Benefits of Eating Breakfast: Why You Should Eat the Most Important Meal of the Day

Increased Energy

Some people turn to a cup or two of coffee for their morning energy, but the caffeine in coffee only provides a temporary energy increase. One of the major benefits of eating breakfast is sustained energy throughout the morning. The Washington Times indicates that breakfast should include each of the three major nutrients: unsaturated fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates. Because protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, high-protein foods will help you remain energetic until lunchtime. High-protein breakfast foods include eggs, peanut butter on whole-grain bread and low-fat dairy products.

Improved Concentration

Research studies indicate that eating breakfast may help children perform better in school by helping them improve their concentration. The Food Research & Action Center reports that children who do not eat breakfast show increased errors, are less able to distinguish among similar images and have slower memory recall. Children struggling with hunger also have lower math scores and a higher risk of having to repeat a grade. Hunger also contributes to hyperactivity, behavioral problems, attention problems, emotional problems and absenteeism.

Children who eat breakfast have several advantages over those who miss breakfast. FRAC indicates that children who eat breakfast perform better on math tests and make fewer mistakes. Those who eat breakfast close to class time perform better on standardized tests than those who eat breakfast much earlier in the day or skip breakfast. Another one of the major benefits of eating breakfast is that children demonstrate improved memory, cognitive function and attention.

Weight Control and Weight Loss

Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian for the Mayo Clinic, explains that eating breakfast helps people control their weight. Breakfast helps with weight control in three major ways. The first is reducing hunger in the afternoon, which makes it easier to avoid eating too much. Those who skip breakfast may be tempted to snack on candy, crackers and other unhealthy foods. Not eating for a long period of time can also increase fat storage and promote weight gain.

Zeratsky reports that people who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than those who skip breakfast. This means that those who eat breakfast tend to make healthier choices throughout the day. Because breakfast gives you energy, it makes it easier to participate in physical activity. This increased activity also helps with weight control and weight loss.

Healthy Breakfast Options

One of the main reasons people skip breakfast is because they feel it takes too long to prepare. When you have to get ready for work and make sure the kids are ready for school, it’s tempting to skip breakfast or just grab a donut or Danish. Breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming or inconvenient if you plan ahead. If you boil eggs during the weekend, you can store them in the fridge and eat one each morning. You can make a healthy smoothie by blending low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit in the blender. Other healthy breakfast options include fresh fruit, oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, whole-wheat toast and veggie omelets.

References

WebMD: The Many Benefits of Breakfast

Mayo Clinic: Why Does Eating Breakfast Help Control Weight?

Food Research & Action Center: Breakfast for Learning