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Monday, 1 August 2016

Why Is Breakfast So Important?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I'm sure you've heard it before and I'm here to tell you exactly why it's so important and why you shouldn't skip eating in the morning.

I never used to eat breakfast, I didn't enjoy it and wasn't hungry in the morning but doing this made me feel sluggish later in the day, I'd be extra hungry come lunchtime and my sugar-cravings were at a high. As soon as I started eating breakfast in the mornings I felt so much better; I had more energy, felt happier and I felt generally a million times healthier. It was difficult to start with but I'd have a warm mug of lemon water which kick-started my digestion and around half an hour I'd eat something, be it a smoothie or a bowl of porridge I'd just make sure to eat and I haven't gone back to skipping breakfast since!

Breakfast sets you up for the day, it's what breaks your overnight fast, wakes your brain up, provides you with much needed energy and provides your body with essential nutrients. It's easy to skip breakfast, especially if you've got a busy day ahead and you let breakfast fall low in your list of priorities but it's vital for your body to make sure you put some nutritious food into your stomach every morning! Taking just a couple of minutes in the morning to eat something will do you the world of good, trust me.

Without breakfast your body is pretty much running on empty, your glucose (carbohydrate) levels will have plummeted meaning your energy will be low and later in the day you'll suddenly crave sugary, processed foods because you haven't set your body up with the right nutrients in the morning.

Brain Function
Breakfast restores your glucose levels which will have plummeted overnight. Glucose are essential for brain function and will help you concentrate better, think more clearly, improve your memory, lower stress levels and even boost those happiness levels! The brain can't run on empty, it needs energy to function and it gets that energy through the food you eat so make sure you fuel up to help your wonderful brain work its best.

Energy Levels
We all want to feel energised don't we? Breakfast should provide you with around 30% of your calorie intake for the day and a significant proportion of your days total nutrient intake, this will boost your energy levels and help you get through the day without feeling like you need a nap!
Choosing a breakfast with slow releasing carbohydrates like oats, quinoa (try my quinoa porridge recipe here) or rye bread will stop your blood sugar levels from spiking and your energy levels should stay steady.

Prevents Blood Sugar Spikes
Eating a good meal may help you avoid fluctuating glucose levels throughout the day which can lead to diabetes. Your blood sugar levels are low in the mornings anyway so when you don't eat breakfast and replenish those glucose levels with slow-releasing carbohydrates it means when you eventually do it your blood sugar levels are at an all time low and if you suddenly consume a carb-heavy or sugar-heavy meal or even a snack your blood sugar will rocket! Incorporate nuts, cinnamon and protein into your breakfast as these will all help prevent those nasty spikes too.

Mental Health Benefits
A good breakfast helps your brain to function more efficiently which will help you feel happier and less stressed but starting the day with a nourishing meal also makes you feel amazing because you know you're doing your body good! Psychologically eating a healthy breakfast makes you feel wonderful about yourself, it'll encourage you to make smarter food choices throughout the day and you won't feel sluggish if you eat avocado on toast compared to a big bowl of coco pops.

All Round Health
Breakfast is vital for long term health, studies have shown it reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and memory loss.

Now, I'm not saying you need some huge meal for breakfast and it doesn't have to be anything fancy but making sure you get some nourishing goodness into your belly at the beginning of the day is a really important step if you want a happy, healthy life. Resist that pastry or processed cereal though and opt for wholesome porridge with berries, a homemade smoothie, avocado on toast, nut butter on toast, chia pudding or even grabbing a banana to munch on the go is better than nothing!

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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