According to a Harvard University – Massachusetts General Hospital study of children in Philadelphia and Baltimore schools, students who usually ate school breakfast had better math grades, higher standardized test scores, decreased absences and tardiness, reduced hyperactivity and improved social relations in comparison to children who seldom ate school breakfast.
The word “breakfast” literally means to break fast. As we know, fasting is the act of not eating over a period of time. We may not think of it this way, but we virtually fast while we sleep — even if we dream about food. The act of eating breakfast is literally breaking the fast!
The National Weight Control Registry is a database of more than 3,000 people who have lost at least 60 pounds and kept it off for at least 6 years. Seventy eight percent of these people in the registry found that eating breakfast daily was an excellent weight control strategy along with eating a low-fat diet and exercising for an hour or more every day.
Cereal is the number one food bought in supermarkets today. The first breakfast cereal was created in 1863 in New York by a vegetarian.
So What Is a Healthy Breakfast Anyway?
Is it pancakes slathered in maple syrup or green eggs and ham? Well, first and foremost, a healthy breakfast should be a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Fiber is also very important. The protein can come from meat, eggs, beans or soy products. Fiber can be found in whole grain cereals, grains or in fruits. Sure, every once in a while you can treat yourself to biscuits, pancakes or pastries for special occasions but on a daily basis, they should be avoided along with sugary cereals and white breads. These foods will bring insanity to your blood sugar level, jolting you out of the Zone. Those sorts of foods are digested quickly and will leave you hungry and tired in a just a couple of hours.
Research done by the Cardiff University School of Psychology, LED BY Professor Andrew Smith has shown that eating breakfast helps children function better in school than those who skip the first meal of the day. Dr. Smith says that it is clear that starting the day with cereal enhances mental, cognitive and physical ability. The children are less emotionally distressed, less tired and less anxious. The study examined 213 children from 4 – 11 years old.
The results revealed children who start the day with cereal are:
9 percent more alert
11 percent less emotionally distressed
13 percent less tired
17 percent less anxious
10 percent less likely to suffer memory and attention span difficulties, than those that have no breakfast
33 percent less likely to suffer from stomach complaints.