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What’s the big deal about Breakfast?

It’s getting colder by the minute as we enter these next cold few months and as we cling on to more minutes in bed, breakfast can become less of a priority. BUT…taking those extra few minutes to eat breakfast can be beneficial to your health and make a difference to your day.  

Breakfast can range from a cup of warm coffee, to a full English but for some people breakfast is skipped entirely due to reasons of time, weight loss and money to name a few.  Breakfast can be made in minutes, or eaten on the go, but missing it is the worst option; there is a reason why breakfast is named the most important meal of the day.

But what are these reasons?!

1. Provides energy to the brain and body.

Breakfast inevitably provides the body with energy.  The last meal most people ate was dinner, around 10 hours ago. During this time, the body has gone into an overnight fast where by blood glucose levels, the brains main source of energy is depleted, therefore breakfast breaks this fast and allows the blood glucose levels to rise again. Therefore, when breakfast is skipped, the brain has no power, leaving you grumpy and irritable instead of alert and happy.

2. Full for longer

Foods that are rich in protein, fats and complex carbohydrates will leave our bodies feeling full for longer. Complex carbohydrates such as oats and whole-wheat bread are a great source of fibre and are slow releasers of energy.  Protein sources can also be a great breakfast choice as studies have shown that the intake of egg may have benefits to cognitive performance  as well as increased fullness.

3. Weight Control

Many people believe skipping breakfast will lead to weight loss, however studies have shown the opposite that breakfast skippers have higher rates of obesity.  This links to breakfast keeping you fuller for longer, when breakfast is skipped the body which already had low glucose levels due to the overnight fast is hungry. This leaves you starving mid-morning and reaching for snacks that are high in sugar and saturated fat from vending machines for example.  This consumption in hindsight is higher in calories and containing no nutrient dense foods that will bring any benefits to the body.

4. Source of protein, antioxidants.

The consumption of breakfast allows the body to obtain sources of protein, fats, complex carbohydrates as well as the micronutrients your body also needs. Oat-based breakfast cereals have been shown to be a great source of antioxidants and polyphenols to the diet, but of course there are other choices such as eggs and meats that when paired with a slice of wholegrain bread will provide you with proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and vitamins.

With this being said, not all types of breakfast foods contain the same macro-nutrients, therefore when choosing your breakfast, reach for foods that are energy dense and contain high protein or carbohydrates, such as porridge or eggs with brown toast opposed to sugar and fat rich foods such as doughnuts or pastries.

By all means balance is key and the occasional doughnut will do no harm, but keep in mind why you have breakfast; to start your day off right, keep concentration levels high and keep you full until lunch.

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