Why You Should Eat Breakfast

Find out why eating breakfast can lead to a healthier and happier youDo you find yourself dipping in and out of consciousness by midmorning? Suddenly, your boss starts to sound like one of the adults from Charles Schulz's Peanuts and, for the love of God, you can't seem to keep your eyes open. The funny thing is, you got plenty of sleep last night, so why are you so tired? Well, if you skipped breakfast, you might have set yourself up for a day of failure.

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"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper," is an old saying that rings true to this day. Often, we ditch the breakfast routine in order to catch an early train or to cut back on the calories. Some even find it hard to will themselves to eat that early in the day. But hear you me, friend: Breakfast is not the enemy.

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Skipping breakfast not only completely ignores your body's needs, but it also deprives it of so many positive benefits. Eating later in the day can ruin your body's chances of burning off unnecessary fat, consequently putting yourself at risk for obesity, heart disease, and robbing your brain of intelligence. It really is that serious.

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Now, of course, in order to reap all of the benefits of breakfast, which include radiant skin and a better immune system, you can't go shoving breakfast pastries down your throat whilst running out the door. Even sweetened, sugary cereals aren't going grant these benefits. To start the day off right, breakfast should be a complete meal with whole grains, protein, and fiber.

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Credit: Veer/Best PicsBrain-Boosting Powers
As you stare off into space at your work desk, you may wonder why you can't focus on a darn thing. The fact that you started your day off with just two sips of coffee may be the reason. After a night of fasting, your brain needs a fresh supply of glucose (blood sugar) for fuel. Without it, you'll have trouble processing new information, have issues with physical understanding, and won't remember much.

Credit: Veer/ManninenGet Essential Nutrients
Your morning meal is fortified with nutrients that your body needs to function healthily each day. Nutrients like folate, iron, B vitamin, fiber, and other essentials are only gained through food, and while the body can always use its stored recesses to make it to the next meal, that initial burst of essentials is never provided without eating breakfast.

Credit: Veer/Rohit SethHelp Your Heart
Making sure to get breakfast in your system does more than keep you awake - it promotes a healthy heart by preventing diabetes and lowering blood pressure. Those who skip breakfast tend to have higher cholesterol levels, a major risk factor for heart disease. Breakfast eaters tend to get less fat and more fiber in their diets, which leads to less overeating and fewer unhealthy snacks between meals.

Credit: Veer/Rez ArtReduce Metabolic Syndrome
Instead of loading up on a heavy dinner, start your day off with a grand meal at breakfast time. Doing so may help prevent metabolic syndrome disorders like obesity and insulin resistance. A study in the International Journal of Obesity examined the type of foods and specific timing of consumption that resulted in metabolic syndrome characteristics in mice. Mice that were fed a meal higher in fat after waking had normal metabolic profiles, while mice that ate more carbohydrates in the morning and consumed a high-fat meal at the end of the day showed increased weight gain and other markers of metabolic syndromes. Researchers found that the time of fat intake matters; when eating fat early, metabolism worked efficiently and affected the animals' response to different types of food later in the day.

Credit: Veer/CorbisLess Likely to Develop Eating Disorders
Even though skipping breakfast is quite common, it is a form of disordered eating. Breakfast literally means breaking the fast, and is necessary in order to jump-start your body. An Australian study found that 13-year-old girls who did not eat breakfast were on average more dissatisfied with their body shape and had undergone more diet regimens then those who broke the fast with regular morning meals. Since skipping breakfast is often about skipping a meal for weight control purposes, it's is a disorderly way of eating.

Credit: Istock/IuriiSokolovEnhance Immune System
To fight the common wintertime colds and flus, you need to sit down and eat your breakfast. A study in the Netherlands showed that eating a substantial breakfast boosts your body's gamma-interferon, a natural antiviral that directly activates immune cells. Skipping breakfast caused a 17 percent drop in gamma-interferon.

Credit: Veer/MsheldrakeImprove Your Skin
Eggs, the incredible and popular breakfast food, do way more than fill you up. No matter how they are prepped, eggs are fantastic for your skin. Lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant found in eggs, helps to preserve the skin's elasticity and protects skin cells from free radical damage. Just one egg a day can boost your lutein levels by 26 percent. There are plenty of other breakfast foods that will do the job as well, like oatmeal, walnut pancakes, and breakfast smoothies.

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- Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal