Importance of eating breakfast

BY: Wise Chikwudi Letsa
Skipping breakfast leads to prolonged fasting

Breakfast being the first meal of the day provides the energy needed to begin the day. Most often as should be the case, we eat breakfast after a long period of fasting throughout the night.

In the morning, our body needs energy to kick-start the day’s activities. This energy comes from the breakfast meal which helps in replenishing glycogen stores in the body.

 

There is then an increase in physical activity in the morning, which travels with you through the whole day. It is just like the way you buy fuel for your car early morning on your way to work.

There are two schools of thought as to what the breakfast meal should be. Whilst some say breakfast should be a light food, for example tea and bread, others say it should be heavy at once, say banku and okro soup.

From my expert point of view, breakfast can either be light or heavy, provided it agrees with the consumer’s system.

Another expectation is that, it must be a balanced meal, providing the body with all the six food nutrients in their right proportions. Breakfast also does not need to be foreign or exotic; prepare it out of what you have.

Most people are too busy early in the morning and so often leave for work and other places without breakfast.

It is almost like forcing your car to move without enough fuel or engine oil, the car starts alright but will develop a lot of wear and tear which will impact negatively on its lifespan.

Avoiding high blood cholesterol

As mentioned earlier, the body’s glucose stores in a form called glycogen are soon depleted around the time we have to take breakfast.

It is a fact that the amount of glucose stored in the body as glycogen can only last for about 15 minutes of exercise. It is too little to last us for the morning’s activities.

So when we journey into the day without breakfast, the body makes its own glucose from fat stores first and then protein stores if there are no fats stores to fall on.

From the three energy laden food nutrients; carbohydrates (including glucose), fats and oils, and proteins, the body prefers to use glucose first. This is because the process is more convenient and easier.

Apart from converting fat stores into glucose, the body is also able to produce energy directly from the breakdown products of fats and oils. This process is not very desirable to the body thereby making it a second choice.

When fat stores are broken down all the time and released into the blood stream, components of the fats also increase in quantity in the blood.

Cholesterol is also a type of fat and therefore it is also increased in the blood. When blood cholesterol levels go up, the victim stands the chance of developing a heart disease soon.

Exercise for the alimentary canal

The alimentary canal starts from the mouth, passes through the throat, enters the stomach, continues through the small intestine to the large intestines and then ends in the anus.

When the alimentary canal stays idle for a long time without food going through it, so many things are bound to happen. In severe cases, there is loss of its function either in whole or in part.

The normal contraction or simply put movement that allows the mixing and digestion of food could be lost for the period of time in question. That is why when you break a long fast with a hard crunchy food, you experience stomach cramps.

Without the normal movements, food goes stale resulting in a lot of discomfort to the consumer. These are extreme cases but what happens after you take a breakfast is a restoration of the normal movement of the muscles in the alimentary canal to optimal activity.

This is of great benefit throughout the rest of the day. This will also set the tone for the secretion of digestive juices in their right amounts and potency. The end result is that there will be more effective use of the alimentary canal.

Helping maintain good composure

Breakfast satisfies hunger and gives you a great sense of calmness through the day. Most people are very irritable when they are hungry. A hungry man is an angry man.

This feeling is even worst when they skip their breakfast. Such people are thus edgy throughout the rest of the day.

Eating breakfast gets you on track to make healthy choices all day. These choices are not limited to food but concern life in general.

People who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat a healthier diet as well later in the day. They eat diet that is more nutritious and lower in fat.

When you skip breakfast, you are more likely to skip fruits and vegetables the rest of the day too and thus missing their health benefits.

An expert advice

It is commonly said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so people should eat their breakfast like kings.

I believe that all meals of the day are equally important. None of them should be skipped. More dangerous is the likelihood to eat wrongly in the day if you do not start right with breakfast.

To maintain acceptable meal times in the day, start with your breakfast latest by 8.00am, allowing six hours between your meals will bring lunch to a time not later than 1.00pm.

This automatically fixes your supper at around 6.00pm. Try these meal times and you will thank God for a good health for the rest of your life.

Due to the negative effects of a breakfast-less day, the choice left for us is to take our breakfast. Issues bordering around appetite and any inability to take breakfast can be best addressed by dietitians so see one as soon as possible.

Breakfast is fuel for a great day so don’t go without it.