The Importance of BreakfastIN SEASONAL HEALTH
Who says breakfast is important? Researchers, nutritionists, doctors, and your mother all agree. If you’re skipping or eating the wrong kind of breakfast, you’re missing important benefits to your mood, weight, energy level, health, and longevity. It’s not hard to eat a nutritious and balanced breakfast. It just takes smart shopping and 15 minutes each morning. Here are tips and information from WebMD (www.webmd.com) to help you make the healthful most of your mornings.
Time to Break Your Fast
Have you ever noticed that there’s more time between dinner and breakfast than between other meals? There’s more than eight hours, which basically means you’ve been fasting. Your body uses its food fuel all through the night while you’re sleeping. When you wake up the next morning, your body’s glucose level, or energy supply, is down—even though you feel rested. Your energy reserves need to be replenished with breakfast.
Benefits of a Balanced Breakfast
If you fly out of the house with a coffee and bagel, you may get the brief energy boost you want, but you’re short-changing yourself. It may be difficult to make up the nutritional deficit with the two remaining meals of the day. Consider these benefits of a balanced breakfast:
- Fiber -- Eating breakfast makes it easy for you to get enough fiber. Nutritionists recommend you get 30 grams of fiber a day, and most Americans only get 13 grams. Studies have shown that a diet with plenty of fiber can reduce your risk of heart trouble, lower your cholesterol level, and even help you lose weight. Also, fiber slows your digestive process, so you won’t feel hungry so quickly.
- Fruit servings -- Eating breakfast makes it easier to get the USDA’s recommended two to four servings of fruit each day. Studies show that diets with plenty of fruit can lower your risk for heart problems and cancer.
- Vitamins and minerals -- Eating breakfast makes it easier for you to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Good breakfast cereals or the right combination of other breakfast foods can give you many of the vitamins and minerals that studies have shown reduce your risk for cancer and heart disease.
If you’re a person who doesn’t like to eat in the morning because you don’t feel hungry, that can be changed. Try eating a balanced breakfast each morning for three weeks and your appetite clock will reset itself to your new schedule.
|Building a Balanced Breakfast
Nutritionists say a balanced breakfast includes fruit, high-fiber food, and a little protein. Here are some suggestions from WebMD (www.webmd.com) for a variety of delicious and nutritious breakfasts:
Sources: WebMD.com, geron.uga.edu/research/centenarianstudy.php, jacn.org© 2013. True North Custom Media. All Rights Reserved.