The Benefits of Breakfast

September 16, 2015

Breakfast is an important start to the day. Find out the benefits of breakfast and learn how to make the right breakfast choices!

Breakfast is an important start to the day. Find out the benefits of breakfast and learn how to make the right breakfast choices!

It’s long been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and despite some recent research that makes a case for skipping breakfast, I still advocate for breakfast on a daily basis. The greater body of research is in favor of eating breakfast thanks to the numerous health benefits we get from fueling ourselves shortly after we wake up in the morning. The key is what you eat for breakfast and making sure it’s a great start to the morning.

It just so happens September is Better Breakfast Month, probably not a coincidence since it’s also the back-to-school season and much of the research on the benefits of breakfast is focused on kids.

The Benefits of Breakfast

So first things first: What are the benefits of eating breakfast?

  • Eating within an hour or hour and a half of waking up revs up your metabolism. I have always compared it to putting gas in your car. Surely you’ve heard that analogy!
  • Breakfast eaters have improved cognition.
  • Eating a well-balanced breakfast keeps blood sugar levels stable and hunger hormones in check.
  • Studies show children who eat breakfast do better in school and have an improved memory, test grades, school attendance, and moods.
  • Breakfast eaters have been shown to be a healthier weight, have normal blood cholesterol and insulin levels, be more physically active, and smoke and consume alcohol less than those who skip the morning meal (source, source).

Children who eat breakfast do better in school! Give your kids a fiber-rich breakfast like oatmeal made with skim milk and fresh berries.

The Right Breakfast Choices

Now that we’ve established why it’s a good idea to eat breakfast, the all important question is what to eat. If your go-to breakfast is a muffin from the corner deli or a plain toaster waffle, you’re likely not going to see the benefits mentioned above. That’s because those simple carbohydrates metabolize very quickly, making your blood sugar shoot up and quickly fall, which leaves you hungry and lethargic soon after you’ve finished eating.

The ideal breakfast has a combination of whole grains, lean protein, nonfat or low-fat dairy, healthy fats, and fruit and/or vegetables.

It may sound like a lot of work to get this balance in the morning, but it doesn’t have to be. See for yourself in my post with quick and easy breakfast ideas that my family loves and that I recommend for lasting energy.

Do you eat breakfast every morning?

What benefit do you get from doing so?

Share with me in the comments below!
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  1. Hi Jess! I usually do a mini snack in the morning before my workout and then I have breakfast mid-morning. It definitely sets the tone for the rest of the day. I love making smoothies when I’m short on time, that include greens, fruits, nuts (for the protein, I don’t consume protein powders), seeds and healthy fats. I try for the smoothie to have as much nutrients as a whole meal.

    Love that you’re doing a breakfast series, will be checking in!

    1. Thanks for sharing Liv! Sounds like a great smoothie mixture and definitely energizing! Appreciate you stopping by to share!

  2. I always eat breakfast. I find that if I miss it for some reason, my eating choices throughout the day tend to be a little less healthy. A full stomach also puts me in a better mood 🙂

  3. I’m so with you on breakfast being so important! Often my patients tell me that they skip breakfast because they don’t feel hungry. I’ve noticed that once you train your body back to eating breakfast daily, you come to expect it an wake up feeling hungry each morning 🙂 It works!

    1. Thanks for sharing Lauren. I agree – once you get used to eating breakfast, it’s actually really difficult to skip it again!

  4. My wife and I have been trying to find new ways we can be healthier. We are both recovering from surgeries and we want to make a good recovery. I didn’t realize that breakfast can rev up your metabolism as well as improving cognition. I’ll be sure to share these benefits with my wife.

    1. So glad to hear that this post was helpful Tomas. Hope you and your wife are having a speedy recovery and feeling well. Good luck!

  5. I did not know that a well-balanced breakfast stabilizes your blood sugar levels and hunger hormones. That would probably be useful to ensure you can focus on your morning tasks and get them done. I’d imagine that if you aren’t the best at cooking, or don’t like it, you could go to a restaurant that serves breakfast so that you can get the right amount of food to start your day.