A well-balanced breakfast is the key to starting your day off right
Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — but why exactly is breakfast essential? Starting your day with a nutritious meal jumpstarts your metabolism, providing fuel to your body and brain. Besides nutritional value, breakfast also contributes to mental alertness and physical performance. Learn the benefits of having breakfast — along with a few tips for a well-balanced plate — to help you tackle the day.
Why breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Eating breakfast can help improve your overall health and well-being, as well as improve your performance at work or in school. Various studies have found starting your day with breakfast has several benefits:
- It encourages healthier eating: Those who eat breakfast are likely to consume more milk and less saturated fat than those who skip the meal. You’ll also be more likely to reach your daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables.
- Your blood sugar levels will be balanced: Breakfast helps your body break down glucose, or blood sugar, better.
Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism: You’ll burn calories throughout the day, which will help you avoid unnecessary weight gain.
- Your energy levels will increase: People who eat breakfast experience an increase in physical activity compared to those who skip it. Moving your body helps prevent weight gain and fatigue.
- Breakfast promotes heart health: Skipping breakfast can contribute to increased disease risk — not only high cholesterol but heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
- It stimulates the brain: Eating breakfast can stabilize your glucose levels and increase your ability to focus, reason and process information.
What happens when you skip breakfast? By skipping breakfast, you miss out on essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are important for a well-balanced diet. Additionally, people who skip breakfast are five times more likely to be obese than those who eat breakfast.
Tips for a healthy breakfast
Even if you decide to eat breakfast, one question still remains: what should you eat? You might think a donut and coffee will do the trick, but experts agree high-sugar meals do not provide the same benefits as a well-balanced plate.
Keep in mind that a good morning meal should include protein, whole grains, healthy fat and a fruit or vegetable. If you are wondering what you should eat for breakfast, here are a few suggestions:
- Greek yogurt with nuts
- Blueberries and whole-grain cereal
- Avocado toast with fruit on the side
- Scrambled eggs with vegetables
- High-fiber toast with peanut butter
So when should you eat the most important meal of the day? While the exact time will vary based on each individual’s needs and schedule, a good rule of thumb is to eat within an hour of waking up.
Talk with physicians at your nearby Valleywise Community Health Center to learn more about why breakfast is important or call 1 (833) VLLYWSE to schedule an appointment.