Saturday, November 24, 2012

Breakfast Brain Power

Monika Pis, PhD, CPNP

We all heard our moms say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, they were right, so don't skip this very important meal! 

Scientists have shown that those who eat a daily breakfast perform better on the job, at school, and in sports. When we really think about it, it makes perfect sense. We eat dinner at seven or eight at night and perhaps have a bedtime snack. Since our bodies regenerate during the night, the energy from the last meal is being used up for bodily processes, such as breathing, digesting, cell repair, etc. When we wake up, our energy sources are depleted so we have to replenish them by eating a nutritious breakfast. 

If the body is not supplied with the necessary energy, the brain will not be able to function well, so it will be difficult to concentrate. The body will respond to low energy levels with shaky hands, sweating, dizziness, weakness, and irritability. Nobody wants to be sluggish and cranky. No one wishes to be scolded by his or her boss for not staying on task, or singled out by a teacher for not paying attention. You can prevent these situations by eating a healthy breakfast each morning. No excuses! Grab a banana and a box of orange juice or milk when heading out the door. For other ideas for a breakfast on the run. 

Daily breakfast is extremely important for those who would like to lose a few pounds. Studies have shown that eating breakfast keeps us full longer and prevents excessive snacking. For the purpose of weight loss, a good breakfast should include protein and some carbohydrates. Carbohydrates alone will not give the desired results. In one study, one group of people ate cereal for breakfast and the other group consumed 2 boiled eggs and 2 pieces of toast. People who had eggs for breakfast on average ate about 500 calorie less during the day than those who ate cereal.

It doesn't matter if you are fit and trim, or if you want to improve your physical image, it is important that everyone eat a daily breakfast. Doing this each morning will also teach your children to develop the same healthy habit, something they will continue to implement in their adult lives.

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