HomeHealthWhat is Fibre? Is it a carbohydrate? Foods and Benefits

What is Fibre? Is it a carbohydrate? Foods and Benefits



Fibre, has gained a lot of recognition these days. Increase in inactive lifestyles has brought this change and it really deserves this recognition. let’s know what actually the fibre is.

Fibre is a type of Carbohydrate, which is not digestible in human digestive tract.

Among the two types of carbohydrates, called Available and Non-available, Fibre is a Non-available Carbohydrate.

Let’s know this in detail.

  • Carbohydrates like Sugars and Starches are digestible and available to our body, so called as Available carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrate like Fibre, is not digestible and unavailable to our body, so called as Non-available carbohydrate.

Then, I expect a question from you now.

“Even fibre is a type of carbohydrate, that means it is made up of glucose units, like sugar and starches are made, then why are they Indigestible? and why Sugars and Starches are Digestible?”

Here is the reason👇

Fibre is also made up of several glucose units like the starch has, but the difference comes in the linkages. The links between the glucose units in fibre, are indigestible, as we lack the enzymes which can digest those links.

These glucose units with those Indigestible links are also called Cellulose.
So Fibre= Cellulose.


Uses of fibre:

It’s uses are a bit different, because they are neither available nor digested in our body. How can fibre be useful to us, if it is an indigestible thing? Here it is,

1. Fullness or satiety :

Fibre in food, absorbs water from digestive tract and makes the food to swell up and become bulky in the stomach. So a feeling of Fullness or Satiety in stomach is seen, which helps us in controlling the excess intake of food.

2. Elimination:

It helps in easy elimination of undigested food. As it absorbs and holds water , it can make the Stool (faeces) to move easily in the intestines. So, it can really help in keeping the constipation at a bay.

3. Prevention :

Some researches say that it is useful in preventing

  • Cancer,
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity


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Food sources:

It is very much found in plant foods and scarce in animal foods or products.

  • The outer covering of
    Cereals – Wheat, Barley, Maize, Paddy, Oats, Millets, Ryes
    Pulses – Kidney beans, Lentils, Green peas, Chick peas, Green gram, Black gram, etc.
  • Outer skin, pulp and seeds of
    Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables, Ladies finger , Peas, Beans, Brinjal,
    Fruits – Guava, Oranges, Avocado, Kiwi, Pears, Banana, Mango & Amla have very good amounts of fibre.
    Seeds – Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame.
  • You might have heard about Whole cereal and whole wheat flour. The whole, in these products refers to their outer coverings ( bran). So whole wheat, whole cereals, brownrice are all good sources.


Fibre lacking foods

Items like Maida and Suji are made by further cleaning and refining of Atta ( Wheat flour), that is removing the fibre rich outer covering(bran).

This is the reason, Pizza’s and Burgers, which are madeup of nutritionless, refined flours are unhealthy.


Medicinal Benefits

  • Maintains healthy weight (BMI)
  • Regulates Type 2 Diabetis
  • Prevents Atherosclerosis, Cardiac strokes
  • Helps for healthy Gut bacteria
  • Reduces the risk of  Cancer ( Carcinomas or Malignancies )
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Improves the bone health

Know more details of Balanced Diet here.

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