Could Your Breakfast Save Your Life?

August 2018

The world is moving faster, there’s more work to achieve and less time for yourself. For many, taking time out for breakfast has become a luxury, with the meal reduced to a quick grab of a cereal bar. Work desks are becoming cluttered and keyboards full of crumbs as we squeeze working and eating together.

But what is the cost of this? Does skipping out on such an important meal have implications for your physical and mental wellbeing?

The breakfast habits of 25,000 people were investigated by a Harvard Public Health study. Results were striking. People who skipped breakfast showed a 27% increased risk of heart attack or death from heart disease¹!

Skipping breakfast additionally reduces your metabolism, causes you to eat more throughout the rest of the day and results in higher weight gain². 

But it is not only your physical health which seems to have a strong relationship with what you eat in the morning. In a separate study on mental health, it was found that children who skip breakfast achieved lower grades at school¹, and were prone to more fighting with classmates³.

Why is this? Breakfast regulates your body clock and provides your brain with essential nutrients and energy. Because your insulin levels are stabilised you’re less likely to snack, overeat, or experience sugar highs and lows⁴.

As tempting as those cereal bars are, we really need to start our day off fueling our bodies the correct way, not just with processed sugars. Many people can’t face eating first-thing and struggle to finish a piece of toast. If so, start with half a piece of wholemeal toast. Ideally, you should work your way up to a healthy cooked breakfast, setting the day up right. Taking the time to do this will pay back dividends in increased concentration, focus, reduced sleep troubles as well as kick-starting your metabolism and physical health.

For more healthy facts to boost your energy and focus and sleep, use Kelaa Mental Resilience

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¹ Mental Health Foundation.(2017) Food for Thought: Mental Health and Nutrition Briefing.  

² Niemeier, H. M., Raynor, H. A., Lloyd-Richardson, E. E., Rogers, M. L., & Wing, R. R. (2006). Fast food consumption and breakfast skipping: predictors of weight gain from adolescence to adulthood in a nationally representative sample. Journal of adolescent Health, 39(6), 842-849.

³ Murphy, J. M., Pagano, M. E., Nachmani, J., Sperling, P., Kane, S., & Kleinman, R. E. (1998). The relationship of school breakfast to psychosocial and academic functioning: cross-sectional and longitudinal observations in an inner-city school sample. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 152(9), 899-907.

 Kamada, I., Truman, L., Bold, J., & Mortimore, D. (2011). The impact of breakfast in metabolic and digestive health. Gastroenterology and Hepatology from bed to bench, 4(2), 76.

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