Two types of fibre help the digestive system function properly. Soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance when it dissolves in water. This form of fibre helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibre helps food move through the digestive system and prevents constipation. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends the intake of 25g of fibre per day for women aged 19 to 50. Men in the same age group should consume 38g of fibre per day.
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When manufacturers refine grains, it strips the wheat bran and wheat germ from the finished products. The germ and the bran have several nutritional benefits, making the consumption of whole-grain products important for good health. High-fibre, whole-grain foods help prevent weight gain, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods website. One slice of whole-grain bread contains 1.7g of fibre.
One medium apple contains 5g of fibre, or 20 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient. Apples also contain vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium. Because whole apples require no preparation beyond washing, they make a quick, healthy snack for students or busy professionals. Health-conscious eaters can add protein and other nutrients to apple slices by spreading them with peanut butter.
Bananas contain potassium, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. They also contain no fat and no cholesterol, making them suitable for heart-healthy diets that limit the intake of these substances. The potassium content of bananas helps to control blood-pressure levels, while their fibre content aids in digestion. One banana contains 3g of fibre.
The sweet flavour of cantaloupe melon makes it a favourite summer treat for those who love fruit. In addition to the recognisable scent and flavor, cantaloupe also offers a source of several essential nutrients. This melon contains protein, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. There are 1.28g of fibre in 1 cup of cantaloupe.
Raw broccoli contains several nutrients and adds flavour and texture to salads, appetisers and main dishes. The Produce for Better Health Foundation reports that broccoli contains no cholesterol and offers a good source of potassium and dietary fibre. Broccoli also contains high levels of vitamin C and folic acid. One medium stalk of broccoli contains 3g of fibre, or 12 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient.
The fibre content of a potato depends on whether you eat it with or without the skin, according to the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, as much of the fibre of a potato exists in the skin. One medium potato with the jacket has only 110 calories, provides 45 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C and is a vegetable source of potassium. One medium potato with the skin has 2g of dietary fibre.
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- Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- The World's Healthiest Foods: Whole Wheat
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fibre
- All About Apples: Apple Nutrition Information
- Chiquita: Banana Health and Nutrition Facts About Chiquita Bananas
- The World's Healthiest Foods: Cantaloupe