The importance of a healthy breakfast.

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“Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper”. It’s a well known phrase, but it’s a

very apt one. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It can reduce obesity, high

blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. All in all, it promotes better health.

Why eat breakfast?

Whilst many people wake up and don’t feel hungry, it’s still important to eat a good, healthy

breakfast. Even the word itself is self-explanatory, ‘breakfast’ – you are literally breaking a fast. Your

body has had a few hours of sleep and now it needs waking up for the day. This first meal is fuel for

both body and brain and should not be skipped. In fact, scientists recommend that breakfast is eaten

within the first two hours of waking.

What shall I eat?

It may seem tempting to reach for sugary cereals or calorie-laden croissants, but whilst these are

better than nothing, your ideal breakfast should look very different. The best breakfast foods are

good sources of crucial nutrients, for example calcium, iron and vitamin B plus protein and fibre. This

is designed to give your body an immediate boost of all of the essential nutrients as early in the day

as possible. Repeated studies also show that those who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up these

nutrients later on in the day. It’s also important to bear in mind the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable

recommendation and make sure that you include at least one of these at breakfast. It can be

anything from a handful of blueberries to a banana to just a plain glass of fruit juice.

What does eating breakfast do for me?

There have been many studies over the years which show that those people who eat breakfast are

less likely to be overweight and have slimmer waistlines than those who don’t. This is more

important than it sounds because excess weight around your waist is deemed to be particularly

unhealthy.

And quite apart from aesthetics, your first meal of the day has an important cognitive impact;

breakfast raises glucose levels after you’ve been asleep. And why is this important? Well, glucose is

an essential carbohydrate needed for the brain to function. It has been scientifically proven that

breakfast improves memory and concentration levels and it makes you happier by improving mood

and lowering stress levels. Your brain needs energy to function at its best.

And finally, breakfast is a mealtime and every mealtime is an important family occasion. The chance

to sit down with your family at the beginning of every day is one that should be seized.

Sample healthy breakfasts:

 Bowl of high fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk and a chopped banana

 Two slices of wholemeal toast with honey

 Omelette

 Scrambled eggs on toast with a cooked tomato

 Porridge with syrup

 Glass of fruit juice or milk and a glass of water

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