Food brings us together, uniting us in a unique way. It is the common denominator among us—this shared basic need for nourishment. Our ancestors knew this. Gathering around the table, they sat and enjoyed the bounty of their labors procured from farms, pastures, forests, rivers, lakes and oceans. It was a common, treasured practice to enjoy meals together. Mealtime not only provided the sustenance they needed, but a place to share special moments. It was a time for fellowship among friends and family.

Losing the ritual

Time passed and advances in industry and technology were made. With those advances, the tradition of sharing breakfast at the table began to fade. This progress, a benefit to our society, forced us into a different type of lifestyle: one that left us little time to appreciate our food like the people before us did.

“...breakfast eaters appear to consume more vitamins, minerals and fiber, nutrients your body needs to perform at its best.”

Now, instead of starting our day sharing a meal with the ones we love, we rush out the door, cell phones in hand, without much thought of the lost opportunity for nourishment and companionship.

Nearly 20 percent of adults skip breakfast each day. Unfortunately, that statistic isn’t unique to the adult population. Reports suggest that up to 20 percent of school-age children often skip breakfast, and a staggering 31 percent of adolescents and young adults skip this meal too.

What we miss without breakfast

What’s so wrong with skipping the first meal of the day? Regularly consuming a nutritious breakfast has many positive effects on your health. Consuming most of your energy earlier in the day may enhance weight loss. It may give you more energy to be active and hit the gym in the morning. In addition, breakfast eaters appear to consume more vitamins, minerals and fiber, nutrients your body needs to perform at its best.

They also consume less sodium, fat and cholesterol, which can negatively affect your health and may contribute to preventable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as research is ongoing and the overwhelming benefits of consuming the meal that literally “breaks the fast” appear to outweigh any possible cons.

Beyond nourishing our bodies, this meal nourishes our souls. It’s a time to honor life, the start of a new day. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the goodness of the earth and the relationships with ourselves and with others that we should spend more time cherishing.