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Daily Muesli for Health: Oats, Barley and Rye

Updated: Apr 15

Some people laugh at our daily breakfast moo’sli (yes, that’s a cow joke): oats (rolled oats, not processed 'quick oats'), barley, maybe some rolled rye, a large pinch of spices and dried berries. We mix it ourselves at home from easy to find store bought ingredients, organic if possible. Our moo’sli powers: health, exercise and even our poop!

“An average Singaporean consumes 13 grams of dietary fibre per day. The recommended amount is 30 grams per day.” SingHealth

The US fares slightly ‘better’ at 15g per day and the UK averages at 18.5g.


What is the #1 killer of men and #2 of women in SG? Colon cancer – linked to a lack of fibre in the diet. We really need to get more fibre into the diet, feed our healthy microbiome and poop better. Why? Fibre alone helps to prevent diabetes, heart disease, the risk of cancer and weight gain.

Our gut microbiome depends on fibre as its fuel. The short chain fatty acids and other metabolites that they produce helps everything from our gut lining to brain health to our immune systems. Eating a healthy, plant based and fibre rich breakfast also crowds out other less healthy items that many are already be over-consuming.


Our typical bowl provides 10g fibre from 6 to 8 tablespoons of whole grains. We use a heaped Ikea tablespoon to measure. Our single bowl is packed with complex (low glycemic) carbs that provide slow-release energy over the course of several hours. There is no cholesterol or saturated fat, in fact, the fibre helps to lower cholesterol levels. This dish can be the foundation of a heart healthy, weight loss diet.

A large pinch of ground spices powers our daily antioxidant needs – fighting inflammation and cancer, supporting post exercise recovery. We use Ceylon Cinnamon (not cassia cinnamon as is found in most store bought jars), maybe a little Pumpkin Spice mix.

Mixed berries for added antioxidant power and some sweetness. Frozen beeries are great but raisins or currants are also cheap and sweet, a cost-effective option if goji and, say, blueberries are expensive or unavailable.

We also add a couple of pieces of fresh fruit to lighten it up. And, as an added creamy treat - delicious live, probiotic rich yogurt. We make our own, once per week.


Are there any potential issues with this breakfast bowl?

  • Food Intolerances. Oats do not have gluten although sometimes the processing machinery may be used for other grains and therefore contaminate the oats. Just check the label on the packet. Some people may have intolerances to certain grains such as the barley or, say, rye grains if we mix them in for variety. If this is the case, just leave them out.

  • Poop. Yes, eating more fibre will make you poop more. It’s not a problem, it’s healthy! When increasing fibre intake don’t go from zero to hero in one day otherwise gas and, if you are not well hydrated, blockages may become an issue. Increase your fibre intake over a couple of weeks, this allows the beneficial gut bacteria in your gut to multiply and be able to get their job done (gas free) when you step up the fibre intake.

  • Exercise. We wouldn’t eat a fibre rich meal within a few hours before a workout or run as it needs time to digest.


It took me a long make muesli a regular part of my life, I simply didn’t add enough sweetness to it when I started. The addition of mixed fruit and berries turned it from plain grains to an enjoyable daily breakfast. Understanding the health benefits was invaluable, especially the vital role that fibre plays in diet. Now I eat it every day.

If you are just starting try 3 tablespoons of muesli and work your way up to six, or more.

Says The Whole Health Practice's nutritionist Felicia “Sometimes we enjoy our muesli later in the day, it doesn’t have to be for breakfast only. This is also a simple dish to take to the office, the dry grains just need hot water poured over them and be left to ‘cook’ for half an hour, add some fruit.

Stay Healthy,

Felicia and Alastair


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Related Studies

Alemayehu GF, Forsido SF, Tola YB, Amare E. Nutritional and Phytochemical Composition and Associated Health Benefits of Oat (Avena sativa) Grains and Oat-Based Fermented Food Products. ScientificWorldJournal. 2023 Jul 17;2023:2730175. doi: 10.1155/2023/2730175. PMID: 37492342; PMCID: PMC10365923.

Llanaj E, Dejanovic GM, Valido E, Bano A, Gamba M, Kastrati L, Minder B, Stojic S, Voortman T, Marques-Vidal P, Stoyanov J, Metzger B, Glisic M, Kern H, Muka T. Effect of oat supplementation interventions on cardiovascular disease risk markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Jun;61(4):1749-1778. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02763-1. Epub 2022 Jan 3. PMID: 34977959; PMCID: PMC9106631.

Yu J, Xia J, Yang C, Pan D, Xu D, Sun G, Xia H. Effects of Oat Beta-Glucan Intake on Lipid Profiles in Hypercholesterolemic Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2022 May 13;14(10):2043. doi: 10.3390/nu14102043. PMID: 35631184; PMCID: PMC9147392.

Valido E, Stoyanov J, Bertolo A, Hertig-Godeschalk A, Zeh RM, Flueck JL, Minder B, Stojic S, Metzger B, Bussler W, Muka T, Kern H, Glisic M. Systematic Review of the Effects of Oat Intake on Gastrointestinal Health. J Nutr. 2021 Oct 1;151(10):3075-3090. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab245. PMID: 34486656.

McRae MP. Health Benefits of Dietary Whole Grains: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2017 Mar;16(1):10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Nov 18. PMID: 28228693; PMCID: PMC5310957.


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