1. Manage your weight.
It sounds perhaps contradictory but people who eat more for breakfast tend to weigh less than those who don’t. Many breakfast skippers get so hungry by mid-morning that they grab high-calorie high sugar snacks to curb their hunger rather than the lower-calorie whole-grain breakfast cereal and low-fat milk or whole-wheat toast, fruit and yogurt or tomato and mushroom omelette that they might have eaten for breakfast.
2. Have more energy
Overnight, your body’s fuel tank runs pretty low. You need breakfast to get your engine going. It provides energy for your body and brain and ramps up your metabolism. Adding both carbohydrates and protein such as a bowl of porridge made with milk with some honey and cinnamon or a slice of multi-grain toast with cheese can give you longer-lasting energy and help keep hunger at bay during the morning.
3. Wake up your brain
To perform at your best, you need to nourish your body as well as your brain. Your brain relies on carbohydrates to function so without a healthy breakfast, you can expect to suffer from lack of concentration and focus – not an ideal lead in to that important meeting you have at work! It’s easier to concentrate and complete tasks whether it be at work or home when you’ve eaten a healthy balanced breakfast rather than relying on coffee alone for brainpower.
4. Steady your blood sugar
For lasting energy throughout the day, it’s best to keep your blood sugar at a steady level. Go easy on fruit juices, sweetened drinks and sugary breakfast foods that are absorbed quickly into your blood stream. These tend to give your blood sugar a quick spike up and then lead to it coming crashing down whereas whole grains and protein help you achieve a steady climb in blood sugar levels. A drop in blood sugar can leave you feeling tired and can lead to sugar cravings. New research shows that eating whole grains for breakfast may even help keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day even into the afternoon.
5. Fight off colds
Antioxidants found in fresh fruits and veggies (especially blueberries and raspberries) are part of a food insurance policy that helps protect the cells in your body from damage. Ramp up the antioxidant content in your breakfast by topping your oatmeal with cinnamon, sprinkling walnuts in your bowl of cold cereal or stirring a bit of cocoa powder into your coffee.
6. Strengthen your immunity
Do your body a favour and help your immune system to thrive by sitting down to a breakfast of fruit salad with mango, papaya, pineapple and a squeeze of lime for a generous hit of Vitamins A and C. Vitamin A promotes infection-fighting white blood cells and helps the skin and mucous membranes block invading bacteria and viruses. Vitamin C helps to prevent damage to cells from free radicals. It is also needed to make collagen, a protein that helps keep the skin supple and tight and improves the skins ability to heal wounds.
7. Build strong bones and muscles
The combination of calcium and vitamin D ensures that bones get what they need to stay strong and healthy. Be sure to regularly include the most convenient source -- a cup of milk. Whether it is cow’s milk, fortified soy, almond or rice milk, try and choose milk with the highest amount of calcium and protein and the lowest fat. Cow’s milk is a good source of protein, the nutrient that helps you retain muscle.
8. Improve digestion
To help promote good digestion and keep your gut healthy, include some probiotics and prebiotics in your breakfast. The probiotic bacteria found in certain yogurt varieties are beneficial for improving ‘good’ bacteria while crowding out ‘bad’ bacteria in your intestines. Inulin, a carbohydrate added to certain yogurts and other foods, contains prebiotics that help nourish ‘good’ bacteria so that it can flourish.