Remember when your Mom used to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? She might not have been too far off. Even as an adult you’ve probably heard a bunch of theories from friends and colleagues, explaining why breakfast is so crucial for you. Scientific research over the years has also taken a great interest in the popular claim that missing the first meal of the day can be harmful to one’s health. Your mom probably isn’t a licensed nutritionist – but the experts have weighed in and it turns outs out that she was right! You definitely should NOT skip breakfast – and here are the top 5 reasons why:
1. Breakfast boosts your memory
A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health that followed 319 teenagers (ranging from 13-20 years old) concluded that “high energy intake from breakfast had a beneficial effect on immediate recall in short-term memory evaluated on the whole sample.”
Similarly, the Journal of Physiology and Behavior found that spatial and short-term memory in primary-school aged kids was improved by eating foods like oatmeal at breakfast time.
All of those findings apply to adults, as well.
2. More energy
A high fiber, low-carb breakfast will lessen feelings of fatigue throughout the day, a 1999 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found.
Consuming whole-grain breads and cereals (with a minimum of 4 grams of fiber per serving) in the morning gives your body fuel for the entire day. For the committed coffee drinkers among us: protein in the body gives caffeine a substance to bind with – providing maximum energy!
3. Breakfast is a natural antidepressant
Out of 144 volunteers in a 1999 study published in the Journal of Psychology and Behavior, those who ate breakfast cereal before research sessions came with a better mood and disposition than those who did not. Basically, food in the A.M. can lessen irritability and aggravation.
4. Breakfast is a calorie burner
You don’t need to go to the gym in order to burn calories! Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day increases your body’s metabolic activity and keeps sugar levels in the body steady. Harvard University studied 17,000 men and concluded that “that those who frequently ate breakfast cereal — both refined grain or the whole-grain types — consistently weighed less than those who rarely or never ate breakfast cereal.”
5. Better concentration
Along with energy levels and memory, a person’s capacity to concentrate is also improved by eating a morning meal. During the night, the human brain’s supply of fuel, glucose, is greatly reduced. Breakfast replenishes those levels once again. In 2008, the publication Indian Paediatrics found that “middle-school students who ate breakfast every day had better attention, concentration, memory, and school achievement than those who consumed breakfast only sometimes or never did.” Foods like eggs, grains, yogurt and fruit, which make up a healthy, balanced breakfast, according to research, keep “blood sugar levels steady and allow optimal cognitive function throughout the day.”