Kayla Slater, Columnist
robably heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, you should eat your biggest meal of the day in the morning, not in the evening. Evidence shows eating something in the morning has countless benefits, including improved mental and physical health.
Eating breakfast will give you energy and strength throughout the morning, so you won’t crash before lunchtime. Without glucose in the brain, you may feel fatigued. Eating breakfast improves memory and concentration in class. Also, eating in the morning improves your mood, increases your metabolic rate and increases the liklihood to make better food choices. If your body is hungry and lacks glucose, you will feel sluggish and less energetic. Eating more frequently helps to keep your metabolic rate up, so you are able to burn more calories. When you are starving, you are more likely to choose convenience over health.
A healthy breakfast should consist of lean protein, fiber, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruit. Lean protein will help you to stay full longer throughout the day so you are not starving before lunch. Examples of lean protein sources include natural peanut butter, eggs and yogurt. Fiber also keeps you full and aids in digestion. Many whole-grain cereals have high fiber. Other options include whole-grain toast and apples. Whole-grains not only lower the risk of chronic diseases, but also give you the carbohydrates needed for energy. Everyone knows dairy is important for calcium and strong bones. You can add milk to your cereal or try yogurt. Fruit is high in vitamin C and other valuable vitamins. You could add fruit to your cereal or yogurt, or eat whole fruit such as an apple, orange or banana. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast gives you many of the nutrients and minerals needed in your diet. Supplying your body with many of the essential nutrients in the morning may be easier than later in the day.
Many college students skip breakfast because they don’t have time. Here are some tips for healthy breakfast options, as well as options for on-the-go: an omelet and whole-grain toast, a whole-grain waffle with natural peanut butter and sliced apples, whole-grain cereal like Kashi, or oatmeal with honey and nuts or fruit are great breakfast options. On-the-go options to take to class include a whole-grain bagel/toast with natural peanut butter and a piece of fruit, a smoothie, breakfast bar or yogurt.
Next time you leave for class in the morning, remember to fuel your body with the right nutrients so you can concentrate throughout the day.