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The benefits of breakfast


Doctor in Human Movement Sciences, Mélanie and Jérôme Vaulerin from Monaco Care Concept explain the importance of eating a balanced breakfast.

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. But what is it really? Numerous studies have shown that starting the day with a well-balanced breakfast is the best way to fill up on energy and to avoid hunger pangs and fatigue during the day. Indeed, after the nightly fasting period between 8 and 12 hours, it is essential to provide the nutrients and vitamins essential for the body to function properly. According to the National Nutrition and Health Plan (PNNS), breakfast should cover at least 25% of the daily energy intake. The quantity and nutritional quality of breakfast will depend on the individual's energy needs (age, sex, weight, height), physical activity and digestive tolerance. It is also important to be well hydrated at breakfast.

Sweet or salty ?

For the sweet version, the ideal composition would be a whole fresh seasonal fruit, a plain dairy product (milk or plain yoghurt), a whole grain product (wholemeal bread or oatmeal), a hot or cold drink without added sugar (tea or coffee). The savoury version should include a protein product such as white ham or eggs. Eating a savoury breakfast will increase satiety, which will reduce hunger in the morning and limit the snacking that leads to weight gain. It is important to choose natural sugar (honey, fresh or dried fruit) rather than refined sugar (white sugar, biscuits, industrial fruit juice) which will not only have an inflammatory effect on the body but will also lead to hypoglycaemia responsible for the drop in energy before midday. Favouring foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fresh fruit, dried fruit and oilseeds, helps boost the immune system.

Its health benefits

Eating a balanced breakfast every day has positive effects on health. Not only is it the first meal that boosts the body in the morning by giving it the necessary energy, but it also determines the cognitive abilities of individuals throughout the day. Indeed, studies have shown that individuals who eat breakfast have better mental capacities during the morning, improve their concentration and memory and have better creativity. Other studies show that people who eat breakfast daily have a lower body mass index than those who do not, and are less deficient in nutrients. Not eating breakfast would increase fatigue (lowered blood pressure, yawning), hypoglycaemic attacks and even fainting, and would have a tendency to snack on sugary products in the morning.

Examples of a balanced breakfast

Sweet. A base of Skyr (Icelandic dairy speciality) or cottage cheese, both rich in animal protein (10g per 100g) accompanied by no-sugar-added oatmeal, whole fresh fruit (a portion of at least 150g) and almonds and hazelnuts. Coffee or tea without sugar.
Salty. A fried egg with a slice of wholemeal bread and whole fresh fruit. A large glass of still water.
Eating a balanced breakfast has nothing but health benefits, so why deprive yourself?