Eating a Regular Breakfast Has More Health Benefits Than You May Have Thought!
Nutritional guidelines have long recommended the need to eat breakfast but many of us may wonder how eating breakfast actually benefits our overall health in a measurable way.
If asked “what is the importance of breakfast?” many of us would agree that eating breakfast will help jumpstart our metabolism and supply our body with energy for the day ahead. Along with supplying fuel for our cells, eating a regular breakfast provides our body with many additional long-term benefits.
It turns out that we now know eating breakfast can actually reduce our risk of developing chronic disease. Our mothers were right when they said breakfast was the most important meal of the day!
Recent research has indicated that eating a healthy breakfast is associated with a decreased chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who leave the house without eating breakfast increase their chance of developing T2D by 21%. Results from a recent study from the University of Minnesota demonstrate a 5% decrease in risk of T2D with every day per week of breakfast intake. The study compared individuals who ate breakfast more than 3 times per week to those who ate breakfast less than 3 times per week. Those who consumed breakfast 5 or more days per week had a 31% decreased risk of T2D! Furthermore, the quality of regular breakfast intake further decreases the risk of T2D.
How exactly does eating breakfast reduce the risk of T2D?
Consuming a morning meal aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels throughout the day. When we skip breakfast, our body then has to work harder to break down our food stores due to the deprivation of glucose. Skipping breakfast then results in loss of insulin sensitivity – the key blood sugar regulating hormone – resulting in higher risk for T2D.
While many studies have informed us that healthy breakfast habits for our children will increase performance on cognitive tests the same goes for our performance and cognitive abilities. With the understanding that healthy breakfast habits will decrease our risk for T2D in the future, we now have one more great reason to begin everyday with a healthy meal for ourselves and loved ones.
As mentioned earlier, the quality of breakfast further reduces the risk of T2D. A healthy breakfast should meet the basic macrobiotic requirements – protein, complex carbohydrate and some healthy fat. Avoid processed cereals – the sugar and refined carbohydrate in these foods are metabolized quickly, causing a greater elevation in blood sugar levels. Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas for you and your family:
Green and/or Berry Protein Smoothies:
Smoothies are great if you’re short on time in the morning. You can chop the green smoothie ingredients the night before and then blend in the morning. Have fun mixing a variety of fruits, greens, and protein power including but not limited to pears, apples, berries, oranges, kale, spinach, cabbage, lemon, & ginger. Add some omega-3 oil to balance the nutritional profile of your smoothie.
Use old-fashioned rolled oats, steel cut oats, amaranth, buckwheat or millet. Takes about 10-15 min to prepare in the morning. Add berries, mixed nuts and/or seeds, or even a poached egg. Sweeten with some pure maple syrup if desired. Add 1 tbsp of ground flax or salba seed for extra fiber.
Cooked Egg (of your choice)
Add sautéed kale and onion or use avocado, mushroom and spinach. Add some goat cheese if desired – delicious!
Raw fruit with nut butter
Another great option when you’re on the go. Try apple and almond butter or apple with a handful of almonds.
If you don’t already eat breakfast, take simple steps towards building a healthy morning routine for yourself and your family. While it may be tough to get back into the breakfast routine, these healthy and simple ideas are a sure way to turn those skipped meals into easy energy!Leave a reply