Breakfast or “breaking the fast” is an extremely important meal. Many people choose to skip this meal for a variety of reasons including: it saves time, people incorrectly think it is a good way to lose weight, or the person is not hungry because of a late dinner.
Breakfast is the first chance the body has to refuel glucose levels from fasting over the night. Glucose is essential for healthy brain/central nervous system function, is a main energy source for the body, and fuels the muscles for physical activity. Breakfast helps to regulate a person’s appetite for the day which leads to less caloric intake for the day.
A healthy breakfast is high in protein, fiber and antioxidants and low in fat. Protein helps with maintaining appetite control and stabilizes blood sugar. High fiber helps with energy, decreases cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and helps to maintain insulin production (less insulin production means less hunger and less inflammation.) Antioxidants decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
The effects of a healthy breakfast include:
- increased cognitive abilities,
- increased attention span,
- increased concentration,
- increased memory,
- increased reasoning abilities,
- increased alertness,
- shorter reaction time,
- increased work productivity,
- increased energy,
- decreased irritability,
- decreased stress,
- decreased fatigue,
- decreases unhealthy weight gain.
Eating breakfast is important for everyone, and it is especially so for children and adolescents. Give the gift of health to your child or teen and make sure they have a healthy breakfast before taking on the day.