What Are the Benefits of Whole-Wheat Bagels?

by Sara Ipatenco

Whole wheat bagel on a wooden table.

Radu Sebastian/iStock/Getty Images

Whole-wheat bagels are a healthy option for breakfast and can also be piled with lean meat and vegetables for a nutritious lunch or dinner meal. Whole-wheat foods are more nutritious and contain more vitamins and minerals than their white counterparts, according to a report in the May 2011 "The Journal of Nutrition." Knowing more about the benefits of whole-wheat bagels may persuade you to purchase them next time you are in the mood for bagels.

Fiber Conten

One of the most important benefits from choosing a whole-wheat bagel is that it contains more fiber than white versions. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating more fiber may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. The fiber in a whole-wheat bagel may also reduce your cholesterol level. Good digestive health is also related to a high-fiber diet, and choosing a whole-wheat bagel may keep your digestive system working properly. One whole-wheat bagel has 4 grams of fiber, which is more than 10 percent of the daily intake recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Vitamin Content

Whole wheat, including whole-wheat bagels, contain a healthy dose of several B vitamins, including riboflavin and thiamin. In fact, a serving of whole wheat can contain more than 100 percent of your daily requirement of both thiamin and riboflavin. One bagel contains 3.3 milligrams of niacin, which is more than 20 percent of your recommended daily intake. A whole-wheat bagel will also supply some folic acid, another B vitamin that promotes good health. A whole-wheat bagel will also supply you with a healthy dose of vitamin B-6 and vitamin E.


Eating a whole-wheat bagel will also boost your intake of key minerals that protect your health and stave off illness and disease. You will get a small amount of calcium, magnesium and zinc from a whole-wheat bagel. Choosing a whole-wheat bagel will also give you a hefty dose of iron -- 2.7 milligrams, which is 15 percent of the recommended intake for women and 33 percent of the recommended intake for men. Read the nutrition label on your whole-wheat bagel because some varieties are high in sodium. One wheat bagel contains 430 milligrams of sodium, which is more than 20 percent of the recommended intake of 2,300 for healthy people. If you have issues with hypertension, your limit is 1,500 milligrams, which means 1 wheat bagel delivers almost 30 percent of your daily intake.

Health Protective Benefits

Choosing whole-wheat grain products, including bagels, can reduce your risk of having a heart attack, as well as your risk of dying from heart disease later in life, the Harvard School of Public Health notes. You may also lower your chances of suffering from a stroke by increasing your intake of whole-wheat foods. A diet rich in whole wheat has also been linked to an increased ability for your body to regulate blood sugar levels, as well as lower your chances of constipation.

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About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.