One of the perks of the summer is being able to leave the gym and move your workouts outdoors. Personally, when the summer arrives, I look forward to being able to run on the beach-the change of scenery and a warm breeze always gets me going. Little did I know that what I ate for breakfast could influence the intensity of my morning workout.
A recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that eating a high fiber cereal for breakfast can actually help you to breathe more easily. In the study, participants who consumed 27 grams of fiber a day had a larger lung capacity than those who took in less than 10 grams. In addition, those in the high fiber group were 15% less likely to develop a breathing disorder known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The reason for this is because fiber (which can be found in cereal and produce) may reduce tissue inflammation that can damage lungs.
The problem though is that the average American only takes in 9-11 grams of fiber a day. This is well below the 25-30 grams recommended by the American Dietetic Association. Diets high in fiber have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, reduce the risk factors for colon and breast cancer, alleviate constipation and even help with weight loss and management. To increase your fiber intake aim to incorporate foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Good sources include apples, berries, broccoli, artichokes, whole wheat bread and brown rice. High fiber cereals can contain as much as 14 grams per serving, which helps you to meet half of your fiber needs before lunch.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.