What makes breakfast so important meal of the day?

importance of breakfast

It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner meal, many people follow 4+3=7 rule.

That means breakfast should be of 700 calories, lunch of around 400 calories and dinner of about 300 calories for working adult male.

You must have heard quote of the popular nutritionist Adelle Davis

“Eat breakfast like king, Lunch like prince and dinner like beggar”

That makes breakfast not only important but also heaviest meal of the day.

  • Is it that compulsory?
  • What if I miss breakfast on daily basis? Will it have any effect in long run?
  • What’s alternative if I can’t have a heavy breakfast?

We’ll look into all these kinds of queries that often strike in our mind.

What happens with our body when we wake up?

When we wake up, our body contains low blood sugar which is essential to make our muscles and brain work at their best.

Breakfast helps replenish it.

In the morning, our body is in the process of rejuvenation.  It prepares itself for elimination of waste from the body.

After using up all the energy from dinner our body awaits next batch of energy from breakfast. Body doesn’t store nutrition like protein for a longer time and our body needs timely replenishment of this.

What happens to your body when you miss breakfast?

  • Your blood sugar will start dropping which will affect your mood and response. Your energy levels will decrease as well as your cognitive function.

  • Acidity. Our body release acid in the stomach for digestion when we feel hungry. If this acid does not get food to process, it will cause acidity.

  • You will be missing out on glucose which will lead to a decrease in the functioning of the brain cells.

  • In long term if this becomes habit may leads to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

  • As per U.S. News and World Report eating breakfast stimulates saliva production and helps scrub your tongue of bacteria. Skipping breakfast will cause stinky bacteria continue to thrive in your mouth that may cause bad breath.

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Breakfast is ‘breaking the fast’ from sleep. It kick-starts metabolism activities in body, helped us in burning calories throughout the day.

Breakfast also gives the energy we need to execute task on daily basis and helps you focus at work or at school.

It is observed that kids who don’t take breakfast have a harder time focusing, and they become more tired in school. They may also be cranky or restless. Their mood impact their schoolwork too.

Kids who skip breakfast are more likely to eat junk food during the day and that often leads to overweight. One study showed that teenagers who ate breakfast every day had a lower body mass index (BMI)

Now a day the food companies and multinational have made breakfast a fancy stuff.

  • Drink glass of this and you are set for the day!!

  • Take a bite of this and all your nutrition requirement going to full fill!!

We make choices of our food depending entirely on some commercial. This is wrong.

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A large and growing body of scientific evidence now supports the claim that breakfast really is a very important meal. 

L.E. Cahill in 2013 had published a report of study of breakfast eating behavior and its correlation with incident coronary heart disease on American men.

Cahill et al. (2013) documented a 27% increase in coronary heart disease amongst those North American men who regularly failed to eat a meal at the start of the day.

Also as per report published by B.K. McFarlin high-fat breakfast on consecutive days alters preclinical biomarkers for atherosclerosis.

So certainly breakfast is important but what’s to intake as breakfast is more important.

On several instance the epidemiological research clearly suggests that what we eat and what we drink first thing in the morning can both exert a pretty dramatic effect on both our health and mental well-being.

Our mood varies over the course of the day, and this also influences our food choices. What to eat and how much to eat.

You would have noticed we tend to make healthier food choices when in a good mood, while we go for immediate gratification offered by less healthy foods when we are in a bad mood. 

What should you include in your breakfast?

There are three important components that you should be giving priority while selecting your breakfast are Carbohydrates, Protein and fiber.

Carbohydrates will give you energy right away, and the protein will give it to you later on. Fiber keeps you feeling full.

Mix of foods that have carbohydrates, protein, fiber and balanced quantity of healthy fats are perfectly suitable.

We often ignore including protein in our diet.

“If you are having toast, try and have something with it that is high in protein like egg, cheese or low fat ricotta. If you prefer cereals such as porridge, try and add some low fat milk or yoghurt to increase the protein”

Try a whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk and fruit, or a breakfast smoothie made from low-fat yogurt, fruit, and a teaspoon of bran. Nuts or whole-grain granola bars are also easy options.

We can eat out occasionally foods like muffins, pancakes, banana breads and muesli. Most of which are often loaded with fat and added sugars.

These types of foods for breakfast will cause your sugar levels to rise and fall quickly, leaving you feeling tired and hungry a few hours later.

Having Indian food like sprout salad, Upma, Dalia, Phoha, Idli Sāmbhar etc are some of the perfectly suited breakfast to meet your perfect combination of Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins & minerals.

Many corporate restaurants and coffee chains have commercialized breakfast and have customized it in their own way with innovative breakfast foods.

Coffee chains like Starbucks sell 40% of their food at the start of the day. They have tapped into this arena from health angle with their introduction of organic soup and gluten-free bread.

Significance of breakfast even becomes vital when someone is going through obesity or disease like diabetes.

In December 2013, the famous magazine “obesity” published a report regarding meal taken as breakfast, lunch and dinner and its impact on obesity.

They have highlighted that Overweight or obese women who ate their largest meal at breakfast and their smallest meal at dinner lost more weight, decreased their waist circumference and lowered their blood sugar than women who did the opposite.

Another study, published in “Obesity” in October 2013, found that diabetics who ate a large breakfast containing fat and protein were better able to control their blood sugar levels than those who ate just a small breakfast.

For someone trying to lose weight it is recommended to eat fewer calories. Therefore it is easier if you eat more of your calories earlier in the day rather than later in the day. People who eat a large breakfast tend to eat less throughout the course of the day

However, for some, eating a heavy meal in the morning is a challenge. Then there are those who face gastric issues if they consume a large meal as breakfast. 

For those who aren’t hungry upon waking, eating breakfast can feel forced and uncomfortable. Such people can get something in brunch time.

Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 10am up to 2pm.

Even if you’re not that accustomed of having breakfast, your organs are. So it’s better to feed them in time so they can function well and you can walk on time.

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