Last week we talked about some of the mental health benefits of eating breakfast, so continuing with that theme, today we’re covering some of the physical health benefits. Breakfast foods can have a variety of different vitamins and nutrients that are key to starting the day right. Skipping on breakfast means that you miss an opportunity to get all of those benefits, so make sure to always have at least something before leaving the house.
One important vitamin found in most breakfasts is Vitamin C. It appears in a bunch of different fruits and vegetables, including apples, oranges, and grapefruit, and also in drinks like orange juice. Vitamin C does a lot of important things, because it helps repair and regenerate body tissue like skin and bones, helps absorb iron, and decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Since it’s easy to grab an apple or an orange on the way out the door, there’s no reason to miss out on this important vitamin in the morning.
Another key vitamin is Vitamin D. It doesn’t appear naturally in a lot of foods, but it is found in milk, yogurt, and eggs, which are all common at breakfast. Since it isn’t as easy as other vitamins to get, it’s especially important to get this vitamin at breakfast. Vitamin D helps mostly with bone growth, along with calcium, another mineral that is found in milk and yogurt. So by eating these foods in the morning, you get a double dose of important nutrients.
Additionally, at breakfast you can also eat foods with fiber in them. Fiber is an essential nutrient that is in many different foods, including apples, citrus fruits, and whole grains like in whole wheat bread or oatmeal. Fiber is key to having a healthy digestive system, and also helps reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, a 2005 study found that 97% of Americans don’t get enough fiber during the day. So be sure that you get yours by having some whole wheat toast and fruit in the morning before school.
Finally, breakfast is extremely important to have in the morning because it has glucose. Glucose is your body’s energy source, and by the time first period starts, most students will have gone almost 12 hours without any food. Eating breakfast boosts your glucose levels, giving you enough energy to make it until lunch. But without anything in the morning, students are left tired and unable to concentrate during the morning. So, breakfast is definitely necessary for anyone who wants to be able to make it through those early classes without falling asleep. And with all of the other vitamins and benefits found in breakfast, why would you ever want to skip it?
Image from Parade.com.