Perhaps a quick study into the word “Breakfast” would clarify things. Breakfast derives from two words: “Break” and “Fast,” which means to break a fast. When the body is not being fed, it means it is on fast.
The best meal of the day yet is still breakfast. Being the first meal of the day puts the body in the right frame for the day. It also plays a vital role in the body’s metabolism. Having breakfast before setting off for the day has been associated with higher concentration, high performance, increased productivity, and generally good results. People who eat a healthy breakfast have also been highly active in the morning and less irritated. They are alive all through the day. Missing breakfast can lead to irritability, loss of concentration, anger, and hasty. While there are folks who understand the importance of breakfast and would not skip it for anything, some see nothing special at breakfast. To them, breakfast being the most important meal of the day is overhyped. If you eat at any time you choose, you will do only fine.
One pilot study published in 2018, for example, found that intermittent fasting improves blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity and lowers blood pressure. Our blood sugar control is best early in the day. When we eat dinner late, we are most vulnerable because our blood sugar is the worst. There is more research to do, but I am confident you should not skip breakfast and have dinner late. Your body is designed to survive! And one of those survival skills is a hormone known as glucagon. This hormone, produced by your pancreas, signals to your liver to release glycogen. Glycogen is glucose stored in your liver (and your muscles) for those times of day when you are not eating. Your brain relies on a second-by-second delivery of glucose to function. When you skip breakfast, your pancreas inevitably produces glucagon to tell your liver to release glycogen, and it is then converted into glucose. In a non-diabetic, this would be accompanied by insulin from your pancreas.
Everyone should eat breakfast because:
- Eating breakfast helps cultivate healthy eating habits. When you deliberately pick your breakfast, you stay filled till late afternoons. You are not distracted or feel the urge to snack on junk. The reverse is the case for people who skip breakfast. Because their body wants to be replenished, they continuously have strange cravings. They most likely would indulge in snacks as to having a healthy meal in the morning.
- Breakfast keeps your mind sharp and focused. Since your body is being served, it has no reason not to stay focused. Research says people who have a healthy breakfast are better focused than those who are not. School pupils provide a reliable check for this discovery. Pupils and Students are more attentive in class when they have had their first meal of the day. The distracted ones are mostly those who have not had anything to eat all day. They might not even understand why they cannot stay focused.
- Breakfast keeps the worms out. We share our stomachs with worms. Though they are a healthy part of us, leave them hungry, and the effect is not palatable. When you skip breakfast, the stomach worms have nothing to partake. They take to having a little nib here and there in your stomach, leaving your stomach peppery. It is one of the reasons doctors say not to take gaseous drinks on an empty stomach.
- Breakfast keeps your weight in check. When you eat a healthy meal in the morning, you are indirectly looking after your body well. Several studies showed having a healthy breakfast helps in weight loss and body weight maintenance. If you have a protein-rich breakfast, you will not feel hungry for many hours. And, you will not be interested in having any junk foods or snacks between the meals. Protein-rich breakfast not only suppresses the appetite but also helps in the reduction of abdominal fat. Belly fat is the mother of all obesity-related diseases. The waistline becomes bulky with the increased consumption of high sugar and fatty snacks. A person who has had a healthy breakfast will not have the urge to eat sugary snacks and junk foods.
Making good breakfast choices
You might think that a muffin and a cup of coffee ought to do the trick, but experts advise being more careful about what you choose to start your day. Here are some suggestions for those on the go:
- High-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or soy or rice milk substitute
- Low-fat protein shake with fresh/frozen fruit
- High-fiber toast or bagel with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- Select protein bar and yogurt or a glass of milk
Breakfast should be light. Heavy breakfast makes you bulky and sluggish all day. While it is encouraged that you eat every morning before setting out, eating light is preferred. Breakfast should never be substantially weighty. A healthy breakfast is a well-balanced one. Having a balanced diet in a meal can be quite a chore. However, the idea of a balanced meal is to have the necessary nutrients, not in a meal but one’s daily intake. If you had a rich protein breakfast, then water it down with fruits (vitamins). For lunch, you can focus on getting carbohydrates and fats. It is good to have a good knowledge of a balanced diet and a balanced daily intake.
A balanced diet is a meal with all the necessary nutrients in the right proportion. Nutrients are vital to the growth and repair of body cells. We have macronutrients which the body needs in large quantities. These include Protein (legumes, dairy products), Fats (Fatty foods), and carbohydrates (Rice, cassava, yam). Micronutrients are nutrients needed by the body in small quantities. They include Vitamins, Mineral salt, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. A meal is said to be balanced if it has the nutrients in the right amount. For an easy fix, there are six major classes of food:
- Carbohydrate (Energy foods such as rice, cassava, yam flour, plantain, potato)
- Protein (Growth food such as milk, egg, beans, fish, wheat)
- Fats (Vegetable oil, groundnut oil, butter, nuts)
- Vitamins (Glow food such as fruits and vegetables)
- Mineral salt (Vegetables, salt, meat, fishbone)
- Water (water, drinks, juice)
Other nutrients include fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants. You do not need to take one of each food class to have a balanced meal. What you need is to take food from each category for the day. Eat rice with fish and a glass of fruit juice in the morning, and you already have a plate of three nutrients.
Breakfast helps start your day. When you eat well in the morning, your day is assured to turn out positively. Your body’s mechanism functions well, your brain is at its peak, and you have a satisfying feeling of wellness. Remember also that skipping breakfast opens you to feeding on junk and makes you add up, resulting in excess weight. Eating a healthy breakfast of essential nutrients can improve your overall health and well-being and help you do better in school or work. It is worth it to get up a few minutes earlier and throw together a quick breakfast. You will have the energy to start your day off right.