When I was a kid, I often complained about how my mom used to wake me up early on school days. The rule was simple: wake up, wash up, eat breakfast, dress and go to school.

I always wanted to sleep “just five minutes longer” and skip breakfast, but my mom – a veritable Iron Lady – would never budge. She always made me eat at least a slice of toast and sip a cup of tea before leaving. And she was proven right by science.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

A new study, conducted by researchers at the Cardiff University in Wales, has once again proven the importance of eating breakfast before school. The team looked at the eating habits of 5,000 students between the age of 9 and 11 in Great Britain.

What they discovered has once again confirmed what my mom already knew: those who ate a healthy breakfast were more than twice as likely to achieve at least average grades than those not eating breakfast at all.

“While breakfast consumption has been consistently associated with general health outcomes and acute measures of concentration and cognitive function, evidence regarding links to concrete educational outcomes has until now been unclear,” lead author Hannah Littlecott said in a university news release.

“This study, therefore, offers the strongest evidence yet of links between aspects of what pupils eat and how well they do at school, which has significant implications for education and public health policy,” she added.

But wait… others tell me to skip breakfast

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the first meal of the day. Some consider skipping the morning meal to be an effective aid to weight loss, while others say the exact opposite.

According to some nutritionists, eating in the morning can help better control your weight by reducing hunger throughout the day, and help people make the right choices when it comes to their other meals.

Others recommend skipping breakfast altogether on most days has several health benefits, including the increase of growth hormone secretion, which is believed to be helpful against aging. Skipping breakfast is thought to be helpful in reducing the daily calorie intake, reduce insulin levels and help better manage blood sugar levels.

It matters what you eat

If you decide that breakfast is for you, make sure to choose the right meals in the morning. Nutritionists suggest that eating a meal high in lean protein (like eggs, for example) and high fiber cereals for the best results. These keep hunger away for the longest time, allowing your body to use its fat reserves more efficiently.

Just make sure you include all four basic ingredients into the first meal of your day.