Increased energy levels. Decreased disease risk. Bigger memory capability. Smaller waistline. When it comes to that first morning meal, the reasons to fuel your body are virtually endless. So, the next time you’re about to dash out the door on an empty stomach, remember these 10 reasons why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day:
• High Energy. A healthy breakfast provides you with enough nutrients to energize your body for hours.
• Smart Eating. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast consume more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and less fat and cholesterol.
• Calorie Reduction. People who don’t eat breakfast are likely to eat more calories throughout the day than people who skip lunch, according to the Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health and Media.
• Decreased Diabetes Risk. People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be diabetic than those who usually don’t, according to the American Heart Association.
• Weight Control. A study by the National Weight Control Registry shows that eating breakfast actually helps keep people’s weight down.
• Making Memories. According to experts, eating breakfast improves memory and learning. In one study, college students who ate a morning meal scored 22 percent higher in a word-recall test than those who skipped breakfast.
• Urge to Exercise. Researchers believe that people who eat breakfast have higher energy levels and may engage in more physical activity than people who don’t.
• Happy Days. Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired, irritable, or sad. Even grabbing some fresh fruit or a bowl of cereal can help boost your mood.
• Stress Be Gone. The time you spend eating breakfast can be relaxing and help you to mentally prepare for the day. Eating breakfast also forces you to slow down, helping you to prioritize.
Keep in mind, however, that all breakfasts are not created equal—a healthy morning meal should be balanced and not too heavy. So, skip the eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits, and go for whole-grain cereals with fruit or juice instead. Or opt for an egg-white omelet filled with vegetables.