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Your a.m. meal of eggs and avocado toast might save your life—literally. (As if you needed another reason to whip some up.) Ditto for your morning smoothie. According to a new study published in Circulation, people who eat breakfast are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who skip it.

Here’s how they know: Researchers compiled data from 1971 to 2010—in other words, a lot—all related to diet and meal timing. Their deep dive into Americans’ eating habits proved to be, er, fruitful. They found that breakfast eaters tend to be way healthier overall, having lower blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and risk of developing diabetes.

What exactly makes breakfast so special? The researchers’ hunch is that it helps keep the biological clock in check. (You knew there’d be a metabolism tie-in, right?)

“Meal timing may affect health due to its impact on the body’s internal clock.”

“Meal timing may affect health due to its impact on the body’s internal clock,” Columbia University professor Marie-Pierre St-Onge, lead author of the study, tells The Telegraph“In animal studies, it appears that when animals receive food while in an inactive phase, such as when they are sleeping, their internal clocks are reset in a way that can alter nutrient metabolism, resulting in greater weight gain, insulin resistance, and inflammation.”

This is strong evidence that members of the breakfast club are on to something good—but St-Onge stresses that more human studies need to be done confirm these findings. (Um, does volunteering come with free omelettes?)

After you make one of these delicious breakfasts, read up on how to speed up your metabolism while you eat.

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