Not only is February Heart Month, it is also a month to celebrate the benefits of eating dark chocolate and the benefits of eating breakfast.

Let’s start with breakfast, the most important meal of the day as we have all heard time and time again. But do you know WHY it is so important? If you study the word breakfast you will notice it contains: “break” and “fast”, which means we are breaking our fast. During our sleep our body is recovering and rejuvenating itself, which is why it is important to get enough sleep. When we wake up for the day we need to fuel our body by breaking our fasting status to waken our metabolic processes.

I know what you are thinking, what’s in it for me? Well, as a college student there are many benefits to eating breakfast. Here are a few:

  1. Breakfast gives you energy first thing in the morning so you can better focus on your school work
  2. Breakfast improves your mood – no one likes to be ‘hangry’ during class
  3. Breakfast prevents you from overeating. Anyone else feel like they could eat an entire refrigerator if they don’t eat all day?

Breakfast options on campus:

  • Esker dining hall or UC Commons breakfast Monday- Friday
  • Drumlin dining hall on Saturday & Sunday
  • Drumlin’s E&G has hot breakfast sandwiches
  • Most other satellite or coffee shop locations offer healthy grab and go for days when you need a fast, on-the-go breakfast option

Are you a student living off campus?  We have a couple healthy breakfast suggestions that you can make on your own:

  • Eggs and Oatmeal
    • One-Two eggs
    • ½ cup oats or Quaker instant oatmeal (preferably low sugar)
      • If you choose oats feel free to add tasty ingredients to it
  • Fruit of your choice
  • Yogurt Parfait
    • Greek yogurt
    • Blueberries and/or bananas
    • Strawberries
    • Granola

Check out this Sunrise Hot Cereal With Quinoa recipe to celebrate National Breakfast Month:

Now that we’ve covered breakfast, let’s talk about our love for dark chocolate. Have you heard that eating dark chocolate has health benefits? We aren’t talking pounds of dark chocolate but hey, why not treat yourself and savor the flavor! A little bit of dark chocolate has vitamins such as iron (prevents anemia), copper, magnesium, and potassium (helps maintain healthy blood pressure).  A few other wonderfully delicious benefits of dark chocolate include the following:

  • Helps reduce stress levels
  • Help make you smarter according to studies that suggest dark chocolate helps increase blood flow to the heart and brain which improves cognitive function
  • Elevates mood and energy levels

So, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, enjoy some dark chocolate in proper portions and leave the guilt behind!

Written By: Trevor Cloud, Intern & Rachael Omdoll, Campus Dietitian