Many people call breakfast the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. After a night of restful sleep, our bodies need to replenish our glucose supplies to increase our energy levels and alertness. Breakfast does that for us while also providing other crucial nutrients for our overall health.
Eating breakfast has many health benefits. In the short term, it boosts our energy levels and focus; in the long term, it helps manage our weight and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems.
While many people eat breakfast as soon as they wake up in the morning, many decide to skip breakfast. This is because some feel like eating in the morning increases their appetite, while others are just not that hungry. The answer is similar to the question, “should you eat carbs before or after a workout?” As in, there’s no right or wrong answer.
Let’s break it down to see whether breakfast is really necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- Why It’s Important to Eat Breakfast
- Skipping Breakfast
- Simple Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Why It’s Important to Eat Breakfast
Your body needs energy and nutrients throughout the day to keep functioning properly. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you may not have eaten for at least 8 hours straight, and your body requires energy.
This brings us to the first reason why breakfast is essential.
It Provides Energy
The energy source for our bodies is glucose, which is absorbed from carbs that we eat. Your body usually stores energy as fat, but it also accumulates it in the shape of glycogen in your liver and muscles.
When you’re not eating for an extended period, like when you’re sleeping, your liver works hard. It breaks down glycogen and releases it into your blood as glucose so that your blood sugar levels stay normal throughout the night. This process is crucial for your brain, whose energy is almost entirely glucose.
By the time morning comes, your body has been hibernating for at least 8 hours, and it needs fuel because your glycogen levels are low. So when it uses up all of the glycogen stores it had, your body then starts breaking the fatty acids to be able to produce the fuel it needs.
Breakfast Fuels the Body With Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients
Since breakfast provides a considerable amount of your total nutrient intake, it is crucial to have a balanced and healthy breakfast rich in folate, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. If you eat breakfast every morning, you are more likely to meet your recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.
Contrary to the popular belief that breakfast increases appetite, people who eat breakfast on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight or obese. Many ongoing studies are trying to demystify why that happens, and these are two of the main hypotheses:
- Breakfast can help control your appetite by making sure your glucose levels are always in the normal range and that there are no significant fluctuations.
- Breakfast can help you control what you eat because it will fill you up before you’re really hungry, preventing you from just grabbing whatever comes into your sight.
A healthy breakfast should be a part of your morning routine so you can feel energized and ready to tackle all of the challenges of the day.
If you’re not hungry in the morning, you can try skipping breakfast. There aren’t any studies that show that skipping breakfast is unhealthy.
Some people like to start their day off with a healthy and nutritious breakfast, while others prefer to spend more time in bed or kick-start their metabolism with coffee or tea. Either is OK, as long as you are feeling good and energized.
If you are physically active and work out every day, it is recommended that you eat breakfast so that you have enough energy to spend while you’re working out.
For many people, skipping breakfast doesn’t have a big reason behind it; often they simply don’t have time. If that’s the case, a little organization goes a long way. Try to make weekly or monthly plans and execute accordingly. There are many healthy breakfast options you can make ahead, so that in the morning you can just grab it and go.
Simple Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Whether you’re commuting to work for an hour a day or you’re just not an early riser and can’t make time for breakfast, it really doesn’t matter, because there are so many easy and healthy choices you can prepare the night before. There are many healthy food blogs online that you can find inspiration from, as well.
Here are some of my favorite and yet very simple, delicious, and nutritious breakfast ideas.
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese: It doesn’t get easier than this. Eat your yogurt with healthy homemade granola, fresh or frozen fruits, and a dash of maple syrup. Spreading cottage cheese over wholemeal toast with some tomato will also make for a super healthy breakfast.
- Smoothie: Toss in your milk of choice, fruit of choice, some oats and chia seeds, and a spoon of any sweetener you like, and you’re all set.
- Oatmeal: This is my ultimate breakfast. I usually make overnight oats with almond milk, peanut butter, and fruits. You can add any kind of sweetener you like or a couple of dates to make your oatmeal extra sweet.
- Omelet: Eggs are a favorite in my house. I love combining eggs with all kinds of veggies, creating a perfect balance between proteins, fibers, and nutrients.
- Toast: This is all about your creativity or, better yet, your choice of available fruits and veggies. Spread hummus over your toast and enjoy it with a couple of leaves of lettuce and cucumbers. You can get really creative here and add arugula or any other greens you like.
Whether you’re a breakfast person or not, know that, while skipping breakfast can’t harm you, eating breakfast can benefit you. It is totally up to you to choose what feels best for your body. It is also OK to combine, where some days you eat breakfast and some days you decide not to. The most important thing is that you feel energized and your body is fueled and ready to take on all of the challenges your day has in store for you.