I’ll be honest—I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ll hit snooze as many times as I possibly can before squirming out from under the bed sheets. If this means regularly running behind in the mornings and having to cut corners to get to work on time, then so be it.

It looks like I’ll have to make another attempt to change this habit, though, because new research has shown (again) that my mother really was right in this instance—breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

Heart health

Between 1992 and 2008, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health gathered questionnaires and health data from 26,902 male health care practitioners, aged 45 to 82. Over the course of the study, 1,572 suffered from heart attacks or heart disease. Even after correcting for lifestyle choices, such as differences in exercise and diet, researchers still found a 27 percent increase between those who regularly skipped breakfast and those who didn’t.

Researchers found that the non-breakfast-eaters generally ate more during the evening which, they hypothesized, could lead to metabolic changes that in turn lead to heart disease. And, while the study only used a male population, they believe that there’s no reason that women may not be affected similarly.

Other benefits

While the Harvard study is the first to link breakfast to heart health, previous studies have found that breakfast may also help to control blood sugar levels, manage our weight, and even give children a brain boost for school.

Chow down!

If you’re like me and the snooze button is more tempting than the breakfast table, try these quick (and healthy!) breakfast smoothie suggestions before heading out the door.