High Fiber Breakfast: Start Your Day Right

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Why start your day with a high fiber breakfast? Because fiber is the unsung hero of a healthy diet for all of us, athletes and soccer moms included.

Read on for my dietitian-recommended high fiber breakfast ideas for athletes.

high fiber breakfast for athletes

Why are high fiber breakfasts important?

High fiber breakfasts offer benefits from improving digestion to keeping you feeling fuller longer, supporting a healthy gut microbiome, weight management, and supporting overall health.

However, despite its importance, many of us struggle to meet the daily recommended fiber intake, 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

That’s where a delicious, fiber-rich breakfast comes in—not only does it set the tone for a day of healthy eating, but it also ensures you’re well on your way to hitting those fiber goals right from the start.

Key components of high fiber breakfasts:

  • whole grains
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • beans and legumes
  • nuts and seeds

High fiber breakfast ideas for athletes

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast choice, and my daily favorite. It’s rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates. You can customize your bowl with some fresh fruit or nuts to your oatmeal for extra flavor and nutrients.

I usually add some chopped walnuts, sprinkle of hemp seed and dates or blueberries plus a splash of milk. Some days I add some tart cherries.

Rolled oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, with 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. 

One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber, while 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber.

2. Smoothie bowl

Smoothie bowls are a fun and easy way to get a lot of fiber and other nutrients in one bowl. Blend frozen fruits, Greek yogurt, protein powder, and chia seeds to make a thick and creamy smoothie base.

Then, top your smoothie bowl with more fiber-rich fruits, nuts, seeds, or granola. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in your body.

You can also add other high fiber ingredients such as flaxseeds, oats, or leafy greens to your smoothie bowl. For example, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 2 grams of fiber, a ½ cup of raspberries has 4 grams of fiber, and a cup of spinach has 4 grams of fiber.

A typical smoothie bowl may contain around 5-8 grams of fiber, depending on the ingredients used. To boost the fiber content, consider adding leafy greens such as spinach or kale, which are high in fiber and other important nutrients.

Adding a scoop of protein powder can also help to increase the overall nutrient content of your smoothie bowl.

3. Whole grain toast with avocado

Avocado is a great source of healthy fats and fiber, making it the perfect addition to a high fiber breakfast. Choose your favorite whole grain toast or high fiber bread to boost your fiber intake.

Adding some additional protein like a sliced hard-boiled egg or a fried egg will give your breakfast more staying power. I like to sprinkle with a favorite spice like za’atar or harissa powder for a little kick, and sometimes add a bit of probiotic-rich kraut, like this beet kraut.

Whole grain toast provides around 2-6 grams of fiber per slice depending on the bread you use. Adding avocado, which is a good source of soluble fiber, can provide an additional 4 grams of fiber per half of an avocado.

whole wheat bread with avocado, beet kraut for high fiber breakfast

4. Quinoa bowl with berries

Quinoa is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, with 5 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving. Cooked quinoa mixed with almond milk, cinnamon and fresh fruit makes for a filling and fiber-rich breakfast.

Not to mention quinoa is the only whole grain that boasts a complete protein profile. It’s also a very versatile grain that you can make either savory or sweet.

Adding fiber-rich berries such as strawberries or blueberries can provide an additional 2-4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup serving. Or add some nuts and seeds for extra crunch.

Nuts such as almonds or walnuts are also a good source of fiber, providing around 2 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving.

In total, a quinoa bowl with berries and nuts can provide anywhere from 7-11 grams of fiber.

5. Quinoa bowl with vegetables and eggs

Quinoa is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, with 5 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving. Adding fiber-rich vegetables such as kale, peppers, and onions can further increase the fiber content. Adding eggs provides a protein boost and can also add an additional 1 gram of fiber.

high fiber breakfast ideas

6. Smoothie with greens

Blend up a smoothie with a handful of spinach or kale, frozen fruits, and a scoop of protein powder. The added greens will not only increase the fiber content but also provide important vitamins and minerals.

Adding a handful of spinach or kale to your smoothie can provide an additional 1-2 grams of fiber, depending on the amount used. Using frozen fruits such as berries and adding a scoop of protein powder can further increase the fiber content.

7. Chia seed pudding

Stir chia seeds, yogurt, and almond milk and let sit over night. In the morning, top with fresh fruit and nuts.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with 11 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving. Mixing chia seeds with almond milk can provide an additional 2-3 grams of fiber, while adding fresh fruit and nuts can further increase the fiber content.

8. Sweet potato toast

For a unique twist on a breakfast favorite, slice sweet potatoes and toast them in the oven or toaster. Top with nut butter and sliced bananas for a delicious and fiber-rich breakfast.

One medium-sized sweet potato contains around 4 grams of fiber. Toasting and topping with nut butter and sliced banana can add an additional 4 grams of fiber.

9. Greek yogurt with berries and granola

Adding berries and high fiber granola to high protein Greek yogurt makes for a high protein, high fiber breakfast that will help you power through your morning. A ½ cup of raspberries contains 4 grams of fiber, while ¼ cup of granola can provide 3-6 grams of fiber.

You could also sprinkle on some chia, hemp seeds or flaxseeds for an additional boost of fiber.

high fiber breakfast granola parfait, bowl with yogurt, honey, blueberries and granola

9. Breakfast burrito

Fill a whole grain tortilla with scrambled eggs, black beans, salsa, and avocado for a hearty and fiber-packed breakfast. One whole grain tortilla can provide up to 3 grams of fiber. 

