Breakfast is known to be called ‘the most important meal’ and rightly so. Quite simply, it replenishes the nutrients in the body which boosts our energy levels and thus, enables us to have an energetic and productive day. And by now, we all know this but yet we see so many people skipping their breakfast. We wonder why is that and we spoke to Anindita Sampath, CEO and Co-founder of Yogabar to understand more about this pattern and why it should not be followed. Here’s what she had to say:
Mornings of a typical young Indian has become more hectic than ever—workouts, breakfast, getting ready for work, commute—everything is packed in a short span of a couple of hours in the morning. Given our on-the-go lifestyle, breakfast is being ranked low on priority in our mental to-do list. We are a generation that is more conscious and aware about our health and fitness, which also means that we put extra effort into working out and eating mindfully; but all our efforts get undone by unhealthy habits like skipping breakfast.
How Big Should Your Breakfast Be?
We don’t necessarily need to have a big meal for breakfast, but it’s essential to have it, preferably within an hour of waking up. Do resist that pastry or doughnut, though. The best bet is a light breakfast made up of whole-grain cereal, fruits, nuts and seeds.
One can also try out breakfast consisting of low-fat milk and fruit, or a breakfast smoothie made from low-fat yoghurt and fruits. Given our hectic lifestyles, ready-to-cook breakfast options or even breakfast bars are a great option that saves you time and yet give your body all the nutrition it needs.
Here Are Some Reasons Why Breakfast Is Absolutely Essential
1. Improves Metabolism
When we wake up in the morning, our blood sugar levels are low because of the overnight fasting periods. A healthy breakfast kicks start the metabolism and gives the body energy to go through the day. When our body doesn’t get that fuel, we are more likely to feel tired and overeat later in the day to compensate.
Tip: Try having breakfast within 1 hour of waking up. You can try consuming energy bars or ready-to-cook cereals if you’re running short of time.
2. Improves Heart Health
A healthy breakfast helps boost your heart health and lowers the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Also, skipping breakfast leads to other unhealthy habits which can cause hypertension, obesity and high blood pressure.
Tip: Include foods that will give you fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals like whole grain, nuts and seeds etc. and stay away from processed and high sugar foods.
3. Improved Brain Function
A healthy breakfast also ensures that the brain gets all the nutrients it needs for better functioning. Breakfast improves memory and it has been found that cognitive function is enhanced because we are more alert throughout the day when we don’t skip breakfast.
Tip: Include whole oats or other whole-grain cereals, which are rich sources of fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for memory and brain function.
4. Helps With Weight Management
Having a healthy breakfast in the morning keeps our appetite in check, which in turn ensures that we don’t indulge in unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
Tip: Eat foods that are high in protein and fibre. Fibre gets digested without getting absorbed and thus makes you feel full without adding to the weight.
5. Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
Breakfast helps in keeping blood glucose levels stables and regulates insulin levels in the body. Skipping breakfast may lead to very low levels of insulin which suddenly increases after lunch. This can lead to various health issues like diabetes.
Tip: Try and avoid late-night munching as insulin sensitivity is higher in the mornings.
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