“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” “you are what you eat” and “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” are just some of a few common health sayings we may have heard in the course of our lives. They may not be correct, but there is often a foundation. An apple a day may not keep away your doctor, but increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is always a great option. I wouldn’t say breakfast is the only important meal, but it is an excellent way to assist your body in being successful physically and mentally.
Eating a healthy breakfast each morning can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort. Studies show that children and adults who eat breakfast concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have increased muscle coordination. With an estimated 30% of Americans bypassing breakfast each morning, many of us are not meeting our nutrient needs and fueling our bodies properly.
You would not begin a road trip on an empty tank of gas, and we should not begin our day with our bodies running on E either. Even though many people may say that they feel great without breakfast or do not have an appetite in the morning, the body is still entering a state of fasting. We normally have an 8-12 hour fasting period between last night’s dinner and breakfast. Skipping breakfast prolongs the fasting period and keeps the brain and body from getting the nutrients it needs. Without meeting nutrient needs the body does not function as well as it could. If our brains do not receive essential fuel for an extended period, such as when we are fasting, it influences our brain function. Often resulting in concentration challenges.
Eating breakfast for some can be an uphill battle; common reasons to skip breakfast are lacking of time, not liking breakfast foods, and desire to lose weight. However, those that consistently eat breakfast manage their weight better than those who skip. Forgoing your morning meal increases your likely-hood of overindulging at the next meal sometimes resulting in excess calorie intake or unhealthy eating habits. Here are a couple of tips by John Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health for fitting breakfast into your busy schedule and fueling your body for success:
- Get up just 15 minutes earlier. An extra 15 minutes should be sufficient time to make a healthy breakfast or grab something on the go.
- Add a fruit juice or milk to your coffee time in the morning for additional calories and nutrients.
- Save time in the morning by preparing simple breakfast items the night before.
- Make healthy choices from different food groups to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients.
- If you are eating on the go, choose fresh fruits, like apples or healthy granola bars that provide whole grain, dairy and fruit in it for your morning commute.
- Bake healthy based goods like muffins with whole grain and fruit for a quick and easy breakfast.
Each day we should strive to put our best foot forward and eating breakfast is a part of that. It also helps to provide the energy and brainpower our bodies need to perform. Make a healthy choice by refueling your body every morning for success.