Fiber plays a major role in your digestive health by promoting normal bowel movements and preventing constipation. What most individuals don’t realize, however, is that meeting the American Dietetic Association’s recommendation of 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day reduces LDL cholesterol levels, which, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease.
While a high-fiber breakfast benefits your long-term health, it has short-term benefits as well. Because fiber-rich foods take longer for your body to process, they stave off hunger and leave you less likely to seek out a mid-morning snack.
Banana Almond Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a whole grain food and, according to the Colorado State University Extension, contains 4 g of fiber per serving. In addition to its fiber content, oatmeal is extremely versatile. There are numerous combinations of foods you can add to your oatmeal to enhance its flavor and your nutrition. Bananas and almonds are a tasty and fiber-rich combination. Adding just one banana to your oatmeal and topping it off with 1 oz. of almonds brings your breakfast’s fiber content up to approximately 11 g.
A cold, refreshing fruit salad will help energize you for the day ahead as well as present you with an excellent opportunity to add more fiber to your diet. A medium-sized apple and medium-sized pear both contain 4 g fiber. Combine your chopped apple and pear with orange slices and a cup of sliced strawberries for a fruit salad breakfast that boasts 11 g of dietary fiber.
Keep in mind that many fruits contain the majority of their fiber in their skin. With the exception of citrus fruits and other thick-skinned fruits, leave the skin on your fruits when chopping them up into a salad.
Bran Muffins with Raisins
Wheat bran is a whole grain and all whole grains contain dietary fiber. Thus, having a bran muffin with your breakfast helps you meet your daily fiber needs. The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension notes that you can add additional fiber to your diet by avoiding the bakery and making your bran muffins at home.
When you make bran muffins at home, you can substitute wheat flour for white flour and add additional oat or wheat bran to the mix for a higher fiber content. Adding 1 cup of raisins to your muffin mix not only provides your muffins with additional flavor, but further increases their nutritional content, since a cup of raisins contains over 5 g of fiber.
Like fiber, protein staves off hunger due to its slow digestion rate. Eggs don’t contain fiber, but they do boast over 6 g of protein each. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up your high-protein breakfast in lieu of a high-fiber one. An omelet stuffed with vegetables allows you to have both.
Filling your omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onion and tomato gives you a hearty breakfast containing roughly 5 g of fiber. Eating a slice of whole wheat toast with your vegetable omelet adds an additional 2g of fiber to the meal.