Additionally, 1/2 cup of black beans contains around 8 grams of fiber, while 1/4 of an avocado contains around 3 grams of fiber.

10. Vegetable omelet

Whip up an omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and peppers for a fiber-rich start to your day. 

Adding vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, and peppers can boost the fiber content. For example, 1 cup of cooked spinach contains around 4 grams of fiber.

11. Whole grain pancakes 

Opt for whole grain pancakes instead of traditional pancakes for a higher fiber option. You can make whole grain pancakes with whole wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat and other whole grains such as oats or buckwheat. 

These grains are high in fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins, iron and zinc. B vitamins in whole grains can help support energy metabolism, while iron and zinc are important for muscle function and recovery. 

If you use a pancake mix or make your own batter, you can also toss in some chia or flaxseed for a fiber boost. Then top with fresh fruit for added fiber and a dollop of Greek yogurt for added protein.

One serving of whole grain pancakes (2 medium pancakes) made with whole wheat flour can provide around 4 grams of fiber. Adding fiber-rich toppings such as fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds can further increase the fiber content. 

whole grain pancakes, veggie sausage being cooked on a griddle for high fiber breakfast

12. Tofu scramble

Scramble some tofu with veggies like spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers for a plant-based, high fiber breakfast option. Tofu is also a good source of plant-based protein, with around 10 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. In terms of fiber, the exact amount in tofu scramble will depend on the specific ingredients used. 

However, adding fiber-rich vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, and onions can increase the fiber content. For example, 1 cup of spinach contains around 1 gram of fiber, while 1/2 cup of bell peppers contains around 1 gram of fiber.

To further boost the fiber of your tofu scramble, consider serving it with whole grain toast or adding high fiber toppings such as avocado or salsa. 

About 1/4 of an avocado contains around 3 grams of fiber, while 1/4 cup of salsa contains around 1 gram of fiber.

13. Apple cinnamon overnight oats

Mix rolled oats, almond milk, grated apples, cinnamon, and chia seeds in a jar and let it sit overnight. In the morning, top with sliced almonds and enjoy!

Overnight oats are a convenient and nutritious breakfast option that can be prepared ahead of time. Oats are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, with 4 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup serving. 

Adding fiber-rich ingredients such as apples and chia seeds can further increase the fiber content. For example, 1 medium apple with the skin contains around 4 grams of fiber, while 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains around 5 grams of fiber.

In total, a serving of overnight apple cinnamon oats can provide around 9-13 grams of fiber, depending on the specific ingredients used. 

14. Cottage cheese with berries and flaxseed

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and adding berries and flaxseed will increase the fiber content. Flaxseed is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Also cottage cheese is a good source of protein, providing around 14 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving. Adding fiber-rich berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries can further increase the fiber content. 

About a 1/2 cup of strawberries contains around 2 grams of fiber, while 1/2 cup of raspberries contains around 4 grams of fiber.

15. Banana nut butter toast

Top whole grain toast with nut butter and sliced bananas for a fiber-rich and delicious breakfast. Whole grain toast is a good source of fiber, providing around 2 grams of fiber per slice. 

Adding fiber-rich toppings such as nut butter and banana can further increase the fiber content. For example, 1 medium banana contains around 3 grams of fiber, while 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain around 2 grams of fiber.

In total, a serving of banana nut butter toast can provide around 5-7 grams of fiber.

17. Whole grain high fiber cereal with fruit

Choosing a whole grain, high fiber cereal can provide up to 10 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving depending on the type of fiber rich cereal you pick. When you add fiber rich fruit such as berries or sliced banana you increase the fiber content.

Which type of fiber should you eat for breakfast

Fiber can be categorized into two main types: soluble and insoluble fiber.

It’s important to consume both types of fiber as they have unique health benefits.

Eating a variety of high fiber foods can help ensure that you are getting enough of both types of fiber in your diet.

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. This type of fiber can help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels. 

Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, peas, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

For breakfast options, foods high in soluble fiber such as oatmeal, chia seeds and berries are great choices to help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.

Insoluble fiber

On the other hand, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to promote regular bowel movements by adding bulk to stool. 

Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, nuts, seeds and the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Insoluble fiber-rich foods such as whole grain toast and sweet potato toast can help promote regular bowel movements and improve gut health. 

Incorporating a variety of high fiber breakfast options can help ensure that you are getting the full spectrum of fiber benefits to optimize your health and performance as an athlete.

high fiber breakfast, types of fiber soluble and insoluble fiber

FAQ-Why do athletes need a high fiber breakfast?

It’s important for athletes to fuel with the right nutrients to optimize performance. Eating a high fiber breakfast ensures that you get enough of a nutrient that is often overlooked but crucial for athletes, fiber. 

Incorporating high fiber foods into your breakfast routine helps improve digestion and provide sustained energy throughout the day. Start your day off on the right foot with a high fiber breakfast and feel the difference in your performance.

Final thoughts

Incorporating high fiber breakfast options into your diet as an athlete can improve your overall health and performance. Experiment with different ingredients and find what works best for you and your body. 

Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Since fiber absorbs water and can lead to constipation if you don’t drink enough fluids. 

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