Why a Breakfast High in Complex Carbohydrates Is Important

Healthy breakfast
Close-up of a bowl of healthy cereal on a table next to fresh fruit. (Image: Mizerski_studios/iStock/Getty Images)

Eating breakfast is important as it provides your body with the fuel it needs to get through the day. By the time morning comes around, you haven't eaten for many hours. If you skip breakfast, you will be more likely to reach for unhealthy foods when you crash a few hours later, increasing your risk for gaining weight. Eating breakfast can also improve your ability to think quickly and keep you more alert during the morning, according to the Franklin Institute.

Components of a Healthy Breakfast

The ideal breakfast is a mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, fat and fruit. Aim to include at least three of the four food groups in your breakfast for a total of between 350 and 500 calories, as less than this may leave you feeling hungry before lunch; if you consume more than this amount, you might end up storing some of the extra calories as fat.

Importance of Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are the source of the glucose your brain needs for energy in the morning. Without enough fuel for your brain, you will have trouble remembering, thinking, concentrating and learning. You may even get a headache from low blood sugar, since carbohydrates are broken down to the type of sugars carried through the blood to fuel your body.

Good Breakfast Options

Any breakfast is better than not eating breakfast at all, but choosing a healthy breakfast can help you meet your daily requirements for nutrients. Consider peanut butter on toast and a banana, oatmeal with raisins and milk or toast and a vegetable omelet. Leftovers from dinner can also be an easy option.

Considerations

Preparing your breakfast the night before can make it easier to fit in breakfast if you have to rush out the door early in the morning. You can also purchase grab-and-go breakfast items at the grocery store and keep them handy for the days you don't have time to sit at the table and eat before you leave for work or school. Even some fast food breakfasts fit within the nutrition and calorie recommendations for breakfast.

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