Have you been in the habit of skipping breakfast lately? We’ll talk about the health benefits breakfast provides, and this could make you think twice about skipping it the next time.

What is breakfast? If you break the word in half, you get “break” and “fast.” Technically, as you’re sleeping you endure a temporary fast for a period of hours. Your body gets to rest, a time during which it doesn’t need to think about food or anything else for that matter. However, when you wake up the next morning and getting ready to start the next day, it’s not a good time to extend your nightly fast. Your body wants fuel, it wants energy—it wants food!

One of the cornerstone habits of healthy living is eating regular breakfasts. Not eating breakfast creates stress, and that is the first thing you’ll experience in your day. The body requires energy to start a new day and when you skip breakfast, the adrenal glands are called upon to release the hormone cortisol to help increase blood sugar and bridge the gap. Cortisol helps provide energy between meals, but it is also a stress hormone. By not eating breakfast, you’re unknowingly increasing your stress first thing in the morning.

Who wants to start out the day with a jolt of stress rather than a jolt of energy? Ask yourself this question. If you can get in the habit of eating breakfast each day, you’re also helping to set a healthy beat for the rest of your day’s meals as well. Your blood sugar will be more balanced, your metabolism will feel supported, and your hunger cues will stay more on track. Your food choices and meal portions are also likely to be healthier after a balanced breakfast.

Worried about lack of time in morning to properly eat? Use these quick breakfast tips when you’re in a pinch:

  • Egg on toast or english muffin
  • Cereal with cow, almond, or soy milk
  • Yogurt with berries
  • Whole grain waffles
  • Smoothie with protein powder
  • Almond butter on toast
  • Breakfast burrito with beans, avocado, tomatoes, eggs

Whichever foods you feel will be quick and tasty, keep them stocked in your kitchen for the days when you have only five minutes to eat before work. Your efforts toward breakfast will help support:

  • Balanced blood sugar
  • An active metabolism
  • Increased energy
  • Healthy weight
  • Balanced mood, and
  • A sharper mind

If you’re a perpetual breakfast-skipper, try something new this week and add breakfast to the menu every day, within an hour of waking up in the morning. Your body will appreciate starting the day with energy rather than stress.