The breakfast contains a combination of natural vitamins and minerals, animal and vegetable protein, fat and carbohydrates, provided by a balanced nutritional diet based on fruits, vegetables, grains and meat products.
Breakfast has been proposed to be the main meal of the day, the importance of the content has been of much interest in the psychological field. A possible leader in the field of nutrition and brain function is David Benton. In a study relating mood and cognition Benton (2001) has highlighted the importance of dietary habits and breakfast consumption. On a similar note, Martino and Morris (2003) concluded in their study that positive mood was in direct relationship with elevated blood sugar levels. Performance on cognitive tasks was also found to be positively related to high blood sugar levels (Lapp, 1981; Benton and Owens, 1993; Martin and Benton, 1999). My breakfast contains macronutrients, slow energy release carbohydrates, fat and protein to provide usable energy and elevate blood sugar levels till lunch.
The absence of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in our daily diet was found to be closely linked and to negatively impact psychological well-being (Benton, 1992). Other benefits from a well balanced diet formed by macro- and micronutrients can account for higher levels of physical strength and ability to perform physical work (Suboticanes-Buzina et al., 1983), the strengthening and stimulation of the immune system (McMurray, 1984), improved memory (Loriaux et al., 1985; Deijen et al., 1992), and increased scores on intelligence test (Botez et al., 1984; Benton and Roberts, 1988) to name but a few. Studies done by Escobar et al. (1983) have shown that low levels of thiamine (vitamin B1) may cause attention and memory deficits. In my breakfast thiamine is present in eggs and rye bread.
According to numerous studies (Botez et al., 1977; Carney and Sheffield, 1978; Hector and Burton, 1988) folate and Vitamin B12 deficiencies have been a causal factor for psychiatric symptoms such as dementia and depression, and have also been linked to Alzheimer ’s disease (American Academy of Neurology, 2001). Folate is present in leafy greens such as spinach, eggs, meat, poultry, celery etc.
Benton and Cook (1991) linked in their study the impact of selenium supplementation on mood, lower levels resulting in more reports of fatigue, anxiety and depression. In the proposed breakfast selenium is present in turkey and eggs.
Another important aspect of nutrition is the presence of macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate, protein); these are the primary source of energy for human body. One essential fatty acid of particular interest is Omega-3. This polysaturated fat is mainly found in oily fish (salmon, kippers etc), sunflower seed, leafy vegetables, walnuts, flax seeds, and broccoli, to name but a few. Omega-3 has been shown to ameliorate hostile and violent behaviour (Benton, 2007), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Richardson, 2006) and promote higher verbal intelligence (Isaacs et al., 2008). In my breakfast Omega-3 is present in eggs.
The importance of breakfast cannot be further emphasized; a healthy lifestyle will lead to a better sense of psychological wellbeing.
American Academy Of Neurology (2001, May 8). Research Ties Vitamin B12 And Folate Deficiencies With Alzheimer’s Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 30, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2001/05/010508083559.htm
Benton, D. (1992). Vitamin-mineral supplements and intelligence. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 51, 295-302.
Benton, D. (2001). The impact of the supply of glucose to the brain on mood and memory. Nutrition Reviews, 59, S20-S21.
Benton, D. (2007). The impact of diet on anti-social behaviour. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Review, 31, 752-774.
Benton, D. & Roberts, G. (1988). Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on intelligence of a sample of schoolchildren. Lancet, 140-143.
Benton, D. & Owens, D. (1993). Is raised blood glucose associated with relief of tension? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 37, 723-735.
Botez, M. I., Fountaine, F., Botez, T, & Bachevalier, J. (1977). Folate-responsive neurological and mental disorders: report of 16 cases. European Neurology, 16(1-6), 230-246.
Botez, M. I., Botez, T., & Maag, U. (1984). The Wechsler subtests in mild organic brain damage associated with folate deficiency. Psychological Medicine, 14(2), 431-437.
Carney, M. W. P., & Sheffield, M. T. (1978). Serum folic acid and B12 in 272 psychiatric inpatients. Psychological Medicine, 8, 139-144.
Deijen, J. B., Van der Beek, E. J., Orlebeke, J. F., & Van der Berg, H. (1992). Vitamin B6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort. Psychofarmacology, 109, 489-496.
Escobar, A., Aruffo, C., & Rodriguez-Carbajal, J. (1983). Wernicke’s Encephalopathy. A case report with neuropsychologic and CT scan studies. Acta Vitaminoogica etl Enzimologica, 5, 125-131.
Isaacs, E. B., Gadian, D. G, Sabatini, S. et al. (2008). The effect of human diet on caudate volumes and IQ. Pediatric Research, 63, 308-314.
Lapp, J. E. (1981). Effects of glycaemic alterations and noun imagery on the learning of paired associates’. Journal of Learning Disorders, 14, 35-38.
Lariaux, S. M., Deijen, J. B., Orlebeke, J. F, & De Sward, J. H. (1985). The effects of nicotinic acid and xanthinol nicotinate on human memory in different categories of age. Psychofarmacology, 87, 390-395.
Martin, P. Y. & Benton, D. (1999). The influence of a glucose drink on a demanding working memory task. Physiology and Behaviour, 67, 69-74.
Martino, O. I. & Morris, N. (2003). Drinking glucose improves mood at the beginning of the working day. In P. McCabe (Ed.), Contemporary Ergonomics 2003 (pp. 226-231). London: Taylor & Francis.
McMurray, D. N. (1984). Cell mediated immunity in nutritional deficiency. Progress in Food & Nutrition Science, 8, 193-228.
Richardson, A. J. (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids in ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 18, 155-172.
Suboticanes-Buzina, K., Buzina, R., Brubacher, G., Sapunar, J., & Christeller, S. Vitamin C status and physical working capacity in adolescents. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research, 54, 55-60.
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