With the busyness of life in the morning, it can be hard to have time to stop and make yourself something nutritious for breakfast. In the world of breakfast bars and sugary cereal, it can be hard to find good options for yourself or your family for breakfast. Whether you are a student running out the door to class or a parent trying to just get your children fed in the morning, breakfast is without a doubt, the most important meal of the day.
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING?
- Weight Control: Studies have shown that prolonged fasting associated with skipping breakfast can increase the body’s insulin response which increases fat storage and weight gain. Eating breakfast in the morning boosts your metabolism in the morning and reduces hunger later in the day which will make it easier to avoid overeating. The rule of thumb for maintaining weight or steady weight loss is eating 5-6 nutritious small meals throughout the day rather than eating 2-3 large meals.
- Increased Energy: Consuming a healthy breakfast in the morning refuels your body by replenishing the glycogen storage that supplies your muscles with immediate energy throughout the day. Routinely skipping breakfast is associated with decreased physical activity which also affects weight control.
- Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels: Eating breakfast every morning can help lower LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol. When you skip breakfast, you are creating a chain reaction within your body: At the beginning, you slow down your metabolism which means fat is stored in your body longer. Then you have a higher tendency to overeat at your next meal because you are overly hungry from skipping breakfast which can cause weight gain and an increase in LDL cholesterol levels.
What are some good options for breakfast foods? Breakfast can be anything you like it to be if the choices are healthy, portioned and include a good balance. Three foods with significant value in nutrition are eggs, whole grains, and berries.
Eggs: These may be one of the best ways to get your morning protein. While eggs are not always associated with weight loss, they contain some of the highest-quality protein and are also one of the few, significant sources of vitamin D, which is important for absorbing calcium for stronger bones. In a study presented at
the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting, researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center compared weight loss in women who ate either two eggs or a bagel for breakfast. The two breakfast meals were identical in calories and volume. Compared to the women who ate bagels, overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast five times per week for eight weeks as part of reduced calorie, low-fat diet, lost 65% more weight, reduced their weight circumference by 83% and reported higher energy levels.
Whole grains: This super-food is a great source of fiber, which is essential for a healthy heart and digestive tract, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Low in fat and abundant in vitamins and minerals, grains are an essential part of a healthy diet. The most beneficial grains are the whole grains, which should make up at least half of the grains you eat, recommends the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A good whole grain option for breakfast is whole grain oatmeal.
Although it might take a few extra minutes in the morning to prepare a nutritious breakfast it will be worth it in the long run. By fueling your body with healthy foods in the morning you will maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, lower bad cholesterol levels and provide your body with many beneficial vitamins and minerals to better the functions of your body throughout the day.