5 Reasons to Eat Breakfast
A recent survey found that 31 million people—about 1 in 10 Americans – skip breakfast every day. But there's no need to go all out with an over-the-top breakfast spread. All you need is a few quick and easy healthy choices to take full advantage of the benefits. If you're STILL not a breakfast believer, these 5 reasons will have you re-thinking your philosophy.
Wake up and give your body and quick boost of many much needed nutrients. Easy-to-prepare foods can give you a terrific nutritional bang for your buck. Milk and dairy products have you taking in 9 essential nutrients in one shot plus they can help you meet your recommended 3 servings of dairy for the day. Fruits are brimming with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant compounds that help prevent and fight disease). And starting the day off with whole grains can help meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendation to make half your daily grains whole.
A study presented at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans found that skipping breakfast can cause a person to seek out higher calorie foods later in the day. During the study, folks were shown photos of various foods (from pizza to veggies to chocolate) — some on the days they skipped breakfast while others were on days they were given a 750-calorie breakfast before viewing these images. On days they skipped breakfast, folks rated high-calorie foods (like pizza) more appealing as compared to those days they ate breakfast. In addition, folks ate 20% more at lunch on days they skipped breakfast folks compared to days when breakfast was eaten.
Another interesting statistic comes from the National Weight Loss Registry, where folks sign up and report their habits once they lost weight and kept it off for over 5 years. On average, folks signed up for the weight loss registry lost 66 pounds and kept it off for 5 ½ years. Seventy eight percent of these folks report eating breakfast every day.
Eggs made my list of 8 healthiest breakfast items and it's no secret why! These babies are packed with protein, vitamins A and D, and the antioxidant lutein known to help maintain healthy skin. Hard boil eggs and store in the fridge for a grab-and-go breakfast or cook up an easy over-easy or scrambled egg in minutes.
Without food in the morning, it can be tough to concentrate and you're more likely to be irritable and tired—this is true with both adults and kids. Numerous studies have found that kids who eat breakfast daily perform better at school. According to the Food Research and Action Center kids who eat breakfast can increase math and reading scores and improve memory and speed on cognitive tests compared to when they skip breakfast.
Your brain needs glucose to work efficiently. After going all night without food, it's important to "feed your brain" by eating a well-balanced breakfast. This can also help you avoid that mid-morning slump, which typically happens when you skip your morning meal.