As you stare off into space at your work desk, you may wonder why you can't focus on a darn thing. The fact that you started your day off with just two sips of coffee may be the reason. After a night of fasting, your brain needs a fresh supply of glucose (blood sugar) for fuel. Without it, you'll have trouble processing new information, have issues with physical understanding, and won't remember much.
Your morning meal is fortified with nutrients that your body needs to function healthily each day. Nutrients like folate, iron, B vitamin, fiber, and other essentials are only gained through food, and while the body can always use its stored recesses to make it to the next meal, that initial burst of essentials is never provided without eating breakfast.
Making sure to get breakfast in your system does more than keep you awake — it promotes a healthy heart by preventing diabetes and lowering blood pressure. Those who skip breakfast tend to have higher cholesterol levels, a major risk factor for heart disease. Breakfast eaters tend to get less fat and more fiber in their diets, which leads to less overeating and fewer unhealthy snacks between meals.
Instead of loading up on a heavy dinner, start your day off with a grand meal at breakfast time. Doing so may help prevent metabolic syndrome disorders like obesity and insulin resistance. A study in the International Journal of Obesity examined the type of foods and specific timing of consumption that resulted in metabolic syndrome characteristics in mice. Mice that were fed a meal higher in fat after waking had normal metabolic profiles, while mice that ate more carbohydrates in the morning and consumed a high-fat meal at the end of the day showed increased weight gain and other markers of metabolic syndromes. Researchers found that the time of fat intake matters; when eating fat early, metabolism worked efficiently and affected the animals’ response to different types of food later in the day.
Even though skipping breakfast is quite common, it is a form of disordered eating. Breakfast literally means breaking the fast, and is necessary in order to jump-start your body. An Australian study found that 13-year-old girls who did not eat breakfast were on average more dissatisfied with their body shape and had undergone more diet regimens then those who broke the fast with regular morning meals. Since skipping breakfast is often about skipping a meal for weight control purposes, it's is a disorderly way of eating.
To fight the common wintertime colds and flus, you need to sit down and eat your breakfast. A study in the Netherlands showed that eating a substantial breakfast boosts your body's gamma-interferon, a natural antiviral that directly activates immune cells. Skipping breakfast caused a 17 percent drop in gamma-interferon.
Eggs, the incredible and popular breakfast food, do way more than fill you up. No matter how they are prepped, eggs are fantastic for your skin. Lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant found in eggs, helps to preserve the skin's elasticity and protects skin cells from free radical damage. Just one egg a day can boost your lutein levels by 26 percent. There are plenty of other breakfast foods that will do the job as well, like oatmeal, walnut pancakes, and breakfast smoothies.
While eating breakfast alone will not help you magically shed the pounds, it may help your emotional relationship with food (and that invariably affects your weight). Prolonged fasting can increase your body's insulin response, which increases fat storage and weight gain. Breakfast also helps to prevent overeating and attempts to sate desperate hunger with quick fixes like doughnuts and vending-machine snacks.
A balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber is the key to any healthy breakfast, and eating foods with these components will increase your energy levels. Breakfast replenishes your glycogen stores, which supply muscles with immediate energy. Breakfast was found to supply around 25 percent of people's daily energy expenditure, thus leading to a high-functioning day.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a healthy breakfast may keep the reaper at bay, too. Studies show that people who lived to be 100 years old were consistent breakfast eaters, or consumed breakfast more often than non-breakfast eaters. Also, those who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to develop fatal habits like smoking and excessive drinking. And thanks to all of the benefits of breakfast, the body has an increased chance of warding off disease.