English muffins are handy for making quick meals for on the go. Add peanut butter or eggs and you have breakfast, or use them to make pizzas for dinner. While regular English muffins provide some nutrition and are a healthier choice than sweet pastries, the whole-wheat varieties are healthier.
Each regular English muffin made with white flour has 140 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5.4 grams of protein and 27.4 grams of carbohydrate, including 1.5 grams of fiber. A whole-wheat English muffin has similar amounts of calories, fat, protein and carbs, but provides much more fiber with 4.5 grams. This is 18 percent of the daily value for fiber of 25 grams. Fiber helps lower your cholesterol and your risk for heart disease and constipation.
Regular English muffins are good sources of folate, niacin and thiamine, since refined flours usually have these vitamins added. These B vitamins help your body turn the foods you eat into energy and keep your skin, hair, eyes and liver healthy. Each muffin provides 94 micrograms of folate, or 24 percent of the DV; 2.6 milligrams of niacin, or 13 percent of the DV; and 0.28 milligram of thiamine, or 19 percent of the DV. Whole-wheat English muffins have a bit less of these vitamins, since whole-wheat flour isn't usually enriched, with 27 micrograms of folate, 2 milligrams of niacin and 0.16 milligram of thiamine.
Eating an English muffin will help you meet your daily requirements for calcium and iron. Each regular English muffin contains 102 milligrams of calcium, or 10 percent of the DV, and 2.4 milligrams of iron, or 13 percent of the DV. The whole-wheat English muffin is an even better source of minerals, since it contains 176 milligrams of calcium, or 18 percent of the DV; 187 milligrams of phosphorus, or 19 percent of the DV; and 1.6 milligrams of iron, or 9 percent of the DV. You need calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and to keep your muscles and nerves functioning properly, and you need iron for forming the red blood cells that carry oxygen to where it is needed in your body.
While English muffins can be a healthy part of your meal, if you load them down with lots of fatty toppings, this isn't the case. A little peanut butter or an egg gives you some protein and makes your breakfast more filling, but don't go all out and cover your English muffin with bacon, egg, cheese and a ton of melted butter, or it becomes a calorie bomb filled with saturated fat and cholesterol.
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: English Muffins, Whole-wheat, Toasted
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: English Muffins, Plain, Toasted, Enriched, With Calcium Propionate (Includes Sourdough)
- Family Doctor: Nutrition: How to Make Healthier Food Choices
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: 14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images