’ mental performance.
Any glucose that we eat enters into our system and helps with brain function, as well as other actions. We obtain it from sucrose, more commonly known as table sugar, or carbohydrate metabolization.
If we don’t eat a hearty breakfast, we are more prone to feeling tired and lacking energy mid-morning and getting an urge to eat something sweet or fatty. These whims usually add calories and grams of fat to our diet without providing us with beneficial nutrients. We put on weight without really nourishing ourselves. If we eat a good breakfast, we’re reducing the risk of hunger pangs. This helps make sure we don’t sabotage our healthy eating plans.
Several American studies have proven that children who don’t eat breakfast do not receive the same results as those who do. Although these studies examined children’s behaviour, the results can be applied to adults too. Breakfast gives us energy when we most need it. It gives us useful nutrients so that we can complete physical and intellectual activities throughout the day. Our mind doesn’t work properly if it doesn’t have the nutrients it needs, and our productivity reduces.
By skipping breakfast or not eating correctly, we are making our metabolism slower, because our body is tricked into believing that it has to save calories for the rest of the day.
A nutritious breakfast must include all of the food groups, and like all of our meals, most of the calories should come from complex carbohydrates, which include wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereals, fruit and seeds.
Fruit is recommended because it transports valuable nutrients, like vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, iron, fructose and fibre.
Cereals (wheat, brown rice, rolled oats, corn, rye, barley, millet and muesli) are a high-energy food source, basically made up of carbohydrates, the composition of which includes most of the essential amino acids. They also contain fibre, minerals and vitamins that help cover our nutritional needs.
You can also include some protein in your breakfast. This group includes eggs, milk, cheese, meat and soy derivatives. If you are trying to lose weight, you should try not to include a lot of fat in this group, so we recommend opting for low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and meat. Protein is very important because it makes us feel fuller for several hours.
A good breakfast could be:
- One yoghurt or low-fat dairy or soy product.
- Bran or wholemeal bread with olive oil or wholegrain cereals.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice or a piece of fruit.
Don’t forget: A good breakfast is the start to a good day with lots of energy. It’s also at the start of the day that we feed our body with beneficial nutrients and keep ourselves healthy and fit.
If we wake up in a rush, without making time for breakfast, our bodies will feel worse and we will pay for it in the long run. If we don’t look after ourselves, we’ll get bad results and end up with poor health, but if we look after ourselves, we’re more likely to enjoy good health.