Food is important to the body, but good or nutritious food is more important. This could explain why a nutritionist and weight loss expert, Adedamola Ladejobi, confidently declared: “While ‘diet’ refers to the food we eat, ‘nutrition’ is the interpretation of the interaction between substances found in food, as it relates to body growth, maintenance, health, reproduction, energy and body functionality.”
According to her, a nutritious diet does a lot of good in the body, but an unhealthy diet causes diseases and unhealthy conditions related to deficiency. “Having established the importance of good food, studies have revealed that the time food is taken is equally important. This means that among breakfast, lunch and dinner, one is the most important. Various studies conducted through the years have revealed that, while one is advised to eat food rich in nutrients, the best time of the day to eat and retain more nutrients in your body, is in the morning.
A 2017 studies reported by the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’, showed that there is a link between healthy breakfast and a healthy heart. In this study, those who repeatedly skipped breakfast were discovered to be more likely to develop atherosclerosis, which occurs “when the arteries narrow and become hard due to the buildup of unhealthy deposits that are sticky.”
WHAT IS A HEALTHY BREAKFAST?
Being the first thing you eat after resting or sleeping for a minimum of 5 to 8 hours, a healthy breakfast, according to one health expert, is a breakfast that includes nuts, low sugar, fruits, vegetables, whole grains/carbohydrates, and healthy fats that contain fibre, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and the B Vitamins, that will not only energise you but keep your body system in check.
We can also have protein included in our breakfast; most likely eggs for the average African, to keep your blood sugar level maintained. A glass of juice or a glass of low-fat milk is also a wonderful addition to a healthy breakfast. Keep in mind that you are breaking an overnight fast and it should be worth it. You should be consuming the very best.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
A healthy breakfast can do you a whole lot of good in the following ways:
IT IMPROVES YOUR MEMORY: For a healthy and functioning brain, carbohydrates are important. And by taking it before starting your day, you will improve your memory and maintain a high level of concentration at work or school. It also helps to reduce stress and mood swings. Various studies, especially on children, have shown that those who eat breakfast maintain the mental action or process of getting knowledge and understanding. They have what it takes to perform better at school.
PREVENT TYPE-2 DIABETES: There are a good number of researches that now shows one might keep diabetes at bay by eating regular healthy breakfasts. One of these studies, conducted over a 10-year programme, discovered that eating regular healthy breakfast reduces the risk of diabetes in their test subjects, by 30 per cent. One expert said, “not eating breakfast results in insulin resistance. And this is one of the features of Type-2 diabetes.”
IT DECREASES APPETITE: One study showed that eating a healthy breakfast before stepping out for the day’s activities, helps curb hunger and unnecessary cravings. This is mostly true when you eat high-fibre breakfast with lots of nutrients. With this, you would have less of an appetite for anything else, and save yourself some money for other things.
HELPS YOU WEIGH LESS: In 2010, one study conducted in Europe showed that those who consumed breakfast regularly had a healthier BMI (Body Mass Index) and less at risk of having obesity. This study was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
MOVES YOUR BOWELS: Have you ever found yourself dressed and hurrying to leave the house in time for work or school, but when you sit to eat breakfast, you’re suddenly pressed and need to use the toilet? Well, that’s what breakfast does. It helps move your bowels and keeps you comfortable throughout the day.
“Also, having a healthy breakfast does protect you against various kinds of cancer, aids the metabolic process, reduces blood sugar level, protects your brain and heart from all kinds of harm as well as decreases the rate of various kinds of diseases. Others include: Boosting of your immune system, as it gives you that feeling of fullness and you can go for a long time without getting hungry or tired. A healthy breakfast energises you and also you most likely save a lot of money that would have been spent on buying drugs to cure a disease that a healthy breakfast could have prevented.
“After going for at least seven hours (the period you were asleep), without food, I believe it is safe to say that breakfast is something that should not be toyed with, it should be taken seriously. Even though you were asleep for most of the time, it does not change the fact that you went without food and after a while, breaking that fast is important. Ninety-nine per cent of the healthiest breakfast food is lightweight. Now not only do they satisfy you, they do not impede your daily performance but rather, help you perform better,” said Ladejobi.
Studies have shown that kids and young adults who go to school without breakfast tend to have a less than impressive performance in school work. Same goes for an adult in their workplace. She continued: “The next time you want to skip breakfast or take food that is unfit to be called a healthy breakfast, think about your mental health, your body system and your general performance at any cognitive or physical activity.”