A balanced breakfast makes for a better morning, and it plays an important role in the overall quality of your diet and your day. Eating a healthy morning meal helps your body function at its best, both physically and mentally. To better understand the positive benefits a healthy breakfast has on your body in the morning, you also need to consider the consequences of skipping breakfast.
In addition to providing energy to fuel your morning activities, eating a balanced breakfast helps you get enough fiber in your diet, manages your weight and restores blood sugar levels to normal after an overnight fast. Optimally, your breakfast should include a lean protein source, such as skim milk or yogurt, a complex carbohydrate, and a fruit. Whole grain ready-to-eat cereal, oatmeal, a bran muffin or whole wheat bread make healthy carb choices.
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast makes it easier to concentrate at work or school throughout the morning and may make you more productive than breakfast skippers. When your mind is clear, you're better able to deal with problems and focus on your activities. If you eat in the morning, you're also more likely to take in enough vitamins and minerals throughout the day. Even if you start strong without breakfast, by mid-morning the lack of energy can affect your intellectual and physical performance.
Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
After going several hours without eating during the night, your body needs fuel for immediate energy and to replenish low glycogen stores. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast helps you regulate your blood sugar levels and prepares yourself for an active day. As a result, you have more energy for exercise and routine morning activities. If you don't eat breakfast, on the other hand, you may experience headaches, confusion, fatigue and weakness associated with low blood sugar levels. Breakfast eaters also tend to eat less fat throughout the day, which generally means lower cholesterol and a decreased risk for heart disease.
Another positive effect of eating a healthy morning meal is the general feeling of satisfaction, both literally as you give your body what it needs, and psychologically, as you make choices that improve your health and well-being. Hunger can be distracting and cause you to overeat during later meal and snack times. If you start your day with a balanced breakfast, you're more likely to think less about food during your morning routine. You are also more likely to take in an appropriate number of calories during the day, and as a result, be able to better manage your weight over the long-term.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Brighten Up With Breakfast
- Mayo Clinic: Healthy Breakfast: Quick, Flexible Options to Grab at Home
- Mayo Clinic: Breakfast: Why Is it So Important to Weight Control?
- American Council on Exercise: Don't Skip Breakfast to Cut Calories
- "Arthritis Today": Benefits of Breakfast; Nancy Gottesman