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Leadership Now

3 Weird Things Breakfast Does To Your Brain

How and when you break your fast can make or break your day.

[Image: Flickr user Adrian Dreßler]

The day's purportedly most important meal is more than meets the eye: science shows that the when and what of your breakfast transforms how your mind works the rest of the day.

How so? As a new paper published in the Frontiers of Human Neuroscience argues, breaking your fast is a many-faceted thing. Authors Tanya and Eugene Zilberter scoop up platefuls of research on meals and contend that breakfast in many ways shapes who you are—whether you can handle glucose or not, how old you are, and other factors—and what you're eating has different outcomes for your mental life.

Breakfast is really, really good for kids.

When schools have breakfast, their students do way better. So maybe having meals at work might be a boon, too.

You probably want to eat rice.

The staple food you eat affects the way your brain grows. A 2010 Japanese study tracked the brains of students whose breakfasts were based on rice versus those based on bread. The rice eaters, the authors found, had significantly higher volumes of gray matter, which is associated with a higher IQ.

Don't load up on carbs

A Swiss study found that the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins in your breakfast affects your thinking through your morning. People who ate a protein-rich or balanced breakfast had higher cognitive performance than those who ate mostly carbohydrates.

So put the cereal away.

Hat tip: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

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