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Why Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Eating breakfast starts your day off on the right foot and gives you fuel for the day that will help you make better food decisions throughout the day.

It's true when your mom told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but making it a habit to eat a nutritious breakfast each morning can be easier said than done.

Between getting yourself and your family ready and out the door, breakfast can easily get skipped or replaced with sugary pastries and coffee. However, making time for a healthy breakfast is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a productive and energized day.

Boosts Your Energy Levels

First things first - in the morning, your body has been fasting for 8 hours or more overnight. Eating a healthy breakfast re-energizes your body and mind by providing essential nutrients and boosting your blood sugar levels. Without this morning refuel, you're more likely to experience that dreaded, mid-morning "slump" in energy and focus (if you're wondering why you are reaching for that daily 3 p.m. coffee, this could be why). Nutritious morning meals that combine complex carbs, fiber and protein are the ideal breakfast to steadily increase your energy levels.

Improves Focus and Concentration

In addition to giving you an energy boost, eating breakfast has been proven to increase focus and concentration in the short-term. In fact, students who eat breakfast tend to perform better on tests and have longer attention spans in class compared to breakfast-skippers. For working adults, eating a morning meal improves memory, problem-solving abilities and productivity throughout the morning. The brain needs the nutrients from food to function optimally.

Supports Healthy Weight Management

Yep, you're not alone if you feel tempted every now and again to skip breakfast to cut calories, but this morning meal can actually aid in weight management. People who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer total calories throughout the day compared to those who skip it. When you allow yourself to get overly hungry in the mornings, you're more likely to experience intense cravings and overeat at your next meal. Starting your day with a satisfying, high-fiber breakfast prevents this unhealthy cycle.

Reduces Disease Risks

There is increasing evidence that making breakfast a daily habit can reduce your risks for certain chronic diseases. Studies have found that those who eat breakfast have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who skip it. Regularly eating nutrient-dense morning meals has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Think: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats are some tasty examples of morning meal stars that provide protective antioxidants and fiber. Yum!

What Makes a Healthy Breakfast?

Now that we have your attention, you may be wondering what a nutritious breakfast is. Sugary pastries, pancakes drenched in syrup and greasy breakfast sandwiches won't cut it (sorry for the bad news) - instead, focus on incorporating fiber-rich whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats into your morning meal. You can really get creative here to add your own personal touch to keep it interesting and actually enjoyable: some ideas include Greek yogurt with berries and nuts, oatmeal with nut butter and bananas, or a veggie omelet with avocado toast. Taking just 10 - 15 minutes each morning at home rather than hitting up the fast food drive thru to fuel up on the right foods will leave you energized, focused and ready to conquer your day.

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