I added two new ingredients to my morning oatmeal to boost my fiber intake: here's what I found

Getting enough fiber in your diet might seem like a challenge, but there are some quick additions you can make to boost the fiber in your regular meals

A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and apples
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A high-fiber diet has numerous health benefits, including supporting good digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, and helping with regular bowel movements. 

The US Department of Agriculture advises a recommended daily amount (RDA) of 28g of fiber each day (although that will vary from person to person). However, the American Society for Nutrition reports that only 5% of men and 9% of women are getting the RDA of fiber.

Any small tweaks you can make to your regular meals to add fiber can help you reach this goal. 

I was already eating oatmeal for breakfast but decided to pack more fiber into the meal to hit my RDA for the day by adding a tablespoon of coarse-ground wheat bran and a tablespoon of whole flaxseed. Here's the recipe I used, along with my results. 

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of oats
  • Tbsp flaxseed
  • Tbsp wheat bran
  • Half a cup of frozen blueberries
  • 200ml oat milk
  • Tsp honey

Method

My cooking method for the breakfast was pretty basic: I simply threw all the ingredients into a pan and cooked on a medium flame on the stove, which took around five minutes. 

Nutritional content

Overall, there were 78g of carbs, 17g of fat, and 17g of protein in the meal, which clocked in at 550 calories total. 

The extra 4.8g of fiber from the bran and flax brought the total fiber content of the meal to just over 10g. Flaxseeds are also a great vegan source of Omega-3

What I found when I upped my fiber intake

Adding these two ingredients to my breakfast helped me feel fuller for longer and alleviated some of the symptoms of my IBS-C (constipation). Struggling to go in the mornings has always been a bit of a problem for me, but a high-fiber breakfast has helped to keep me regular, and I’m certain the prebiotic fibers have been promoting good gut health.

Eating a variety of prebiotic fibers can promote good gut health, as they "feed" gut bacteria, helping them to extract nutrients from your food. "Certain fibers act as prebiotics as they pass through the small intestine undigested and are fermented on route to the large colon," explained Rob Hobson, sports nutritionist at Healthspan, when speaking with Fit&Well

Overall, I feel better as a result of making these two small changes to my breakfast, and it hasn't been too expensive to do, as you can bulk-buy both bran and flaxseeds from any good health food store. They didn't significantly alter the flavor of the oatmeal either, but they did add a little crunchy texture. 

Rob Hobson
Rob Hobson

Rob Hobson is a registered nutritionist who has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies. He's head of nutrition at Healthspan, has provided training to the public health sector on best practice and has a monthly column in Women’s Health magazine.

Lou Mudge
Fitness Writer

Lou Mudge is a Health Writer at Future Plc, working across Fit&Well and Coach. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for Space.com and Pet's Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.


Multiple diagnoses in her early twenties sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavors and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health.