Breakfast is an essential part of a wholesome diet, recommended by doctors and nutritionists across the world. Yet it was not until the 19th century that families were encouraged to prioritize an early breakfast over the other meals in the day, which begs the question, “how essential is breakfast really to a wholesome diet?”.
For starters, breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. In fact, that’s where the name ‘breakfast’ holds its origin – breaking the fast! When you skip breakfast, you are effectively running on empty, which is equivalent to driving your car without enough petrol in it. Many nutritionists advise that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up, and that a healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA).
A popular notion is that breakfast provides us with the energy we need for the day, but that’s not all. What we term “breakfast food” are also very good sources of essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, B vitamins, protein, and fiber – all of which the body need. Research has shown that when we miss replenishing these nutrients at breakfast, the chances of compensating for them later in the day are very low. This also why it is important to incorporate some of our daily five at breakfast.
A brief history of breakfast
Very often when we talk about breakfast and how it has evolved both in nature and cultural relevance, our reference point is the West and how the industrial revolution, among other cultural shifts have transformed what people put on their plate when they wake up to a new day.
According to Breakfast: A History by Heather Arndt Anderson, there was a time when eating before 11am was considered gluttonous and immoral. By the 15th and 16th centuries, morning-food lovers, such as Francis I of France, and Queen Elizabeth of England, an early riser, made breakfast more popular. It wasn’t until the mid-1600s that breakfast started to look a little more like what we recognize it as today – featuring bacon and eggs. By the late 1800s, cereal was invented and convenience foods were born.
Before refrigeration revolutionized food preservation, families only made as much food as they could eat at any point in time, and leftovers were eaten first thing in the morning to prevent waste. Nomadic groups would eat whatever the night leftover over plus milk from the herd when it is available. And settled farmers ate whatever was leftover from dinner plus the staples in their store for added bulk. Even today, most things we eat are a reflection of our current society and breakfast is no exception.
Considering we are almost always in a hurry to get out the door, breakfast most often consists of things we are familiar with and “quick fixes”.
Why you need to be deliberate about your breakfast
We must all be familiar with the saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” It crystallizes the wisdom behind advice advocating for healthy eating and emphasizes how central this is to overall good health. There is a tangible connection between a healthy breakfast and healthy people.
A large and growing body of scientific evidence now supports the claim that breakfast really is a very important meal. For instance, Cahill et al. (2013) documented a 27% increase in coronary heart disease amongst those North American men who regularly failed to eat a balanced meal at the start of the day. Though, on the negative side, eating high-fat breakfasts too often has recently been demonstrated to increase the risk of atherosclerosis (see McFarlin et al., 2016) in much the same way. In the same vein, we have seen scientific proof that links a healthy diet – with breakfast at the helm of that diet – and maintaining an immune system that is very responsive, and healthy. Eating right is just as important as eating at the most effective times.
We mentioned earlier the importance of including a portion of your daily live in your breakfast. Quite possibly the most important one to include is dairy. Why? A cup of milk contains 8 grams of protein, which plays a huge role in helping you feel satisfied after a meal. Milk also has nine essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, Vitamin D, high-quality vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus and several B vitamins.Getting these vitamins and minerals first thing in the morning means you have a jump-start on your nutrient requirements for the day.
The importance of a Peak Breakfast
Interestingly, the above is far from all the benefits of milk. There are many more reasons it should be a significant part of your diet, particularly if what you’re having is Milk at its Peak.
Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many. And just one cup of Peak Milk consumed on a daily basis, contains the essential vitamins A, B1, B6, D3, B2, B12 and other minerals required to keep the body functioning optimally. This is doubtlessly an interesting profile that invites anyone with a deep understanding of the saying, ‘you are what we eat’ to sit up and take their dairy seriously.
Not only is milk a nutritious beverage that provides a number of health benefits, it’s a versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated to your diet. Milk is an excellent high-protein base for your smoothies, it’s a better-tasting alternative to water for your cereal, custard, or oats, and it gives your morning coffee or tea a boost of essential nutrients.
A Peak breakfast is a great opportunity to kick your day off right and ensure you and your loved ones get the recommended daily amount of milk. It also helps you develop healthy daily habits.
The anatomy of a healthy lifestyle
Many things working together closely makeup an anatomy. The principal take home from this however is that breakfast, regardless of current eating habits, is a very vital meal of the day. The trick however, is not so much whether to eat it or not, but how to eat it.
What should one eat as breakfast? The simple and honest truth is; a well-balanced meal. You might find yourself wondering why that vegetable soup with a bounty of protein options you’ve had your eye on can’t pass for breakfast. Truth be told, it can. However, a healthy lifestyle is built by practicing healthy habits every day. So, instead of taking a gamble by trying to guess the right amount of supplements your body needs to begin the day on a healthy note, you can add aa glass of Peak milk as a complement to any of your breakfast choices to make up your daily five.
Not only does this provide wholesome nourishment, it also makes the process much easier and faster. So what are you waiting for? Mix that glass of Peak milk right now and pamper your body, in celebration of World Milk Day, and also in celebration of your new found awareness of the magic one small glass of milky goodness can create for your body.