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 Home > City Resources > Health and Medicine > Fibrous Food
Fibrous Food - Enroute to Healthy Living

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VegetablesFibre is that constituent of our food that cannot be digested by the body - cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins that cannot be easily broken down by digestive enzymes. It adds bulk to our diet and facilitates easy movement of waste products thereby reducing strain to the body. Fibre also helps in eliminating toxins - both absorbed through food and produced inside the body.

You could say it acts as a broom that cleanses the interns of the body.

Our ancestors consumed food mainly in its raw form - raw fruits and vegetables and coarsely ground or cooked cereals. But food consumed today is highly refined - refined flour for noodles, cakes, biscuits, chapatti, breads, polished rice, pealed vegetables, fruits and strained fruit juices. Such a diet needs correction.

The body can take up to 10 -15 gms of fibre everyday, without adverse effect and 25 - 30 gms for therapeutic purposes. Sufficient fibre decreases incidence of colon cancer, regulates sugar absorption and the amount of cholestrol in our blood. But excessive fibre leads to stomach upsets.
Fibre or roughage is
present in
  • The skin and structural parts of plant and plant products like whole grain and breads (chappatis, unleavened breads, etc.)
  • Green leafy vegetables, carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, cauliflowers and all kinds of beans.
  • Fruits like peaches, prunes, guavas and oranges.
  • The bran layer of cereals.
Foods lacking in Fibre include
  • Refined flour
    (food made from it)
  • Polished rice
  • Animal foods
Ten ways to add fibre to your diet
  • Do not sift flour
  • Use unpolished rice
  • Do not strain juices
  • Buy whole wheat bread and
    bran biscuits
  • Do not peel vegetables and fruits
  • Do not overcook vegetables
  • Include 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruits in daily diet
  • Raisins, dried fruits like apricots and sprouts are good sources of fibre
  • Jams and jellies have pectin -
    for children and people with
    a sweet tooth
  • Use bran, flea seed husk (Isabgol) to correct fibre defects in diet
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