We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why does it feel like such an inconvenience? I’ll be the first to admit that I would rather spend an extra 20 minutes in bed than fighting with my refrigerator and oven to produce something nutritious. But in the end, Mom was always right. Breakfast can make or break your day.
Besides just being a yummy meal, there are a bunch of health reasons for eating a breakfast of champions. Here are the top ten reasons from Lifespan, a non-profit health organization in Rhode Island.
1. Breakfast restores sugar levels after up to 12 hours of not eating.
2. It is extremely difficult to get all of your necessary daily nutrients without breakfast.
3. Adults who skip breakfast are less mentally and physically efficient for longer periods during the day.
4. People who eat breakfast are more successful at losing weight and sticking to a diet.
5. Athletes who skip breakfast train less effectively.
6. Eating breakfast can raise metabolism by as much as 10 percent.
7. People who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to rate their health as "excellent" or "good."
8. Missing breakfast increases your chance of heavy machinery and factory accidents.
9. Eating breakfast has been shown to increase concentration.
10. Eating a bigger meal in the morning and a smaller meal at night optimizes your daily energy levels.
So what should your breakfast include to be a breakfast of champions? Well, it should provide at least one quarter of the calories you need for the entire day. Most nutritionists will agree that breakfast should include the following:
- At least one serving of fiber
- At least one fruit and/or vegetable
- Milk or another source of calcium
- Protein, i.e., from meat, cheese, or eggs
If this sounds like a lot don’t be alarmed, it isn’t. Lifespan goes on to say that a bowl of cereal with fruit, a cereal bar with a glass of milk, or a pita pocket with ham and cheese all fill the bill, as do bigger, traditional breakfasts, like eggs, ham and juice or blueberry pancakes with bacon. And, yes, cold pizza (with a glass of milk) qualifies as a healthy breakfast alternative.
So in the end, just listen to your mom. Eat breakfast.
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *