What Are the Benefits of Eating A High-Fibre Breakfast?

The fuss around fibre

Our health and wellness are key to living our best lives, and the scientific community is jumping on board the exploration of how the foods we ingest can assist in this. A relationship between gut health and wellbeing is a key area of focus, and some fibres[1] and its relationship to gut microbiota is of interest to many gut health experts.

For many people, we look to our breakfast to kickstart our day and our guts, making it an ideal meal to load up on a wide variety of fibres. If you’re wondering why you should opt for high fibre** breakfasts, read on, and also pick up some delicious breakfast ideas along the way!

Why opt for a high fibre breakfast?

Breakfast is a key meal of the day, that follows on from the overnight fasting period. It may seem like the easiest meal of the day to prepare but it can also be the easiest one to skip out on the right nutrients. The benefits of a high fibre** breakfast are numerous. Notably some fibres namely Barley grain fibre, oat grain fibre, sugar beet fibre, and wheat bran fibre contribute to an increase in faecal bulk.

Although you may not be able to get your daily recommended fibre intake (32g/day) from just one meal in the morning, starting off with a fibre-rich breakfast can make a good start towards the recommended daily fibre intake for an adult at 30g (about six teaspoons). Studies indicate that the average intake of fibre in the UK is as low as 17.2g/day for women and 20.1g/day for men. This is far below the recommended level, making it very important for us to add more fibre to our meals (starting with breakfast[2]).

The benefits of some fibres

When it comes to dietary fibre, it’s important to note that there are two main types of fibre: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre will dissolve with water during digestion. Apples, citrus fruits, and oats are some good sources of soluble fibre[3] that you can include in your breakfast.

Insoluble fibre - as the name suggests - is not easily soluble but some may help move food through the digestive tract faster at a certain quantity. Some easily available sources of insoluble fibre are nuts, potatoes, and cauliflower[4]. Starting your day with some wholegrain toast is also a great way to add insoluble fibre.

The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has recognised the following types of fibre as having a health benefit:

  • Barley grain fibre, oat grain fibre, sugar beet fibre, and wheat bran fibre contribute to an increase in faecal bulk and also contribute to acceleration of intestinal transit when consumed in quantities of 3g/100kcal. But for this benefit for wheat bran fibre, the daily intake needs to be at least 10g[5].

  • Rye fibre supports normal bowel function when it’s consumed as part of food containing 3g/100kcal, or 6g/100g of rye fibre.

How to increase fibre into your diet

You can increase the fibre in your diet with high fibre** recipes such as a fruit & cereal smoothie. Smoothies are versatile and can be an easy way to incorporate fibre into your diet. Whizz up your own smoothie by blending:

2 - 3 servings

  • 2x 115g pots of Activia no added sugar and 0% fat yogurt

  • 1/2 cup milk or milk alternatives

  • 1/4 cup cold water

  • 100g raspberries

  • 1 small pear, cored

  • 50g rye fibre

  • 50g oat grain fibre

  • 100g of raspberries provide you with 6g of fibre, and 50g of rye fibre and 50g of oat grain fibre give you roughly 3g each per smoothie, making a total of about 12g of fibre per smoothie (not including the pear).

To put that into simpler terms, just one serving of this smoothie would meet one third of your daily fibre requirements! And if you want to enjoy this on a warm summer day, add some ice to chill your smoothie.

Beyond breakfast, try mixing some lentils or chickpeas into your meals. And between meals, eat a variety of fruit and vegetables to gain that extra fibre intake your body needs.

If you’re just starting out on a fibre-rich diet, you can also try practicing some nifty tricks, such as replacing white bread with wholemeal bread, or trying out wholemeal pasta for your usual white pasta.

And there you have it, some simple ways you can reap the benefits of a high fibre** breakfast every morning. As they say, morning shows the day!

[1] Chicory inulin contributes to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency.
[2] https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/dietary-fibre.html
[3] Food to be a source of fibre whether soluble or insoluble should contain at least 3g/100g or 1,5g/100kcal of fibre.
[4] Fibres such as rye fibre, sugar beet fibre, etc, support normal bowel function when consumed as part of food containing 3g/100kcal, or 6g/100g of it.

2021 Danone Ltd. All Rights Reserved. *Activia contains calcium which contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes. Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

†Contains naturally occurring sugars.