What is cellulose?
Cellulose is a complex polysaccharide composed of long chains of glucose molecules. Unlike starch, which is a storage carbohydrate found in plants, cellulose is a structural carbohydrate that forms the rigid cell walls of plants and gives them their shape and strength. Cellulose is found in many types of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, and is considered a dietary fibre.
When it comes to human health, cellulose is known for its beneficial effects on digestion and overall well-being. The indigestible nature of cellulose means that it passes through the digestive system largely unchanged, adding bulk to the faeces and promoting regular bowel movements. This can help to prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and maintain digestive health.
In addition to its benefits for digestion, cellulose is also beneficial for heart health. Soluble fibers like cellulose can help to reduce cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids in the small intestine and promoting their excretion. This can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Cellulose is also beneficial for weight management as it is low in calories, but adds bulk to the diet, helping to promote feelings of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake.
Cellulose is also a prebiotic, meaning that it provides food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and improve gut health, which is important for overall well-being.
The highest levels of cellulose are found in the skin and fibrous parts of fruits and vegetables, such as the stems and leaves. For example, the skin of apples and the leaves of lettuce are rich sources of cellulose. Whole grains also contain cellulose, although the exact amount will depend on the type of grain and how it is processed. For example, whole wheat contains more cellulose than refined flour, which has had the bran and germ removed. To get the most cellulose and other beneficial fibers, it is best to consume a variety of whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Cellulose is also what our certified home compostable wrappers are made from!!