You know you should be eating more fiber. Your doctor has mentioned it and you’ve read about its many benefits, like helping you feel full, promoting gut health, keeping you regular and even helping you lose weight. But getting that recommended 25-30 grams of fiber each day can be elusive, especially when you’re on the go, traveling or just not focusing on it.
The good news is that adding fiber to the very first meal of the day is an easy way to get a leg up on your fiber count. And with hearty whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit and even vegetables, it’s deliciously doable with a little bit of prep.
If you usually start the day with yogurt
Yogurt, whether it’s plain, flavored or Greek has become a popular and convenient breakfast for many people. It’s a great source of probiotics, as well as calcium and protein. One thing it lacks is fiber. Yes, you can top it with berries and other fruit as a fiber-full option, but another seasonal and delicious pairing is butternut squash and pumpkin seeds. Both fall ingredients are loaded with fiber and flavor. And the butternut becomes sweet and caramelized when you roast it — heavenly!
If you're an egg lover
Eggs are packed with protein and much-needed nutrients, making them a great addition to any morning meal. Sometimes, however, what comes with those eggs isn't as good for us. Instead of enjoying eggs on a cheesy, fully-loaded sandwich from a fast-food chain, try mixing it up with this flavorful breakfast salad. Spicy red onions are the perfect complement to the richness of eggs.
For oatmeal fans
Hearty and warming, oats are also a heart-healthy way to start your day. Each cup of cooked oats boasts 4 grams of fiber to begin with, which helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol. To make your morning even better, we’ve upped the fiber game in this vegan bowl by adding pear and almonds, which provide extra flavor, crunch and — you guessed it! — fiber.
If you like savory over sweet
Instead of your typical cereal or oats, you can pack your morning bowl with ingredients that usually show up later in the day, like veggies and cheese. This meal-prep darling features barley, a whole grain that makes an incredible base for both savory and sweet dishes. Barley is high in fiber and also contains resistant starch, which is a carbohydrate that acts like a fiber, helping you feel full for hours. Avocado is a rock star when it comes to fiber, with over 9 grams per fruit. And raspberries contain the highest amount of fiber per cup of any berry, at 8 grams. This recipe can be made up to two days in advance — just add the berries and avocado right before serving.
Add these recipes to your morning rotation and you'll be hitting your fiber goals in no time!
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition and wellness expert, writer, mom of three and best-selling author. Her books include "Feed the Belly," "The CarbLovers Diet" and "Eating in Color." Follow her on Instagram and check out her website.