I am often amazed by how well people take care of their cars, more than their bodies. They get regular oil checks, replace worn out parts, put proper gasoline in car. We recognize the necessity of proper care to get the longest life and best performance out of our motor vehicles. When will we realize that proper care also gives our bodies the longest life and best performance?
Scientific research has confirmed that most leading causes of death and chronic diseases are preventable. We are a bit more health conscious in Nigeria – information on health in magazines, newspapers, TV, radio. Adding breakfast to your eating pattern is a major step to improving your lifestyle. Well, why bother with breakfast? Food is fuel. Many studies have emphasized the importance of breakfast. If you want to make the most of your day, fuel your body early with the right stuff.
Starting your day with a good breakfast boosts your energy, increases your attention span, and increases your sense of well-being. Breakfast puts you in better control of your emotions. A good breakfast is one that provides at least one third of the day’s calories. This is also for children – It is essential for children to have breakfast – keeps them alert, attentative and focused. Studies have linked healthy breakfast with less chronic disease, increased longevity and better health.
Most people give a variety of reasons for not eating breakfast. Such as, “I am never hungry in the morning”, or “I don’t have time”. Important as we make time for everything else, we make time for taking care of our body. Many people eat late meals or snack late at night. When they go to bed, the body is still busy digesting all that food. Digestion slows down during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach in the morning. The stomach needs a rest too. When you wake up in the morning, it is recommended to drink at least 2 glasses of room temperature water. The water rehydrates your body from the night sleep (as we become dehydrated at night – sweating, breathing) wakes you up, and helps the bowel move freely. When you get up in the morning, your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day. Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. A good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by mid-morning.
The effects of a skipped breakfast are short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar, decreased work productivity.
How To Do It
Plan wisely for a healthy breakfast. Create a meal schedule. Many prepared cereals have added refined sugar, often hidden. Read labels carefully to select cereals prepared without excessive sugar, salt, fat, and additives.
- Start Small. If you’re not a breakfast eater, begin with whole wheat toast and/or a piece of fruit. In a few days, add more food.
- Choose Fruit for Breakfast. Fruit gives you fiber. Fresh fruit is the best choice. There are many to choose from: oranges, grapefruits, apples, bananas, grapes, melons. Eat two servings of fruit every morning.
- Eat High Fiber Hot Cereal. Hot cereal is the best choice, and there are several brands of cereal on the market that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Oatmeal is a favorite hot cereal. Try a seven grain cereal and experiment with different grains such as millet, brown rice, quinoa, corn grits for variety. Pap is a wonderful hot cereal.
–Choose a cereal with at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.
–Choose cereal that have 5 grams or less of sugar per serving.
–Remember 4 grams of sugar=1 teaspoon.
- Moi-Moi is also a great choice for breakfast.
Your Challenge: You Can Do It!!
Try this simple experiment. Eat one or two servings of fresh fruit every morning for the next three weeks. Eat as many different kinds as you can find.
Remember, Health is by Choice…not by chance! The choice is yours. You don’t have to be a health statistic. By adopting a better diet and wiser lifestyle habits, you can live longer, feel better, and enjoy a healthier, more productive life.it