Breakfast has many benefits that can pay huge dividends to your physical and mental health. By consuming a healthy meal each morning, you take the first step towards a productive day. Here are five things you need to know about breakfast and how they can improve your daily life.
1. You Should Take the Name Literally
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for many reasons, but the most important reason is in the name: it breaks your longest fast of the day. While most meals have three to five hours in between, breakfast often occurs eight hours or more after your last meal. Your body is hungry and begging for sustenance.
Your breakfast should have a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates regardless of your age or body composition. It should also have enough calories and fill your belly to get you through the morning. Here are some hearty breakfast foods that will give you enough fuel:
- Oatmeal: apple cinnamon and maple brown sugar are tasty flavors that even the pickiest eaters should enjoy.
- Whole wheat bread: whole wheat is a better choice than white bread because it has more vitamins and fiber.
- Fresh fruit: apples and bananas are flavorful and packed with carbohydrates.
- Peanut butter: this wonder food has a healthy dose of protein, fats, carbohydrates and calories to help you through the morning.
- Eggs: this is another high-protein option with other essential nutrients that you can cook in several different ways.
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews and other nuts provide a surprising amount of calories and protein
- Yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein, but it has an acquired taste. For something more flavorful, try a low-sugar fruit yogurt.
- Whole Milk: whole milk is the best choice for breakfast because it has more nutrients and calories than one or two percent milk.
Many families are content with a bowl of cereal, but you can do much better with your breakfast. Most cereals are packed with artificial sugars and only provide enough carbohydrates. The above alternatives have natural ingredients, making them easier on the environment and your stomach.
2. Breakfast Sets the Tone for the Day
Your choice of what to eat for breakfast will set the tone for the rest of your day’s eating. If you miss breakfast or don’t have a sustaining first meal, your entire eating schedule might get thrown off course, which could lead to poor eating habits like these:
- Constant snacking throughout the day
- Overcompensating with more food in later meals
- Eating late at night/before bed
Inconsistent eating habits will cause your energy levels to fluctuate, negatively affect your digestion and make it harder for you to fall asleep. It’s essential that you start the day right with a well-balanced breakfast.
3. Breakfast Provides Brainpower
Just as a good breakfast sets your body on the right track, it gives your mind some much-needed fuel to start the day. Our brains benefit from our most recent meal more than any muscle, which explains why the morning is often the most productive time for both children and adults. They feel fresh from a good night’s sleep and have a hearty meal in their bellies.
Breakfast spikes your glucose and levels out your blood sugar, which makes us more focused and helps us retain information. The result? Students who eat a complete breakfast tend to have better academic performances than those who do not. Breakfast tells your mind that it’s time to wake up and gives it the fuel to function properly.
4. Breakfast Can Fit Any Schedule
A common reason why people don’t consistently eat breakfast is that they don’t have enough time to have a meal in the morning. While the hours before school and work are certainly hectic at times, you can still fit breakfast somewhere into your schedule. Some of the foods mentioned earlier are portable and you can consume them quickly.
For example, a glass of whole milk and a banana can go down in a blink. You can prepare oatmeal or whole-wheat toast in just a few minutes. You can pack a cup of yogurt and nuts in your lunch box and eat them when you get to work.
If you find yourself frequently skipping breakfast, set aside just a ten-minute window in your morning schedule to eat something. Lack of time should never get in the way of your nutritional needs. People depend on you, so you need to take proper care of your body and mind.
5. You Need To Set the Example
Many children don’t like breakfast because they’re not hungry when they wake up, don’t like the food, or simply aren’t in the mood to eat that morning. Getting a child to eat a meal they don’t want is not easy, but you can help change their opinions by setting a good example.
If you take the time to eat a well-balanced breakfast each morning, your kids will notice. Given their curious nature, they should eventually do one of two things:
- They will ask why you eat strange food in the morning.
- They will try to prepare the food themselves.
In either case, you can educate them on the importance of breakfast and give them a memorable lesson in nutrition. Make them excited about breakfast, and you will never have to force them to eat in the morning again.
Start Your Day Right
Breakfast has many physical and mental benefits. Take full advantage of these benefits by eating a full breakfast with carbs, fats and protein each and every day. Encourage your children to do the same by setting the example. Your body and your family will thank you for it!