English Muffin Health Benefits

More than 173 million Americans purchased English muffins last year. This type of bread is a popular choice for breakfast and can be served with sweet or savory toppings. Surprisingly, the original recipe was created in the U.S. in the late 1800s and has little to do with the English cuisine. Serve them with healthy breakfast meats, eggs, fresh fruit, mashed avocado, almond butter or hummus for a balanced meal.

Rich in fiber and complex carbs, whole-grain English muffins can be a healthy choice for breakfast. (Image: LauriPatterson/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Choose whole-grain English muffins over conventional varieties. Top them with healthy ingredients like peanut butter, mashed avocado, lean turkey meat or almonds to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

English Muffin Nutrition Facts

Nowadays, English muffins are available in a variety of flavors. Some are made with whole grains or multigrain flour. Others contain raisins, cinnamon, seeds and nuts. Therefore, the calories and carbs in English muffin recipes depend on the ingredients used.

Traditionally, this popular breakfast staple is made with bread flour, water or milk, sugar, yeast, butter and a pinch of salt. One muffin with butter provides:

  • 189 calories
  • 30.4 grams of carbs
  • 5.8 grams of fat
  • 4.9 grams of protein
  • 19 percent of the RDA of riboflavin
  • 17 percent of the RDA of thiamin
  • 13 percent of the RDA of niacin
  • 10 percent of the RDA of calcium

If you Google "English muffin calories" or "English muffin nutrition facts," you'll get different numbers. Some recipes pack more calories than pizza or donuts and have little or no nutritional value. Others, especially those with whole-grain flour, are low in calories and rich in fiber, B vitamins and complex carbs.

Keep Your Gut Healthy

Whole-wheat English muffins boast more than 4 grams of fiber per serving. They are also rich in thiamin, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus and selenium. A single piece provides over 59 percent of the daily recommended intake of manganese.

Dietary fiber promotes digestive health and keeps you regular. According to a 2017 article featured in the journal Nutrients, a diet rich in fiber may positively alter bacterial fermentation and species composition in the human gut, leading to a stronger immune system and reduced disease risk. Researchers have linked dietary fiber to lower rates of colon cancer, bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

A more recent study, which was published in the journal Genes in 2018, highlights the anticarcinogenic properties of fiber. This nutrient feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and supports the formation of SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids), reducing inflammation in the colon and suppressing tumor growth.

Reach Your Target Weight

English muffins don't directly cause weight loss but can make this process easier. Whole-grain varieties are high in fiber, which fills you up quickly and curbs hunger. As WebMD notes, fiber-rich foods can make you feel full faster and keep your blood sugar levels stable. As a result, you'll experience fewer cravings and have better control over your appetite.

Dietary fiber helps reduce food intake and prevents weight gain due to its appetite-suppressing properties, according to a 2017 research article published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. Studies conducted over the years show a direct link between low-fiber diets and excess weight. A 2015 clinical trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has found that dieters who ate more fiber experienced similar results in terms of weight loss as those following complex diets.

Additionally, the calories and carbs in English muffin recipes are much lower compared to those in other popular breakfast foods. A single bagel, for example, has 245 calories and 47.9 grams of carbs. A large breakfast burrito delivers 657 calories and 72 grams of carbs, while two slices of French toast contain 356 calories and 36 grams of carbs.

Other Potential Health Benefits

English muffins aren't necessarily the healthiest foods out there. They do, however, contain quite a lot of fiber, minerals and B-complex vitamins. Just make sure you choose whole-grain varieties with little or no sugar. Consider cooking them at home to have full control over the ingredients used.

The B vitamins in English muffins support health and well-being. Niacin, for instance, may help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries and increase good cholesterol levels. Thiamin supports the proper functioning of your brain, heart, muscles and digestive system. Riboflavin scavenges oxidative stress and helps your body process amino acids.

Compared to breakfast cereals, white bread and other high-carb foods, English muffins provide steady energy throughout the day. Whole-grain varieties are rich in fiber and slow-digesting carbs, so they're unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes followed by crashes. Top them with walnuts, flaxseeds, peanut butter, cottage cheese, turkey and other low-carb ingredients to fully reap the benefits.

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