Health enthusiasts around the globe preach the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. That’s because breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. Your first meal of the day should provide the fuel to get your metabolism and other systems working.
A healthy breakfast typically includes whole (not processed) foods of all 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. For example, a veggie omelet with a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit.
However, some people just aren’t that hungry in the morning, which is ok! Everyone is different, and you don’t have to eat when you aren’t hungry. Try a handful of nuts or an apple just to kickstart your metabolism for the day in this case.
Arguably the most important part of a healthy breakfast is the grains. That’s because grains are one of the best forms of fiber. Almonds, berries, and avocados are also examples of popular breakfast foods that are high in fiber.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. Most carbohydrates can be broken down into simple sugars by the body, however, fiber cannot. Instead, it passes through the body undigested.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers are dissolved in water, whereas insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water. Learn more about these different types of fiber here.
Consuming both types of fiber is a regular part of eating a balanced, healthy diet. The benefits of getting enough fiber in your diet include:
- Regular bowel movement
- Better digestion
- Weight control
- Maintain bowel health
In the morning, it is especially important to consume fiber because you want to kick your digestive system into gear and help clear out your bowels throughout the day. There is a little more to it than that, which is why we want to go through the top reasons to start your day with fiber. Let’s dive in!
4 Reasons To Start Your Day With Fiber
Improved focus and energy levels
When you start your day with a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast you help you are fueling your body and waking up your internal systems. In turn, this wakes up the brain and helps your focus.
We know that food contains calories which we convert into energy, so if you don’t eat breakfast you may find yourself crashing before lunch. However, fiber is considered “calorie-free” so how does it add to our energy levels?
When ingested, soluble fiber provides energy for bacteria in the gut which then produces short-chain fatty acids. Your body can then use those fatty acids for energy in the large intestine.
Prevent overeating later in the day
Fiber is known in certain weight loss communities for its ability to keep you fuller longer. The logic behind this is that because fiber is undigestible, it takes longer to pass through the body, making you feel more full throughout the day.
When you start your day with a fiber-packed meal (or a high-fiber supplement), you might notice that you are able to wait longer until lunchtime. This is why many people like to consume fiber for weight control. They are literally more in control of their hunger.
Have you ever skipped breakfast only to find yourself ravenous by lunchtime? Then you’re more likely to choose a less healthy or larger portion when you could just balance your day out with a healthy breakfast.
Kickstart your digestive system
Adding fiber to your breakfast helps to stimulate the bowel and push your other food along. Your digestive system continues to work even when you're asleep, but it slows down a lot overnight because you are not actively eating or drinking. This allows time for tissues to rebuild and get stronger.
When you wake up, drinking a glass of warm water can help wake up your digestive system, but slowly processed fiber-rich foods can help to keep your digestive system working and your body fueled throughout the day.
Feel lighter throughout the day
Fiber adds bulk to your stool by attaching to food as you’re digesting it. Bulkier stools are easier for us to pass, so it's helpful when you're feeling backed up.
It also helps if you have been experiencing a more watery or loose stool. Fiber may lead to bloating or excess gas, so it is important to remember to drink plenty of water and incorporate small amounts of fiber into your diet slowly. Start with a bowl of oats or whole wheat toast each morning and continue adding from there.