by Wendy Jackson
“Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life.
— A.A.Gill, food and travel writer ,The Sunday Times.
It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why?
It’s not because of the multimillion pound cereal industry or the dairy lobby.
It is because; what, when, and how often we eat will significantly affect our mental and physical health.
Eating a proper balance of protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fat will not only nourish your body it will nourish your mind. Breakfast starts a healthy process in your brain releasing chemicals called hormones which bring positive emotional and cognitive results, including:
Optimal memory function
Ability to problem-solve
Hopeful and optimistic attitude
Connection with others
Responsibility for self
High self- esteem
Healthy relationship with food
You may ask, ‘Wendy, how will; what, when, and how much I eat do all that?’
Good question, let me answer that.
Our brain is fuelled by the sugars produced from the food that we eat. The goal is to maintain a steady release of blood sugar throughout the day. To complicate matters there is a delicate balance of hormones where each promotes the work of the other. In simple terms when we eat the right combination of food, at the right time, in the right amount the sending cells and the receiving cells in the brain are in optimum communication and our bodies and our minds feel great. However, when we consume too much food that turns to sugar in our bodies, the communication system in our brain will adjust and ‘save some for later’ over producing certain hormones. When we eat to low an amount of these foods are brain; gets ‘angry’, produces cravings and becomes emotionally unstable. In addition, when we don’t eat enough protein some hormones won’t make their way to the communication system at all. These disruptions throw our chemistry off balance by reducing the amount of the lovely hormones that enhance mood and cognitive function. This can lead to depression, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and a myriad of other negative emotions and thoughts.
‘So what can we do?’ you ask.
Start with breakfast I say. This ‘will prime the pump’ so to speak and nourish your brain creating the proper flow of hormones through your body to set you up to take on the day.
I’ve been using myself as a ‘Guinea pig’ for the past 4 months and I can feel an improvement in all the areas listed above. For that reason I’m now a big fan of the early and big breakfast.