There is a saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But many people skip breakfast each and every day. Many people argue that they don’t have time to eat breakfast, while others claim they simply aren’t hungry. In either case, it is important to eat a healthy breakfast each morning, as skipping breakfast can ultimately affect your thyroid health.
Let’s remember that upon waking up in the morning your blood sugar levels are low, as you have probably gone at least seven to eight hours without eating, and probably longer than this. So one reason why you need to eat breakfast is to provide you with the fuel and energy necessary to start your day. Even if you don’t feel hungry this doesn’t mean you don’t need this “fuel”. You really do need to eat something within 30 to 45 minutes of waking up, even if it’s something small.
If you don’t eat breakfast in the morning, what happens is that your blood sugar levels will continue to decrease. As a result of this your body will release cortisol in order to raise the blood sugar levels. When the adrenal glands need to secrete cortisol each morning due to you not eating breakfast, over a period of months and years this will stress them out, and can eventually lead to adrenal problems.
I’ve discussed the importance of healthy adrenal glands in previous posts and articles. Compromised adrenal glands will ultimately affect the thyroid gland, and can also weaken the immune system, which can potentially contribute to the development of an autoimmune thyroid condition. This obviously takes years to happen, and while it would be crazy to suggest that everyone who skips breakfast daily for many years will develop Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, skipping breakfast regularly shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can affect your health. Usually people who skip breakfast also have other lifestyle habits which will stress out the adrenal glands, and so it’s usually a combination of different things which will lead to these conditions.
So if you began eating a healthy breakfast regularly, but still eat a lot of refined foods and sugars, neglect your sleep, and do a poor job of managing stress, then these other factors would ultimately lead to health problems. So once again, eating breakfast daily is important, but doing this alone won’t be enough to maintain a healthy endocrine system if you neglect other lifestyle factors.
But what should you do if you’re not hungry upon waking up? Is it wise to force yourself to eat breakfast? Initially it might be necessary to do this, as the reason why some people aren’t hungry upon awakening is because their body is “screwed up” from a physiological standpoint. So even though they aren’t receiving the normal signals from the brain which gives them the sense of hunger, this doesn’t mean this is normal. So a person who isn’t hungry upon waking up should begin by eating a small breakfast each morning. Even having a few bites of something is fine, as long as it’s somewhat healthy.
For example, I have a smoothie for breakfast which consists of one cup of mixed organic berries, two cups of purified water, one teaspoon of flax oil, some whole food powder from the company Standard Process, and one organic raw egg. You can make a similar smoothie each morning, and begin by taking a few sips of this drink, and then slowly work your way up until you’re able to drink the entire smoothie. Or perhaps you’ll want to begin by eating a few bites of a hard-boiled egg until you’re eventually eating an entire egg.
These of course are just a few examples of what you can eat, as other healthy sources of protein you can eat for breakfast include certain types of fish, chicken, and turkey. If you’re a vegetarian you might frequently eat soy-based products, but you do want to make sure not to eat too many of these foods, as eating an excessive amount of unfermented soy can lead to numerous health issues, and can affect thyroid function. And while you will of course want to try minimizing your overall consumption of refined foods and sugars, you especially want to try avoiding eating such foods first thing in the morning, as they will cause a spike in the blood sugar levels, and will affect the hormones insulin and cortisol.
If you exercise first thing in the morning you still want to try to eat something small. Once again, it can consist of a few bites of something, but it’s still a good idea to eat something if you normally go to the gym first thing upon waking up.
In summary, breakfast is an extremely important meal, and if you are currently in the habit of skipping breakfast daily you will need to quickly change this habit if you want to achieve optimal health. Doing so will help strengthen your adrenal glands, which will help greatly with your thyroid health, and can also help to prevent future conditions from developing. So begin slowly, eating something small for breakfast, and then over time you can increase the amount of food you eat. The goal isn’t to eat an overwhelmingly large breakfast, but just to eat a sufficient amount of food where it gives you the necessary energy you need, and helps to maintain your adrenal health.