4 Ingredients to Get Half of Your Daily Fiber at Breakfast
We have heard it said most of our lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What we eat for breakfast often sets a precedent for what will be eaten for the rest of the day. By starting with a nutritious and filling breakfast, your body will be energized and ready to start the day.
The highly processed diet of the average American greatly limits the opportunity to ingest the FDA daily recommended intake of dietary fiber (29 g for women and 38 for men). Eating the most convenient options for breakfast often means that we are eating something that has minimal nutritional substance. These foods keep us feeling full for only a couple of hours and lead to an energy crash.
Fiber is the indigestible part of foods and has many benefits, including creating bulk to increase satiety and moving foods through the digestive system. Research continues to show the importance of fiber in the prevention and treatment of some cancers and heart disease. Instead of buying a boxed cereal or frozen muffin you can easily add fiber to your breakfast.
1. Eat Oatmeal
By eating one serving of oatmeal (1/2 cup dry) you will consume 4 g of dietary fiber and 5 g of protein. For convenience, you can prepare a pot of oatmeal at the beginning of the week and eat it all week or the night before, storing it in the refrigerator. Simply add a bit of milk or water and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
2. Eat Fresh Fruits
Instead of adding dried fruits, such as raisins, to your oats, add fresh chopped fruit to your oatmeal while it is cooking, such as apples (4g with skin), pears (5g with skin), or bananas (3g). You can also eat fresh berries on the side, such as raspberries which have 8g of fiber in a 1 cup serving.
3. Mix in Nuts
By adding chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or pecans, you can add a dose of both fiber and protein to your morning oatmeal. Adding 1 oz of walnuts will give you an additional 2g fiber, 4g of protein, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. Toasting the nuts first in a pan or in the oven makes the flavor of the nut even richer!
4. Add Seeds
Adding seeds such as ground flax or chia seeds is a quick way to up the fiber of your breakfast. Ground flax seed is readily available at many grocers today, and will add not only 3g of fiber for each tablespoon used, but will also add a rich nutty flavor. Chia seeds are less popular, but worth seeking out as they add 5g of fiber in only a tablespoon. Both seeds are also a a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Using these 4 ingredients alone, you can consume 16g of fiber in one meal. Not a bad way to start the day!
Lizzie Watters is a writer and cook. She enjoys writing about recipes, cooking tips, dieting and kitchen safety. Lizzie recently wrote about her favorite spiced nuts recipes.