No doubt you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you really believe it?
Well, study after study shows that breakfast does indeed live up to its reputation. Not only does it give you energy to kick start your day, but it may help you slim down, keep your heart healthy and even help you live to 100!
In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a study that suggests that skipping breakfast is a good thing.
So why do a whopping 31 million Americans still skip breakfast every day?
If you’re one of them, keep reading to find out all the incredible health benefits you may be missing out on. For those lacking culinary inspiration in the morning, we’ve also included 10 healthy recipes to help you out.
That’s right, eating breakfast can keep you from packing on the pounds.
In fact, in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to be not just overweight, but obese! The same study found that frequently eating breakfast away from home was also linked with obesity.
Even if you’re consciously cutting calories to lose weight, skipping breakfast is still a bad idea.
Researchers from the University of Missouri found that eating a high-protein breakfast meant participants felt fuller throughout the day and ate a smaller dinner and fewer snacks. Eating a low-protein breakfast or no breakfast made subjects more likely to graze on unhealthy snacks during the day.
And, an Israeli study found that women who ate half their daily calories at breakfast lost an average of 19 pounds in 3 months!
Recommended Reading: 10 Science Backed Cheats To Rev Up Your Metabolism & Help You Lose Weight
Get an Energy Boost
Expecting your body to run on empty from dinner time right through to lunchtime the next day just isn’t healthy.
Food is fuel for the body, so eating a nutritious breakfast means you’ll have enough energy to burn, keeping you active and productive until lunch rolls around.
Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have now shown that irregular breakfast consumption is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
Prevent Heart Disease
One in every three deaths is caused by heart disease and stroke. Isn’t that figure shocking?
Even if not fatal, these illnesses can result in disability and decreased quality of life.
The sad thing is that most incidences of cardiovascular disease could be prevented through a healthy diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking.
Take the first step and start the day off right with a healthy breakfast, which has been associated with a lower incidence of heart disease in men aged 45 to 82.
Recommended Reading: 21 Foods That Unclog Arteries
Enhance Your Memory
Eating breakfast may play a more important role than you think in getting good grades or excelling at the office.
After all, if we only fuel our brains after a night of fasting with a cup of coffee, how can we expect them to perform at their best?
Evidence collected from a review of 22 studies on breakfast and cognitive function suggests that eating breakfast may improve memory, test grades and school attendance in children and adolescents.
Recommended Reading: Eat These Foods To Boost Your Memory & Improve Brain Function
Live To 100!
Eating breakfast ‘like a king’ is a common factor enjoyed by those who live to see their 100th birthday.
In fact, people living in the Blue Zone – global locations known for good health and a long lifespan – all eat the most calories at breakfast, the second most at lunch and the least at dinner.
Didn’t have time for breakfast and by mid-morning all you can think of is a delicious sugary pastry?
That’s because skipping breakfast makes high calorie food seem more appealing later in the day, according to a study. Our brains crave these calorie laden snacks to make up for what we missed out on when ‘fasting’.
Do yourself (and your waistline) a favor and make a little extra time for a quick and healthy morning meal.
Get Your Daily Intake of Nutrients
If you’re trying to get your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other nutrients our bodies need from just two meals a day, you’re going to struggle.
The fact is, eating breakfast means we start the day off on the right foot from a nutritional standpoint. Eat one with a mix of healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates and you’ll be well on your way to hitting all those recommended daily targets.
Prevent Cold & Flu
With winter approaching, it might be more important than ever to start the day off right.
A Dutch study has shown that a substantial breakfast boosts the body’s gamma-interferon, a natural antiviral that boosts immune function.
Cardiff University researchers also claim that people who skip breakfast are more prone to infections – perhaps because white blood cells, which fight infection, need a morning boost.
10 Healthy Breakfast Recipes For Those In Need Of Inspiration
Now that we’ve established we should be eating breakfast every day, let’s remember the type of breakfast we eat matters too. Here are some healthy breakfast recipe ideas:
Breakfast in a Hurry
With these quick and tasty recipes that take less than five minutes to make, or can be prepped in advance, there’s no excuse for skipping this important meal anymore.
Overnight Oats – This recipe is absolutely ideal for anyone who has an early start in the morning, or who spends all their time getting the kids ready for school. The night before, simply blend oats, yogurt or milk and a choice of nuts and fruits in a bowl or jar and hey presto – an instant breakfast awaits you in the morning. Vegan option, gluten free option.
Classic Green Monster Smoothie – Can’t stomach the thought of a green smoothie…especially first thing in the morning? This recipe will change your mind, guaranteed. It contains an impressive 9 grams of protein per serving but feel free to add some protein powder for extra satiating ability. And, the ingredients can be prepped the night before, so you just need to blend it in the morning. Vegan, gluten free.
Make-Ahead Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Parfait – This healthy recipe combines fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, oats and chia seeds. Pack the parfait in a mason jar for a healthy breakfast on the go. They even keep for several days in the fridge so you can make a few at a time. Vegan option, gluten free.
High Fiber, High Protein Breakfast Squares – Ingredients such as wheat germ, flaxseed, protein powder, peanut butter and oats make this a great way to start the day. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and you’ll have something to snack on each morning in rush-hour traffic. Vegan option.
Healthy Egg Muffin Cups – These eggy delights are filled with protein and superfood veggies like spinach, garlic, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. They can be made in advance and eaten cold or quickly heated before you head out the door. Gluten free.
Leisurely Breakfast Treats
These breakfast ideas are great for when you have a little more time in the morning. They also make for an ideal weekend breakfast-in-bed treat.
Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – A twist on a traditional bowl of oatmeal, this breakfast packs a high protein punch and tons of flavor with cinnamon, almonds, coconut and fresh fruit. Vegan, gluten free.
Eggs in Avocado with Tomato & Basil – Bake your eggs in avocado and top with tomato and basil for a breakfast bursting with healthy fats and protein … and flavor of course. It makes an impressive dish if you have guests. Gluten free.
2-Ingredient Pancakes – Yes, you can have pancakes for breakfast and still be healthy. With eggs for protein and banana for energy and a little fiber, they make for a winning breakfast combination. Fry the pancakes in coconut oil for some healthy fats to boot. Gluten free.
Savory Chickpea Pancake – This high protein, filling meal is based on an Indian classic. Chickpea flour is mixed with spices, cooked until golden and topped with sautéed vegetables. Experiment with your favorite toppings too – like salsa, avocado, hummus or sour cream. Vegan, gluten free.
Ricotta and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich – A healthier twist on a breakfast favorite, this sandwich pairs whole wheat bread (or a whole wheat bagel) with ricotta, fresh basil, tomato and olive oil. It will keep you powering right through until lunch. Gluten free option.
Don’t forget that breakfast need not be an elaborate affair. Simply grabbing a hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit before running out the door, or enjoying a quick bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, is all you need to reap some of these great health benefits.