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5 Breakfast Foods That'll Help Get Things Moving, From GI Experts

Emma Loewe
April 27, 2023
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Couple eating breakfast
Image by Ivan Gener / Stocksy
April 27, 2023

Though we may not talk about them as much, bowel movements are an essential part of many people's morning routines. And we sure notice when they're missing.

If you're not pooping as much as you should be (experts recommend aiming for at least one comfortable, complete bowel every three days), it can take a toll on your digestive discomfort, as well as have less obvious impacts on your gut health, hormonal health, and even your skin appearance.

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Starting your day with the right foods can go a long way in promoting healthy, regular digestion. These five all have GI experts' stamp of approval for getting things moving.

Pair them with other poop-supporting habits like keeping stress levels down, getting enough sleep, exercising (but being careful with the HIIT workouts), and tending to your pelvic floor health. Changing your mentality around mealtime and eating breakfast more slowly and mindfully can also go a long way in ensuring a successful trip to the bathroom. Go ahead, grab a glass of water, and enjoy:



It's no surprise that the first food on the list is packed with fiber (around 6.7 grams per half1). Fiber is basically synonymous with digestive regularity. Research shows that increasing your daily fiber intake can go a long way in improving stool frequency and consistency2. By slowing down the absorption of certain nutrients like carbs and fats, fiber can also help keep you full for longer3 and keep your blood sugar under control4. Read: It's definitely something that should be in your breakfast.

As a research specialist in oncology nutrition L.J. Amaral M.S., R.D., CSO, previously told mindbodygreen, avocado is a great source of insoluble fiber, which "influences the GI tract and promotes motility." Put a serving of the versatile fruit in your morning smoothie, on your toast, or alongside your eggs for a gut-healthy start to the day.

RELATED READ: 25 High-Fiber Foods To Help Meet Your Daily Requirements



"Plain, unsweetened oats have about 4 grams of fiber per half-cup," dietitian nutritionist Leah Silberman, M.S., R.D.previously told mindbodygreen. The nice thing about oats is they contain both insoluble fibers (which form the bulk of stool) and soluble fibers (which are important for detoxification) to help to keep you more regular, Silberman explains.

One thing to note is that if you're currently undereating fiber (as about 95% of us are), you'll want to introduce it into your diet slowly. Going from 0 to 60 in the fiber department can cause stomach discomfort. Start by making a small bowl of savory oatmeal or adding a quarter cup of oats to your morning smoothie.

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If your gut microbiome is healthy, chances are your poop schedule will be healthy too. If you can stomach them in the morning, adding fermented foods such as kefir and kimchi to your breakfast can fortify your microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Alternatively, you can take a probiotic supplement in the morning to start each day on a poop-promoting note.*

"Eating probiotic-rich foods or taking a daily probiotic supplement can help support a healthy and balanced gut microbiome," integrative physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., previously told mindbodygreen.*

If you're in the market for a new probiotic, mbg's probiotic+ is designed with gut health and regularity in mind. It contains bacterial strains that have been scientifically shown to improve average gut transit time5, like Bifidobacterium lactis HN019. The addition of B. lactis Bi-07, B. lactis B420, and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM also means this is a supplement that can encourage healthy weight6, promote abdominal comfort7, and ease bloating when taken daily.*

Read these reviews to learn more about how it's getting bathroom schedules across the world on track.

RELATED READ: The 9 Best Probiotic Supplements Of 2023, According To A Ph.D.

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This subtropical fruit doesn't get enough credit: Kiwis are packed with antioxidants, and eating them has been shown to positively affect upper-GI health8 and bowel movements. Like oats, kiwis are a source of the soluble and insoluble fiber your gut needs to stay regular. Interestingly enough, the oft-discarded skin of the kiwifruit is where 50% of its fiber lies, so nutritionist Katherine Maslen, N.D., recommends keeping it on.

"I'd suggest cutting off the hard ends of your fruit and wetting the skin if the fur weirds you out too much. You can also add whole kiwis into smoothies," she previously shared with mindbodygreen.



Whether you're looking for a fat to cook your eggs in or a savory topping for your morning yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil should be your oil of choice, according to Gandhi. That's because research shows that olive oil can help pass stool along9 and stimulate the growth of protective gut bacteria10 (in addition to touting a number of other science-backed health benefits).

"You can drink it on its own or incorporate it into your smoothies, coffee, or yogurt," Gandhi previously told mindbodygreen.

RELATED READ: 12 Best Olive Oils Of 2023 + How To Find A High-Quality EVOO

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The takeaway

If you're looking for a meal that will start your day in an, ahem, productive way, add some of these ingredients. Be it an avocado smoothie or a kiwi fruit salad with a side of a probiotic supplement, there are many ways to more successfully wake up your digestion with your breakfast.

Emma Loewe author page.
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.