The Importance of Breakfast for Women

The Importance of Breakfast for Women

Breakfast is often hailed as the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. For women, eating a well-balanced breakfast holds significant benefits, particularly in terms of hormone balance. In this article, we will delve into the scientific reasons why breakfast is vital for women’s health, examining the impact of skipping breakfast on hormonal balance, cortisol production, inflammation, and estrogen dominance.


The morning hormonal landscape:

Adrenaline and cortisol, two key survival hormones, naturally peak in the morning. These hormones are crucial for the cortisol awakening response, which prepares the body for the day ahead. After a full night’s sleep, the body’s glucose stores are depleted, resulting in low blood sugar levels. In response, the body increases cortisol production to break down muscle tissue and generate glucose for circulation. This process, while providing energy, also triggers inflammation and negatively impacts muscle strength and mood. The combined effects of heightened adrenaline, cortisol, and inflammation in the morning can disrupt reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) while also compromising liver and gut function. These impairments hinder the processing, metabolism, and excretion of estrogen, ultimately leading to estrogen dominance. You can read my article on understanding estrogen dominance here.

Excessively high levels of adrenaline can lead to anxiety, irritability, appetite loss and hunger suppression. Unfortunately, busyness and caffeine in the mornings can further elevate cortisol and adrenaline levels, making it common for many women to skip breakfast altogether due to a lack in desire to eat.

The Impact of Skipping Breakfast:

Regular breakfast skipping is associated with irregular menstrual cycles and increased period pain in young women. It is also associated with poorer mental health outcomes like depression and anxiety. Because mood is in part controlled by the balance of  reproductive hormones (estrogen and progesterone) breakfast consumption therefore becomes a powerful tool in helping to manage hormone related mood symptoms. You can read about how hormones are affected by skipping breakfast here

The Benefits of a Balanced Breakfast:

Breakfast helps to set the tone for blood sugar for the day. Eating a balanced breakfast can not only help regulate cortisol and insulin but also help diminish the need for snacking in-between meals and sugar cravings. Breakfast helps to calm the nervous system and provides clear focused energy, better mood, and cognition for the day ahead.  The key is consuming a well-balanced, calorie sufficient breakfast with at least 20 grams of protein. Protein and fat help to slow down the release of carbohydrates from breakfast, promoting controlled and sustained energy throughout the morning.


Eating breakfast is a crucial step towards achieving hormonal balance and overall well-being for women. Starting the day with a balanced breakfast rich in protein sets the tone for stable blood sugar levels and supports liver and gut function. By embracing the power of breakfast, women can nurture their hormones and pave the way for improved health and vitality. For women that are not accustomed to eating breakfast,  Initially, the adjustment to eating early in the morning may not be easy, but even starting with a small breakfast is better than skipping it entirely. Over time, the body becomes accustomed to the idea of breakfast and develops a natural hunger for it.



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