Unfortunately, a very small number of people in the U.S. actually eat adequate amounts of fiber in their diet. A 2017 study found that only five percent of people are meeting their daily recommended fiber intake.
If you’re someone who’s trying to boost their fiber intake, having some high-fiber breakfast recipes on hand can make it easier to incorporate fiber into your diet and may even add some variation to your morning meal.
Read on to learn more about fiber, its role in a healthy diet, and 15 of our favorite high-fiber breakfast ideas.
What Are The Main Health Benefits of Fiber?
Dietary fiber is found mainly in plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. It stays mostly intact as it passes through your digestive system, which has the effect of bulking up and softening your stool and making it easier to pass out of your body.
The daily recommended fiber intake for women is 21 to 25 grams per day, while the recommended intake for men is 30 to 38 grams per day, and its health benefits are immense. Fiber may support metabolic health in many ways, such as:
- Support bowel health
- Lower the risk of colorectal cancer
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Improve satiety
- Support weight management
Fiber also slows the emptying of your stomach and helps you to feel full longer, which can help in maintaining a healthy weight. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, eating it does not typically cause a spike in blood sugar because it is not able to be absorbed and broken down by the body.
12 High-Fiber Breakfast Ideas
Wondering how to incorporate fiber into your morning routine? Here are 15 healthy and high-fiber breakfast foods to help you get inspired.
Keep in mind that you should always talk to your doctor or dietitian before making any major changes to your diet, as increasing your fiber intake too quickly can lead to side effects like bloating. Some people may also have conditions that are worsened by higher fiber intake.
1) Avocado Slices (Pair with Eggs or Toast)
Grams of Fiber: 13 grams of fiber in a whole avocado
Why it’s so Good for You: Avocado is not just a great source of fiber — it has been shown to increase feelings of fullness, making it a great choice to get you through the morning. It is also high in monounsaturated fats, which has a positive effect on blood glucose.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Avocado by itself needs some protein boost to allow it to be a more balanced breakfast. Top your omega 3-rich lox or omelet with sliced avocado.
2) Whole Grain English Muffin Sandwich
Grams of Fiber: 4.4 grams of fiber per muffin
Why it’s so Good for You: A whole grain english muffin is a delicious and healthy choice for breakfast. Whole grains have been shown to help reduce inflammation and may also be associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Breakfast Idea We Love: By itself, of course, it won’t be a balanced breakfast. Make a breakfast sandwich with eggs for protein and spinach for more fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
3) Rolled Oats with Protein
Grams of Fiber: 8.2 grams per cup of rolled oats
Why it’s so Good for You: Oatmeal is a comforting and classic breakfast option and is extremely easy to customize to your liking. Oats have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and may help lower risk for insulin resistance.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Make sure you boost your protein here as well! Mix your oatmeal with seeds or nuts and consider eating a seasoned hard-boiled egg on the side. Top your oatmeal with cinnamon for its anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects. Prep it the night before for a tasty bowl of overnight oats in the morning!
4) Green Smoothie
Grams of Fiber: 4.3 grams per cup of spinach
Why it’s so Good for You: A smoothie or smoothie bowl in the morning can be a refreshing wake up call. Aside from giving you some much-needed fiber, adding spinach to your smoothie can add vitamin A and antioxidants that may reduce the risk of inflammation and other conditions.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Whip this smoothie recipe together for a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast on the go. Combine a splash of almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, a handful of spinach, and a mango, and blend. The mango adds an extra 5.4 grams of fiber!
5) Apple and Almond Butter
Why it’s so Good for You: You may have heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, there is no guarantee, but apples have been shown to have a positive effect on gut and cardiovascular health, and may even reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
6) Scramble or Omelet with High-Fiber Veggies
Why it’s so Good for You: Eggs are a good source of whole protein because they provide all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to function. A diet high in eggs may also improve glycemic control and blood pressure.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Add high-fiber veggies like spinach, artichokes, or avocado to your scramble. Artichokes in particular have a very high antioxidant content, may boost HDL cholesterol, and may have a positive effect on blood sugar.
7) Black Beans (Pair with Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash)
Why it’s so Good for You: Black beans are rich in many nutrients and may lower your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological conditions, among other things. Sweet potatoes are a nutritious breakfast choice rich in beta carotene, which can have a positive effect on your immune system.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Make a breakfast burrito with black beans, eggs and a whole grain tortilla. Serve with tomato salsa, as tomatoes contain lycopene, which may contribute to a lowered risk of certain cancers. Alternatively, you can try a breakfast hash with sweet potatoes, tofu, and black beans mixed together with savory herbs and spices.
8) Buckwheat Pancakes and Yogurt
Grams of Fiber: Six grams per half cup of buckwheat flour
Why it’s so Good for You: Buckwheat is a fiber-rich whole grain full of minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants that may reduce cholesterol. It can be ground into flour, added to oatmeal, or just eaten on its own. Despite its name, buckwheat doesn’t contain any wheat, making it gluten-free.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Make pancakes with buckwheat flour, and add berries to the batter or as a topping for extra antioxidants. For more protein, consider topping your pancakes with some plain yogurt. For a glucose-friendlier option, hold off on the sugary syrup and try a bit of fresh fruit instead.
9) Pear (Pair with Hard-Boiled Eggs)
Grams of Fiber: 5.5 grams in one medium-sized pear
Why it’s so Good for You: Aside from their fiber content, pears are high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They may also have a positive effect on blood sugar, and may help lower your risk of lung cancer.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Pears can be a great fruit complement to an on-the-go breakfast of hard-boiled eggs.
10) Chia Seed Pudding
Grams of Fiber: 4.1 grams per tablespoon of chia seeds
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Make a chia pudding by adding them to unsweetened almond milk, then letting them sit in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight. Top with berries or whole almonds for a heart-healthy breakfast. By itself, chia pudding may not bring enough protein to the table for a full meal, so it might be a good idea to consider additional protein alongside.
11) Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Grams of Fiber: 5.2 grams per cup of quinoa
Why it’s so Good for You: Quinoa is an ancient grain that may improve blood sugar and blood pressure. As a source of protein, quinoa can help you feel full longer, making it a great choice for breakfast.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Quinoa can be used to make a filling and nutritious breakfast bowl alongside cottage cheese, fresh blueberries, and cinnamon.
12) Chickpea Scramble
Grams of Fiber: 12 grams per cup of chickpeas
Why it’s so Good for You: You may not think of chickpeas as a breakfast food, but their fiber content and nutritional value make them a great choice. Chickpeas have been shown to help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Breakfast Idea we Love: Chickpeas can be a delicious addition to an egg scramble. Top off your plate with spinach and bell peppers for more fiber and vitamin C and folate.
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Heather is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN, LDN), subject matter expert, and technical writer, with a master's degree in nutrition science from Bastyr University. She has a specialty in neuroendocrinology and has been working in the field of nutrition—including nutrition research, education, medical writing, and clinical integrative and functional nutrition—for over 15 years.