What are the main health benefits of muesli? Compared to most cereals and granolas sold in grocery stores, muesli has far more to offer in terms of nutrients, plus much less sugar and other unwanted additives.
Considering that traditional muesli is made with straightforward, nutrient-rich ingredients — such as rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and other superfoods — it's a great way to kick off your day.
Not only can a bowl of muesli in the morning help to fill you up and keep you satisfied until lunch, it can also improve digestive function, gut health, cardiovascular health and more.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Muesli
If you've never tried muesli before, you can think of it like a healthy cross between granola and oatmeal. It's been a traditional breakfast enjoyed in Europe for centuries, both because it tastes great and also due to its positive effects on overall health.
Here's more about the top seven body wide health benefits of muesli:
1. Great Source of Fiber and Prebiotics
Adults need at least 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day for general health, including to help with digestion, appetite control and cholesterol balance.
Unfortunately, many people who eat "modern diets" lack the daily fiber they need, which makes them more susceptible to issues like constipation.
One serving of muesli (about ⅓ to ½ cup) provides between 4 to 7 grams of fiber, helping you to meet your daily target.
Muesli also supplies you with prebiotics, which are special types of fibers that contribute to gut health by promoting the growth of “good bacteria" (probiotics) in the gut. A healthy gut leads to an overall healthier you, since your gut is actually where the majority of your immune system is found.
2. Plant-Based, Sustainable Source of Protein
Museli's combination of whole grain oats, nuts and seeds makes it a grain source of protein for plant-based eaters and omnivores alike.
Each serving provides between 5 and 8 grams of protein, which is needed for functions including muscle growth and maintenance, bone health, and neurotransmitter production which supports a positive mood.
Pair muesli with milk, yogurt or kefir for even more filling protein, or have it with almond milk or hot water if you prefer to avoid dairy.
3. Muesli Fills You Up and Can Help With Weight Loss
Thanks to all the soluble fiber found in muesli, especially from whole grain oats and seeds, it can promote fullness in addition to improving gut health. Protein and healthy fats, from ingredients including nuts and seeds, also contribute to satiety.
Research shows that fiber intake is usually inversely associated with hunger, body weight and body fat, meaning the more fiber you eat, the less likely you are to overeat.
Why does fiber contribute to fullness? Once you eat fibrous foods, they aren't fully digested, but instead they absorb water in your GI tract which takes up space. Fiber, protein and fats also slow your body’s digestion of glucose (sugar), which can suppress hunger and cravings.
4. Provides Healthy Fats, Including Omega-3s
Muesli is made with healthy sources of fatty acids including nuts like almond, cashews and walnuts, plus seeds such as hemp, flax and chia seeds.
It's highly recommended that all adults eat nuts and seeds regularly because they provide specific fats such as polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and omega-3, in addition to essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients contribute to cardiovascular and brain health in many ways, such as by balancing cholesterol levels and managing inflammation.
Research also shows that people who eat nuts and seeds often typically have a lower body weight and better protection against obesity, since these foods are filling, plus some of their calories are not absorbed due to their fiber content.
5. Low in Sugar, But Still Tastes Great
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 advise that everyone 2 years and older limit added sugars in the diet to less than 10% of total calories. For a 2,000 calorie/day diet, that translates into 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar daily (about 12 teaspoons). However, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day for women and 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for men.
A typical serving of conventional cereal or granola can contain between 10 to 20 grams of added sugar, while one serving of muesli only has between 0 to 2 grams of added sugar.
You can see what a difference it would make in your overall diet and sugar/calorie intake if you swapped in muesli for other sugary, processed breakfast cereals everyday.
This is a great way to potentially help prevent weight gain and to fight inflammation, since high added sugar intake is linked to issues including high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, poor sleep, cavities, increased chronic inflammation — the list goes on.
Another important reason to avoid too much sugar is because it spikes blood glucose levels. When you eat foods with carbs and sugar, your body releases the hormone called insulin to help metabolize the glucose you've consumed. A major concern with a sugary diet is that it causes a higher release of insulin, and over time this can disrupt your body's ability to handle sugar and carbs, leading to insulin resistance.
One of the best ways to stay metabolically healthy? Skip foods with added sugar and focus on those that provide natural sweetness instead, such as fruit.
6. Gives You an Energy Boost
Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, are one of the body's primary energy sources. Oats, fruit and other superfoods found in muesli can help fuel your muscles and brain before a workout or a busy day.
And because muesli contains whole foods, fiber, protein and fats instead of processed ingredients that will spike your blood sugar, it provides lasting energy with zero crash afterwards.
Oats are considered a "slow burning" energy source because it takes a longer time for your body to break them down compared to processed sugars, thanks to the presence of fiber and protein. This allows you to maintain focus and to avoid fatigue and cravings that can result when your blood sugar crashes following a sugary meal.
7. Supports Heart and Cognitive/Brain Health
You need fiber in your diet for reasons beyond digestion. It also helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome and "gut-brain connection", which contributes to strong immunity and aids in heart health.
In fact, consuming plenty of fiber has even been linked to a longer life span, due to its ability to potentially help prevent heart disease risk factors (like high cholesterol and blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance.
For example, oats provide a compound called beta-glucan which has been shown to reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol.
Chia and flax seeds supply you with both soluble and insoluble fibers, which can help support a healthy gut lining where the majority of "happy" neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are made.
Choosing the Best Type of Muesli For You
To reap the most health benefits of muesli, it's smart to pick a type that caters to your specific needs, such as support for energy and exercise performance, gut health, or cognitive and cardiovascular health.
If you're looking for support for energy, exercise and recovery, try: Athlete Fuel Organic Muesli:
- Features a balanced blend of protein, fiber, and whole grains for those seeking a sustainable and energizing start to a GUUD day
- Enjoy it pre-workout or post-workout
- Provides 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving
- Contains NO added sugar
If one of your main goals is to lower your sugar intake while still enjoying the great taste of cereal, try one of our classic mueslis such as: Fruity Almond Gluten Free Muesli or Coconut Cashew Gluten Free Muesli.
- Made with superfoods including hemp seeds, almonds, chia seeds and coconut
- Guilt-free, natural sweet taste thanks to dried fruit. Contains only 1 gram of added sugar
- Gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO Certified
For help with digestion and gut health, try: Gut Fuel Organic Muesli:
- Made with a tasty, prebiotic-packed combo of dates, bananas, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds
- Prebiotics and soluble fiber supports digestion and gut health
- Seeds also provide heart-healthy omega fatty acids
- Contains NO added sugar
To aid in cognitive health, try: Brain Fuel Gluten Free Muesli:
- Provides vitamin A and omega-3 fats for cognitive support
- High in antioxidants thanks to nuts, berries and dark chocolate
- Only 1 gram of added sugar per serving
How can you add muesli to your daily diet? There are lots of ways, such as: enjoying it cold with milk or yogurt, heating it just like oatmeal, soaking it overnight to make a grab-and-go breakfast, or adding some to a healthy smoothie or baked goods (check out loads of recipe ideas here).