It’s a wide-spread thought among nutritionists: breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, and we are strongly convinced that skipping breakfast is bad, because it can have so many negative effects on our health and well-being.
There are many scientific studies which highlight the dangers of skipping breakfast, and, on the contrary, how it is important to start our day nourishing body and mind in a healthy and balanced way.
Having breakfast is important for everyone: for children who go to school, for adults, for athletes of all ages, but also for the elderly, where nutrition is essential for prevention of diseases and to maintain muscle mass.
Keep reading and you will discover what happens when you skip breakfast, the main effects on your brain, as well as the associated health risks.
In this article you will find out 5 valid reasons why not to skip breakfast. In the end you will find a delicious recipe, easy to prepare, created for you, to get the most out of your day and increase your well-being.
Why is Breakfast Important?
- Breakfast is important to better control hunger, weight, and inflammation: people who skip breakfast are more inclined to have energy declines, which generally correspond with a sudden glycemic drop and the consequent search for sugary foods. This situation leads to a continuous “hunger for sugars”, which causes increased inflammation and body fat, especially at the visceral level. Several observational studies highlight how, specifically, breakfast led to reduced appetite and food reward, increased satiety, and reduced unhealthy snacking behaviour compared with skipping breakfast. For this reason, these studies suggest that most people who have a habit of skipping breakfast have more chances to became overweight or obese. In particular breakfast containing proteins, seems to support weight management by promoting appetite and satiety. The consumption of high-protein breakfasts augments satiety, through increased fullness and satiety related hormones concentrations, reduces neural food cravings and reduces unhealthy evening snacking compared with skipping breakfast or consuming a normal-protein breakfast. Furthermore, high-protein breakfasts reduce daily food intake and prevent body fat gains over the longer term.
- Skipping breakfast may be linked to a major risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease: according to several studies, people who skip breakfast have more chances to have an increased susceptibility to hypertension, and a major risk of developing chronic cardiovascular health conditions, including stroke. It also seems that people who routinely skip breakfast have a higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. This could be due to the fact that skip breakfast increases the likelihood of energy drops, which would lead to a higher consumption of sugars during the day, as mentioned above.
- Skipping breakfast has a negative effect on your brain and mood: as mentioned, people who skip breakfast are more likely to have energy (glycemic) drops during the morning. Our brain needs lots of energy, which comes mainly from glucose; for this reason, the brain is particularly affected by glycemic drops, which cause energy instability, resulting in a lack of attention and concentration, but also mood disorders. Having a balanced and rich breakfast is a really boost for your brain: try to believe!
- Breakfast eaters follow a healthier diet: it does not depend directly on breakfast, but even in this case observational studies show that people who eat breakfast, better controlling hunger, can prevent glycemic drops, and follow a healthier diet. Personally, I think it depends on the fact that those who eat breakfast dedicate more time to themselves and to their well-being and probably they plan what to eat in their meals avoiding ready-to-eat, fast foods, often high in sugars, unhealthy fats, salt and several additives.
- Breakfast consumption augments sleep quality: There are also scientific data related to the importance of having breakfast and sleep quality. About sleep health, breakfast consumption led to modest reductions in measured sleep quantity but improved perceived sleep quality and sleep onset. These data suggest that breakfast consumption may be one dietary strategy to promote improvements in indexes of perceived sleep quality in healthy adults.
What to eat for breakfast?
Well: now you know that having breakfast is important, but that's not all. It is not enough to have breakfast because not all types of breakfast are the same and if you really want to increase your well-being you have to know the right foods and nutrients for a healthy and balanced breakfast.
Always enter a slow-absorbing carbohydrate source, preferably whole grains, such as bread or natural flakes, rich in fiber and energy.
Remember that proteins are key to maintaining a sense of satiety for a long time and avoiding energy declines and hunger for sugary foods. You can find proteins in many plant-based foods, but also in powdered mixtures such as pumpkin, rice, but also hemp and other good quality plant sources, containing all essential amino acids.
Finally, enter a source of unsaturated fats, such as nuts, oily seeds or avocados and add a dash of sweetness with fresh fruit rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The best time to have breakfast is about 30 minutes an hour after waking up, to allow our body to reactivate all energy systems and start the day at its best.
Need ideas for your tomorrow breakfast?
Try these two very easy recipes or read the others you will find in our blog and I'm sure that for you too, breakfast will become an essential pleasure.
1) Protein porridge with fruit and nuts: porridge is one of my favorite breakfasts, which is why I always recommend it to everyone! It's really easy to prepare: you need 150mL of vegetable milk to add vegan protein powder, 3-4 tablespoons of natural oat flakes, fresh fruit (I recommend blueberries or raspberries) and a handful of nuts.2) Avocado-spinach toast and fresh fruit: cut into pieces half an avocado and blend it with a generous handful of raw spinach, water and lemon juice. Spread cream on two slices of wholemeal toast and complete your breakfast with a portion of fresh seasonal fruit.