5 Reasons Why Breakfast is a Health Essential

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March 7–12 is National School Breakfast Week, an annual observance launched in 1989 to help schools nationwide provide breakfast to kids who might not otherwise have a morning meal. Whether children eat at home or at school, a nutritious breakfast is a true health essential. That goes for the whole family too. Here are 5 reasons why:

Natural energizer

A healthy breakfast fuels your body and stabilizes blood sugar levels, increasing your energy all day. As to the menu, protein-rich, high fiber choices make the grade. Think whey protein shakes, eggs, nuts, low-fat dairy, soy, and whole grains like oatmeal. Try a parfait by layering berries, plain yogurt and low-fat granola. Or how about a tofu/veggie scramble? If you’re rushed, grab a whey protein bar or almonds and a banana to go.

Better performance in work/school

People of all ages who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. Research suggests that protein rich foods like eggs and whey protein stave off hunger longer, making it easier to concentrate at length. An egg offers 6 grams of protein, and whey protein powder has about 20 grams a scoop. Both are low-fat and low-calorie with all nine essential amino acids.

Boosts metabolism

When you sleep, your metabolism slows down to rest mode. When you wake up, it’s still in low gear until activated by food. Even a small breakfast helps kick your metabolism into action, helping to energize you and burn calories more efficiently. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular breakfast eating promotes both a healthy metabolism and balanced blood sugar levels.

Curbs overeating

When you skip breakfast, you’re likely to feel ravenous later, which may explain the 10am coffee/donut habit many Americans engage in. In addition, prolonged fasting—which occurs when you skip breakfast—can increase your body’s insulin response, which in turn promotes fat storage and weight gain. However, even a light breakfast can prevent this cycle, helping to fuel your body and brain and stabilize your blood sugar.

Sets the tone for your day

A healthy morning meal gets you on track to make better choices all day. Studies show that people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have a healthier diet overall. When you skip breakfast, however, you may be more likely to pass on fruits and vegetables later as well. On many levels, how you nourish yourself in the morning impacts your entire day.

The good news is breakfast need not be large, complex or time consuming, since many nutritious choices are both easy and convenient. Just remember, break your fast, make your day.

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