Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, and for good reason.
Eating breakfast has been linked to a range of health benefits, including:
Improved cognitive function: Breakfast has been shown to improve memory, attention, and concentration, which can help boost productivity and academic performance.
Weight management: Eating breakfast can help regulate appetite and prevent overeating later in the day, aiding in weight management and weight loss efforts.
Improved cardiovascular health: As the study mentioned in the previous question showed, regular breakfast intake may be associated with better vascular health, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Improved metabolic health: Eating breakfast has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Improved nutrient intake: Breakfast can be a good opportunity to consume nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and dairy products, which can provide important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health.
However, the association between breakfast and blood vessel damage is unclear.
In a new study, scientists from the University of Athens and elsewhere found that eating a breakfast full of medium-energy density and high-nutrient foods may boost vascular health.
Vascular health refers to the health and function of the blood vessels in our bodies, including the arteries, veins, and capillaries.
The blood vessels play a critical role in transporting oxygen and nutrients to our tissues and organs, as well as removing waste products and carbon dioxide from our bodies.
When our blood vessels are healthy, they are able to efficiently carry out these functions and maintain proper blood flow throughout the body.
However, when the blood vessels become damaged or diseased, they may become narrowed or blocked, which can lead to a range of health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
Factors that can impact vascular health include lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, as well as genetic factors and certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
In the study, researchers examined the association between breakfast consumption and subclinical vascular damage in a large sample of adults with CVD risk factors.
The study involved 902 adults (45.2% males) who had their vascular biomarkers assessed, and reported their dietary intake, with a focus on breakfast frequency, quantity, and content.
The researchers used found a posteriori breakfast dietary pattern (DP) to assess breakfast quality.
The results showed that frequent breakfast consumption (SBC) was inversely associated with central systolic and diastolic blood pressure and markers of vascular damage.
This was true even after adjusting for other factors like age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and BMI.
The team also found that an SBC of 10-20% of daily total energy intake was associated with better vascular health compared to consuming less than 10% of daily total energy intake for breakfast.
Moreover, the researchers found a breakfast dietary pattern (DP1) that was associated with poor vascular health.
DP1 consisted of high coffee and sugar consumption, and low consumption of low- and full-fat dairy products, fruits, and fresh juices.
In conclusion, this study provides evidence that breakfast intake comprised of medium-energy density and high-nutrient content food items may be a simple daily habit associated with better vascular health.
The study also highlights the importance of breakfast quality. It suggests that poor-quality breakfasts, such as those characterized by high coffee and sugar consumption, may be associated with vascular damage.
Maintaining good vascular health is important for overall health and well-being.
Strategies for promoting vascular health include eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and controlling medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
In some cases, medications or other medical interventions may be necessary to treat vascular health issues.
The research was published in Nutrients and was conducted by Eirini Basdeki et al.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.
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