Eating breakfast regularly has a lot of health benefits, according to nutritionists. They say it is the most important meal of the day and key to healthy living and lifestyle.
Studies have shown that kids and young adults who go to school without breakfast tend to have a less than impressive performance in school work. It is also the same situation for adults who go to work without breakfast.
“After going for at least seven hours, that is the period you were asleep, without food, I believe it is safe to say that breakfast is something that should not be toyed with. It should be taken seriously. Even though you were asleep for most of the time, it does not change the fact that you went without food and that after a while, breaking that fast is important,” said Adedamola Ladejobi, a nutritionist and weight loss expert.
Ladejobi, who is also the founder of Askdamz, a weight management and health and wellness company, said that 99% of the healthiest breakfast food should be lightweight.
“Not only do they satisfy you, they do not impede your daily performance but rather, help you perform better. The next time you want to skip breakfast or take food that is unfit to be called a healthy breakfast, think about your mental health, your body system and your general performance at any cognitive or physical activity,” she said.
Densie Webb, a dietician, said studies have shown that the breakfast meal could contribute important nutrients such as calcium, protein, and fiber to the body.
The dietician said despite the nutrients breakfast provides, the morning meal isn’t a part of the daily routine for many children and adolescents, who skip breakfast more than any other meal. “Studies have consistently shown that skipping breakfast can have negative health consequences for children, adolescents, and adults. Breakfast skippers generally fail to make up for the nutrients they miss at breakfast. As a result, those who eat breakfast have better overall eating habits, compared with those who don’t eat breakfast, and they have higher intakes of protein, calcium, vitamin C, zinc, iron, and fiber and lower fat.’’
According to Carol O’Neil, a dietician and breakfast researcher, children and adolescents should be provided with and encouraged to eat healthful food options like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
Experts at Rush University Medical Centre say various studies have shown that the disadvantages of skipping breakfast include being more likely to be overweight, less likely to meet recommendations for fruits and vegetable consumption, and more likely to consume unhealthy snacks.
Recently, in a bid to promote and encourage healthy feeding habits amongst Nigerians, Mamador launched a campaign spurring Nigerians to adopt a healthy and balanced breakfast lifestyle. The PZ Wilmar brand introduced the Mamador Light Fat Spread as part of the campaign. It is different from the types used for cooking and baking of all kinds of delicacies.
The spread is said to contain benefits that deliver on healthy nutrition and is packed with nutrients that help children and families have an active head-start to the day, amongst other benefits.
Omobolanle Akin-Fatodu, the Assistant Brand Manager, Mamador, says there is need for families to not only to eat breakfast, but the healthy kind, which is the ultimate goal of the breakfast campaign.
“Not only is it important to eat breakfast, you should also eat the right kind of breakfast – a meal packed with nutrients to get you off to a great start and keep you going throughout the day. Sadly, it is the most skipped meal of the day, so Mamador is on a mission to help Nigerians develop a breakfast-eating habit, and a healthy one, at that. The new spread provides the required vitamins and minerals essential for growth, development, and optimal functioning of our bodies and minds,” Akin-Fatodu said.
Ladejobi, the nutritionist, explained that the spread was cholesterol and trans-fat-free. “It contains no cholesterol, so you can spread it generously on your food without worrying about your cholesterol level. It also boasts of essential vitamins that are highly recommended for both adults and kids for better bones, teeth and perfect body functions, which invariably means less visits to the doctor. You also do not need to worry about weight gain, as it is also trans-fat free.’’
The expert added that it is packed with essential vitamins like vitamin A, B3, B6, B9, B12, D, and E.
Vitamin A for instance, is important for building healthy bones, teeth, and skin, as well as in boosting the immune system of the body.
Vitamin B3 fights against skin disorders as well as help the digestive system perform better. Similarly, Vitamin B9 (Folic acid), which aids in the growth and repair of body cells and tissues, is highly recommended for pregnant women because it helps to prevent neural tube defects in babies.
On it part, Vitamin B12 fights against tiredness, loss of memory and fatigue, while Vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin, helps strengthen the bones, teeth and as well as fight against insomnia and muscle weakness. Aside preventing cancer, Vitamin E on the other hand, fights against different kinds of diseases as well as protects the body cells and tissue from being damaged.