WE grew up hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But many of us ignore this piece of wisdom from mom for several reasons — among the most common being that we are caught up with preparing for our day or are dodging calories by playing into the myth that skipping meals make us lose weight. And while occasionally skipping breakfast when you just can't fit it into your morning schedule may not come with lasting consequences, nutritionist Jenelle Solomon said that if you make it a habit you may expose yourself to several health issues.
So just in case you plan to leave the house without so much as grabbing something light from the kitchen for breakfast, Solomon shares five reasons why you should not pass on that cereal, eggs and plantains.
Research points to several health benefits
Among the most common chronic conditions are heart disease and diabetes. Several pieces of research have shown that if you do not skip breakfast then you reduce your chances of developing these conditions.
“People who skip breakfast tend to develop type 2 diabetes because during the morning period sugar levels are low, but around lunchtime there is a sudden spike in insulin. As it relates to heart disease, several things happen — for one the body is under stress because it is forced to go through an extended period of fasting,” Solomon explained. What is also seen is that the people who skip breakfast tend to have a build-up of plaque in the heart which leads to cardiovascular disease.
It will build energy
Skipping breakfast means that your body will not have a sufficient source of energy to operate on. As such you are likely to feel tired, drained and lethargic.
“Like a car relies on fuel to work, your body needs foods. After such a long period of fasting (while you slept) your body needs food so that you can function properly,” Solomon said.
Improves your mood
For many people, if they want to feel alive and more human they simply down a cup of coffee only to crash and get irritable later. However, having breakfast will naturally improve your mood — it will make you less irritable because you are not hungry and your body would have been supplied with essential nutrients that make you feel better.
To burn calories, our body's metabolism requires energy. If you continue to restrict calories to it then the body will compensate for its caloric restriction by slowing down the metabolic rate as it does overnight when we sleep.
“If you want to burn calories then you have to give your body the kick-start, and the ideal thing to do this is breakfast. Consuming breakfast will increase your metabolism and burn unwanted calories at a much faster rate than it would if you were to prolong fasting until say lunchtime,” Solomon advised.
Improves memory and concentration
Research shows that eating a healthy, balanced breakfast — including fruits and vegetables, low-fat and protein-rich foods — will help to boost your brain and enhance concentration.
“When the body is in starvation mode it is difficult for your body to concentrate because the blood sugar levels are low. If the levels are not at their optimal it can interfere with the cognitive functions which may impair your ability to concentrate and your short-term memory,” Solomon said.