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These 6 Terrible Things Will Happen To Your Body When You Skip Meals

These 6 Terrible Things Will Happen To Your Body When You Skip Meals

We’ve all done it at least once or twice. Skipping breakfast is probably the main contender when it comes to missing one of our meals in the day. Our rush in the mornings give us ample excuses to just leave the toast or cereal and make up for it at lunchtime. Maybe you do it so often now that you don’t even think about having breakfast anymore?

But how is this exactly affecting us? Often we probably don’t even think about it or we just think skipping a meal can be easily made up by eating more for our next meal – that this will somehow negate the lack of food and won’t be detrimental to our health. However, this isn’t the case. Skipping meals on a regular basis can have a huge negative affect on our bodies – some are obvious but some may be more of a surprise to those who think skipping meals is harmless.

With that being said, here are 6 adverse effects of skipping that much-needed breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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1. Your Mood With Suffer Greatly

Probably one of the well-known results of skipping a meal is the affect it has on your mood. Yes, those blood sugar levels take a massive dive when you don’t replenish yourself with a meal and regularly missing meals triggers a stress response related to our body’s survival mode. When our energy reserves are near empty, we produce this stress response in order to be able to ready ourselves against danger but these sudden increased levels of stress hormones also cause outbursts, mental instability and even mild depression.

2. Affects Your Ability To Focus

The decrease in sugar levels not only affects your mood but also affects your ability to concentrate and focus on simple tasks. This is because our brain runs on glucose and the less glucose there is to help the brain function to the best of its ability, the more likely you are to have a decreased attention span. If you skip meals because you’re too busy and think you’re creating more time to be productive, then think again. Skipping that meal is only going to deteriorate your work performance in the short term, or if done regularly, in the long term too. So, don’t work through lunch or skip breakfast so you can get more work done – you’ll be more alert and focused if you chow down and fuel up.

3. You’re More Likely To Overeat

The more hungry you are, the more your brain is telling your body to fill up on food – even if you don’t need it. So the next time you eat after skipping a meal, you are more likely to overeat and consume more calories. Not only this, but you are more likely to reach for the junk food over healthy food meaning meals are bigger and more unhealthy just from skipping that earlier meal time.

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4. You’re More Likely To Gain Weight

Not only are you more likely to gain weight through overeating, your body overcompensates by hanging on desperately to the energy in the food you do eventually eat; storing it stubbornly out of fear you will go through regular starvation periods. It’s basically messing with your metabolism and storing everything you eat as fat. So never think sneakily skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner will ever help you to lose weight. In fact, it will most likely have the opposite affect especially on a regular basis.

5. Your Appearance Will Start To Suffer

There’s no hiding from a bad diet of skipped meals. It will start to show on the outside through dry skin and flat, greasy, lifeless hair – even oral health can take a beating. We all need nutrients to keep our bodies in tip top condition and by skipping meals on a regular basis these much-needed nutrients diminish. Proteins are the building blocks for everything in the body and restricting these in your everyday diet will directly affect your looks. So just take vitamin supplements, I hear you say? Well, most vitamins are fat-soluble which means if you aren’t consuming enough fat they will be essentially null and void.

6. You Will Get Unwanted Stomach Problems

To show that having a restricting diet effects all areas of the body, your gut will start working ineffectively. Eating food on a regular basis is how our stomach, intestines and bowels manage to push it out in a regular and orderly fashion. By skipping meals our guts get confused and it can result in constipation and stomach aches which is a result of not passing stools regularly. This can affect your quality of life immensely if you change your eating habits too often or restrict fibre from your diet.

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Too Busy To Eat?

If you do find your working day or busy lifestyle means you skip meals regularly, then hopefully reading the above points will help you to understand the potential damage you could be doing to yourself. However, there are ways to make life a little easier and get your essential meals in to your packed day.

Pre-make your breakfast or lunch the night before. You may feel exhausted before you head to bed but a simple 10 minutes could be all you need to make yourself a healthy breakfast ready to eat the next day. There are loads of great ideas to help you have a quick breakfast in the morning or lunch without scrimping on productive time.

When you have time to cook dinner make more than you need. This way you can freeze the leftovers and keep them for an evening when you don’t have time to cook.

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Worst comes to worst, eat little and often. If you really don’t have time to sit down three times in a day and have a proper meal, then eat little and often throughout the day. Make sure you are getting enough to sustain yourself with the right amount of healthy nutrients. This will keep your metabolism ticking over, decrease hunger pangs, and stop you overeating.

The bottom line is: skipping a meal once in a while won’t harm you too much but doing this on a regular basis will ultimately decrease your mental and physical well-being and stop you from leading a happy life. So think twice before running out of the door with no breakfast – your body and mind will thank you for it.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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