Do you often feel grumpy, irritable or sluggish in the morning? You might be feeling this way because you did not eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet nearly 40 percent of Canadians regularly skip breakfast. Not having a morning meal leaves your brain and body without the energy needed to start your day. And this can lead to what is known as brain drain, a reduced awareness and inability to concentrate. The most common reasons why people overlook breakfast is because ‘there is just not enough time in the morning’ and ‘I’m just not that hungry.’ I’m sure each of you has rushed out the door on an empty stomach on more than one occasion. March is National Nutrition Month and this year the goal is to help Canadians eat better during their 9 to 5 workday, starting with breakfast. With a little planning, anyone can prepare a nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed at home or eaten on-the-go.
Take a moment and think of the name breakfast. Breakfast literally means breaking the overnight fast. By the time you wake up in the morning, you may have gone 7 hours or more without eating any food. Your body needs a morning meal to build up those low energy reserves. For example, think of yourself as a car. After a long sleep, your fuel tank is empty. Breakfast is the fuel your body needs so you can hit the road in the morning feeling mentally and physically energized. Another benefit of having breakfast is to kick-start your metabolism. When you’re asleep, your metabolism slows down because you’re not moving. But when you wake up, your body needs to speed up and having breakfast is the perfect solution. Research has shown kick-starting your metabolism in the morning by eating breakfast can also help you maintain a healthy weight. By having breakfast, you are less likely to snack on high fat, high calorie foods before your next meal. Having breakfast in the morning is also a great way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. People who skip breakfast are less likely to meet their recommended daily intake of nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron, folate and fibre.