Your mother likely always told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Well, she speaks the truth and it’s about time we started listening.
Although many find they are too busy to eat breakfast, there are a number of health benefits to a morning meal. Whether you’re not hungry or you choose a few minutes of snooze over two slices of toast, not eating breakfast could be doing more harm to our bodies.
Helps maintain weight
A breakfast balanced in fruits, whole grains, lean protein and vegetables can keep you sustained for hours. You feel fuller for longer and reduce the likelihood of eating junk food later.
Provides essential nutrients
A large chunk of our daily recommended levels of nutrients are found in breakfast foods. These include vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron and fibre. But don’t be fooled by many packaged breakfasts and juices which can be high in artificial sugar. Stick to whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein like eggs.
Promotes a physical lifestyle
Fuelling your body in the morning can help keep you energised and promote a healthier, more active lifestyle. In particular foods rich in protein, whole grains, fibre and good fast help provide long lasting energy. The more energy the have the more likely you are to exercise instead of nap.
Lowers your risk of Diabetes
Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and completed by Harvard research teams both show breakfast may help decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s though that this may be due to insulin levels. Eating breakfast after being in fasting mode can help stabilise insulin and prevent swings in hormones. Those who skip breakfast, even occasionally, can experience a drop and then spike in insulin after lunch. This may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Promotes a healthy heart
Regularly skipping breakfast can increase your risk of serious coronary heart disease by 27%. According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health breakfast skippers are generally hungrier later in the day and eat more food at night, this may lead to metabolic changes and heart disease.
“Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time,” said lead author Leah Cahill.
Best breakfast foods
The message is clear, breakfast is good for you. So what should you be eating for breakfast?
- Greek yogurt
- Fresh fruits
- Omelette (packed full of vegetables)
- Eggs on wholemeal toast
- Muesli (refined sugar free with plenty of nuts, dried fruits and chia seeds)