Breakfast is an important source of energy. This first meal of the day provides all of the macro and micronutrients essential to the proper functioning of the body. A balanced breakfast reduces fatigue, increases memory and concentration, and decreases snacking.
WHAT IS A BALANCED BREAKFAST ?
Breakfast isn’t just the first meal of the day but it’s also the most important because it follows an 8 to 12 hour period of fasting. According to the National Health Nutrition Program (PNNS), a balanced breakfast should consist of grains (rusks, cereals, bread), dairy products (milk, yogurt), an assortment of fruits and drinks (water, fresh squeezed juice, tea, coffee).
It must provide 20 to 25% of daily energy requirements.
WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS OF BREAKFAST ON OUR BODY ?
A balanced breakfast has several effects on our daily vitality. It allows:
1. A reduction in fatigue
A balanced breakfast is an important source of energy. It allows you to be more active during the day. Mainly composed of carbohydrates, it helps restore blood sugar to an optimal level.
It’s also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals as well. For example, Vitamin C, found in fruits like oranges, kiwi, strawberries and more can provide antioxidants, boost iron absorption, and can also strengthen your immune system. Collectively these benefits can increase energy, promote intellectual performance and reduce fatigue.
2. Increased concentration
While increasing energy and intellectual performance, a balanced breakfast can also boost concentration levels. Our brains need to consume energy (glucose) in order to focus because they are glucose-dependent. When we consume food, we take in a mixture of complex and simple carbohydrates which produce energy. Thus, the more a breakfast is rich in complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole bread, rusks, oat flakes, etc…), the higher the levels of concentration.
3. An increase in memory
For similar reasons as concentration, taking in a balanced breakfast before work or studying facilitates memorization. The human body needs energy so that it can operate at maximum and optimal capacity.
4. To limit nibbling
Breakfast has an impact on satiety and reduced hunger during the day. A balanced breakfast is made up of foods containing carbohydrates, fiber and protein. The latter two are well-known for their satietogenic effects.
THE TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST IS LOSING MOMENTUM
The first reason is the lack of time. There are only a select few that are motivated enough to wake up earlier for good balanced breakfast.
For those that aren’t early birds, it would be wise to carry a cereal bar, yogurt drink, apple sauce or even a piece of fruit to snack on during your morning commute or one you reach the office.
Another reason that breakfast is losing its popularity is the lack of appetite.
As we digress from the traditional breakfast our body begins to condition itself to function without it. In the long run, this creates adverse affects on our health which in turn diminishes energy and concentration levels as previously explained. It’s important to take the time to wake up and start eating a little bit each morning. Even a half portion of applesauce or yogurt will suffice. Your body will gradually recondition itself to it’s former self and your appetite will begin to increase.
Finally, alternative breakfasts tend to be too fat, too sweet or a combination of the two.
Limit processed and fast food which serve no real nutritional official website benefit aside from satisfying your hunger and give precedence to fresh fruits, rusks, whole breads, eggs, oatmeal, plain yogurt and the like.
To conclude, a daily balanced breakfast allows you to feel refueled and energetic. It can boost your concentration levels and improve your focus. And finally it can regulate your hunger cravings throughout the day so that you can avoid snacking before lunch or dinner.
However, a large percentage of the population skips breakfast or reaches for unhealthy item. It is important to educate yourselves as well as those around you because good eating habits are an inherited trait.
Article written by Amélie Vincent, dietitian