The Most Important Meal
Are you rushed in the morning, do you oversleep, or just don't have time to eat breakfast this morning? You are not alone; but you just missed the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast is the ideal way to "kick-start" the body to run for the rest of the day giving it the vitamins and minerals it needs to properly function. Breakfast does just that; it breaks the fast from the evening before when the body has been without food for approximately 7-10 hours. The morning meal starts the body's metabolism, the process by which the body converts the fuel in food to energy. Breakfast is the prime time to refuel the body.
When the body does not have proper nutrition it does not function to its fullest capacity. People who do not eat breakfast have considerably less energy, have increased absence from school or work, and can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers have a tendency to eat more food than usual at the next meal and during the day or intake more high-calorie snacks to starve off hunger.
The benefits of eating the first meal of the day are linked to many health benefits. Research shows increased brainpower as far as concentration, lower blood cholesterol levels which are associated with reduced danger of heart disease, and actually better weight control when eating a healthy breakfast. By eating a healthy breakfast, more fiber and fruits are likely to be consumed that add to the nutritional value in getting the nutrients needed.
Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but especially important for children and adolescents. Consuming the right morning foods is important. Choosing foods rich in fiber, whole grains, calcium and protein while low in sugar are great choices. Cereal is a good choice for part of a breakfast. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are ideal ways to start getting the vitamins the body needs in the morning.
Some helpful tips in getting to eat breakfast would include:
- Getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning
- Plan breakfast ahead of time and set items out the night before
- Replace the morning cup of coffee with a glass of milk or orange juice
- Buy portable breakfast items such as fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars or granola
- Make sure 2-3 healthy food groups are chosen (grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy) and have them in the house
- Hard boil an egg the night before or have a whole-wheat English muffin with low-fat cheese ready for quick departure
Eating breakfast is a habit to get into on a daily basis. Your bodies will thank you and your overall attitude, stress level, and performance will improve. Breakfast does not have to be elaborate, just consume the healthy nutrients your body really needs.