Breakfast is the first meal of the day after a prolonged fast that takes place while we sleep. Generally, this fast is for 8 to 10 hours.
There are many reasons that stress the importance of eating breakfast daily and not to skip it because of lack of time or bad habits.
Reasons why you should eat breakfast
A healthy breakfast provides the glucose and energy needed to function.
A breakfast that is rich in carbohydrates (Bread, crackers, cornflakes, oatmeal, granola bars, etc.) provides the nutrients needed to maintain normal glucose levels in the blood and replenish the glycogen in the muscles and liver.
Glucose is the main form of fuel that provides energy for the body, as the cells can quickly metabolize the sugars, receiving energy almost immediately. Glycogen is reserved carbohydrates that are made up of numerous units of joined glycogen units. These units are used to provide our muscles the necessary quantities of glucose to perform certain physical activities. Also, these units are released into the blood stream in between meals.
The glucose is the main energy substrate for the neurons and the only fuel used by our red blood cells.
Helps to protect our muscle mass
When we wake up, we have an insufficient amount of glucose in our blood stream that isn’t enough for our energy needs, even for one hour within waking up. If we don’t have breakfast immediately from waking up, our body releases a hormone called “Cortisol” that stimulates the breakdown of our muscles in order to gain the proteins to provide fuel for the body, as it is lacking glucose. This means a loss of muscle, which is unfavorable in any circumstances.
A balanced and nutritive breakfast helps to reduce our appetite throughout the day and contributes to a healthy weight.
As previously explained, when we wake up each morning, there is practically no glucose found in our body’s cells to be used as a source of energy. This means our cells are starving, which causes a sensation of intense hunger that encourages munching on snacks and other food products that have relatively low food value throughout the day.
Also, many studies have compared weight loss during an established period that included participants that daily eat breakfast and those that did not have that habit. The results showed that even though the participants ate around the same quantity of calories each day, those that had breakfast lost up to double the weight as the group that omitted their breakfast.
Having a daily breakfast can increase the nutritional value of our diet when it includes foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fiber (organic corn flakes, granola or muesli, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole-wheat crackers and oatmeal cookies), also high-protein products (egg-whites, non-fat milk products, prosciutto and turkey breast), fresh and dried fruits and seeds.
Fiber and protein leave you feeling full and satisfied and retard the sensation of hungry longer. This will help us make good food choices throughout the day that are more health conscience and without feeling like we are starving to death.
Breakfast helps to meet the daily vitamin and mineral requirements that is needed for our health
Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity to include certain nutrients such as:
– Calcium: Lactose products (milk, yogurt and cheese), almonds, sesame seeds and dried figs are all excellent sources of calcium. It helps to keep our bones strong and our teeth healthy.
– Iron: Egg yolks, lean cold cuts, dried nuts (almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts); oatmeal and seeds are all excellent sources of iron. Iron helps to prevent anemia, an illness that has many symptoms such as weakened physical strength and intellectual capacity in both adults and children.
– Vitamin C: Fruits, especially citrus fruits, strawberries and the kiwi have huge quantities of vitamin C. This vitamin helps to strengthen the immune system and acts as antioxidant, preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer, it even aids in slowing the aging process