“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, or so the saying goes. For years scientists and specialists have debated how much truth there actually is in this particular mantra, and there is a wide variety of opinions out there. Some claim that they seem to function just fine without ever eating breakfast, and there are even certain diets out there that suggest skipping breakfast altogether.
So while even experts disagree on this, I want to share some facts about breakfast that I’ve come across in the past, as well as some of my own personal experience that shows that skipping breakfast is really not a good idea. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Higher risk of heart disease
One of the biggest reasons why you should really never skip breakfast is the fact that it can potentially contribute to heart problems. A recent study conducted by the American Heart Association brought to light some pretty disturbing facts regarding this issue.
During the study, researchers examined and analyzed a substantial amount of questionnaire and medical data about men aged from 45 to 82, and from the data they concluded that those in this age group who skipped breakfast were at a 27 percent higher risk of heart disease, compared to those who ate their breakfast regularly. So, breakfast is really something that you should incorporate into your everyday routine, if you want to keep a healthy heart. It’s really a small price to pay for good cardiovascular health.
If you tend to feel groggy and tired during the first few hours of the morning to the point that you’re simply unproductive, it could be due to the fact that you didn’t have breakfast that morning. Think about it this way; while you sleep, your body still consumes energy (albeit less than when you’re awake) because all your bodily processes that require energy are still happening – you’re breathing, digesting food, your heart is still pumping blood into your cardiovascular system, and so on.
By the time you wake up, you’ll likely not have eaten anything in the last 8 to 10 hours, and all the food that you had yesterday has long since been digested. Therefore, your body is ready for more and needs more nutrients from which it can get the energy you need to get yourself up and about and functioning properly. If you deny it this energy, you’re going to feel like you didn’t get enough sleep, and therefore have to fill up on unhealthy caffeinated drinks, which is never a good idea.
Impaired brain activity
Your brain takes up only 2% of your bodyweight, but it takes up a whopping 20% of your total energy, and that energy needs to be replenished when it’s depleted. Therefore, just like your body, your mind can also suffer from malnutrition and this can lead to decreased productivity, especially if you haven’t gotten enough sleep the previous night.
Furthermore, there are a million electrical and chemical reactions going on in the brain every second, and these reactions require certain nutrients that you have to get from food. Primarily, the brain requires glucose, which is the simplest and most commonly used form of energy that your body utilizes on a regular basis. Without getting fresh glucose from a healthy, balanced breakfast, your brain will be forced to improvise and break down proteins and fats in order to get glucose, which is not a very efficient process and can lead to impaired cognitive function.
This post is contributed by Theresa Brawner, a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.