Breakfast and Your Brain – Is it Important
When you were growing up, you probably heard the old saying about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. As you get older, you think that is just something parents tell their children, often skipping breakfast for just a cup of coffee and maybe a granola bar. The truth of the matter is, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially when it comes to getting the most out of your brain. If you are not someone who enjoys breakfast, then here is some key facts about why breakfast really does matter, and how it can really boost your brain’s performance.
Controls Glucose Levels
One of the biggest reasons as to why breakfast is essential for brain performance is due to the fact that breakfast gives you both short term and long term glucose benefits. If you skip breakfast, you might find that your blood sugar is below the normal range, and this causes hypoglycemia. When you become hypoglycemic, you will feel confused, have headaches, get shaky, and suffer memory loss or impairment. This is because during the night your essentially going on a fast, and your blood sugar levels become depleted. Eating breakfast allows your body to process various nutrients and carbohydrates that can help stabilize your glucose levels, which will enable you to concentrate better and think clearer. Blood glucose levels impact your metabolism and if your levels drop too low, then you will feel listless and have almost no energy to function properly. Glucose is basically the gas needed for your brain to perform, which means without the glucose going through your body, your tank will be empty.
You Get Essential Vitamins
When you eat a balanced breakfast, not only are you helping control your blood sugar, but you are also helping your body get essential vitamins it might otherwise be lacking. When you eat breakfast, such as oatmeal and fruit, you are more likely to intake the recommended amount of vitamins you need each day for optimal brain performance. If you skip breakfast, you will often not make up for the missed nutrients and vitamins at lunch or dinner, and this leaves your body craving what it needs to thrive. The most common vitamins that you need to get the recommended amount of include Vitamin A, D, and B6, which are all crucial for brain function and development. Iron and magnesium as well as calcium are also important parts of most breakfasts, which are often times overlooked throughout the other meals of the day. You can think about it as if each meal you needed 34 percent of essential nutrients and vitamins, so skipping breakfast leaves you with two meals to get you to 100 percent. In most cases, people will not consume 50 percent of the daily intake at lunch and the other 50 percent at dinner, and this is how your body winds up lacking in recommended values.
The Vitamins Are Needed For Concentration
When you talk about your brain performing at the highest level, one of the most important aspects of function is being able to concentrate on a task for an extended period of time. When you fail to get the recommended intake of vitamins, which often happens if you skip breakfast, you are starving your brain of what it needs to properly concentrate on tasks. Eating breakfast and getting those vitamins helps your brain transmit information and enables the neurons to move effectively throughout the body, which helps you concentrate at the highest levels. Concentration is very important for daily life, whether you are at your job or in school, you have to concentrate to be effective and perform at optimal level. If you lack the ability to concentrate at top-notch, you are also going to see an impact of how much information you can process and remember, which is not good if you are in school trying to learn or in the middle of an important training seminar at work. If you have trouble concentrating, you might become agitated, which can impair your ability to reason with logic and process new information in a timely manner.
Your Mood is Altered by Breakfast
When you talk about your brain being the best it can be, it’s easy to forget that mood is often associated with brain performance. If you are in a bad mood you are less likely to concentrate, store and process information, and will overall have a negative outlook on the tasks you are working on at that point in time. If you skip breakfast, you will notice that you are more likely to be in a bad mood, due to the lowering of your glucose levels. Without the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that are commonly found in breakfast foods, your blood sugar levels drop, and this will have a negative impact on your mood. If you eat breakfast, you will notice that your mood is better, you are thinking clearer, and have an overall better outlook on life and the situation you are in. Eating breakfast will make you feel alert, calm, content, and have an improved self-esteem, which are all crucial if you want your brain to work the best it can. You can think of it like being depressed compared to being happy, these changes in metabolism greatly alter your brain’s performance and function.