Why a Healthy Breakfast is a Great Start
Amazing Discoveries™ |
9 min read
Tim hates mornings. He works an office job that requires him to commute nearly an hour each way, which means he has to be up early to make it out the door on time. When his alarm rings he ignores it for fifteen minutes before finally dragging himself out of bed. Tim feels groggy and miserable until he has a cup of coffee. Then it’s time to leave. There’s no time for breakfast which isn’t a problem because he seldom feels hungry in the morning anyway.
But by ten o’clock, Tim is hungry and lethargic, and can hardly think, let alone concentrate on his work. He waits impatiently for his mid-morning break so he can grab another cup of coffee and something sugary (for energy, he thinks) – usually a doughnut or cookie - from the staff room. He feels better for a while, alert and more energetic, but soon he feels irritable and has trouble concentrating on his tasks, many of which require dedicated focus. His coworkers get on his nerves, and he has to re-read the email his boss sent him multiple times. Although he feels jittery and a little on edge, sugar and caffeine help Tim power through the rest of his morning.
Is there a problem with the way Tim starts his day? Would Tim feel better and work more efficiently if he started his day with a good breakfast?
How you start your day can have a profound effect on your health. The laws of nature exist for our well-being and happiness. If we follow the Creator’s original design for our bodies, we will live long, happy lives.
Health is one of the most precious possessions, but it takes effort and care to keep our bodies well. One of the best things you can do to ensure good health is to start your day with breakfast.
In the morning, the stomach is in a better condition to digest more food than at the second or third meal of the day because a significant amount of time has passed since the last meal, giving the stomach time to rest. Breakfast is so called because the morning meal is literally breaking an overnight fast.
Many people eat a light breakfast or no breakfast at all and a large dinner later in the evening, often with snacks in between. This is not the most optimal way for good health. Instead of skipping breakfast or only eating a light morning meal, breakfast should be the heartiest meal of the day. It would not be logical to fill your car with fuel at the end of a journey—it needs to be fueled at the beginning. The same goes for the human body.
Adjust your fuel intake according to the activities you have planned for the day. If you’re going to be very active, you might want to eat a little bit more (but don’t overeat!) and choose foods that will provide energy to sustain your active body. If you’re going to a sedentary job, you might choose to eat a little less, or select foods that contain some protein to keep you feeling full so you don’t feel tempted to snack.
Science has shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast offers many health benefits. Conversely, not eating breakfast can have a negative effect on your health.
A study found that people who were long-term breakfast skippers (upwards of 10 years) had poorer cardiometabolic health.1 Breakfast skippers experience a reduction in daily energy intake, which cannot be made up for over the day.2 People who regularly skip breakfast are prone to other unhealthy behaviors or habits such as inadequate exercise or alcohol consumption.3
Some of the benefits of regularly eating breakfast include improved mood,4 better memory,5 and even an increased tendency towards making healthier eating choices throughout the rest of the day.6 Regularly eating breakfast may help decrease depressive feelings7 and is a factor in the loss and maintenance of weight.8
Even just eating a cereal breakfast can be better than skipping breakfast.9 However, to enjoy maximum health, consciously thinking about your breakfast is important. Those following a plant-based diet should aim to incorporate some protein into their breakfast meal. Starting your day with a good source of clean plant-based protein will help you achieve the Recommended Daily Allowance of protein necessary for good health. Protein also helps you feel full10 and can help you avoid feeling hungry mid-morning.
Protein is important because it helps your body restore and replace cells.11 Good sources of vegan protein include lentils, beans, and certain nuts and seeds.12 Science has found that plant-based protein sources are optimal even for athletes13 when compared to animal-based protein. A study of French women found that a higher intake of certain animal protein types increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease.14 Animal protein may also increase risk of cancer of the pancreas.15
Make breakfast your heartiest meal, supplying at least 1/3 of the day’s calories and nutrients. Good breakfast foods include beans or lentils, whole grain cereals, waffles, and bread; soy or nut milk products, nuts or nut butters and fresh or dried fruit.
A hearty breakfast taken early in the morning can give you the energy required to run your brain and body throughout the day. It will guard against the bad habit of snacking in between meals and will amply sustain mental and physical labor until the next meal, which should be at least five hours later. This will allow time for the stomach to perform its work completely and be in the right condition to receive more food.
Breakfast can be salty, sweet or both. Try to vary your breakfast and make it interesting! Ideally, you should sit down while having breakfast, but if this is not possible on any given day, many breakfast foods can be prepared to go. This is not ideal and hinders digestion, but it’s better to eat on the go than not eat at all.
As some people say, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper”. A big breakfast is the best way to start the day.
Don’t miss out on the energy and life-giving benefits that a healthy breakfast can provide. Your brain and body will thank you!
Oatmeal with soy or almond milk, chopped dates or unsweetened raisins, dried apricots, handful of walnuts
An apple with spoonful of peanut butter or tahini (for dipping)
Coconut chia pudding wth fresh or frozen berries
Handful of mixed nuts
Slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter or tahini
Whole-wheat or gluten-free vegan waffle topped with vegan whipped cream and berries
Fruit smoothie (blend of fruit, almond milk, ¼ cup hemp seeds)
Small handful of mixed nuts
Green salad with olive oil and lemon juice topped with hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnut pieces
Bowl of lentil soup
Piece of whole-wheat or gluten-free toast with vegan butter or hummus
Vegan chickpea “tuna” salad
Avocado on whole wheat or gluten-free bread sprinkled with nutritional yeast and hemp seeds
Spinach salad with chopped green apple, almonds and dried cranberries
Tofu scramble with celery, wilted cherry tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, mixed bell peppers,
Whole wheat or gluten-free toast
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. Our articles, videos and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before following any recommendations or using any product on our site. You assume sole responsibility for your personal health, and you must use your own discretion under doctor consultation to determine whether any product or recommendation on this site is suitable for your personal situation.