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What foods contain cellulose?

Updated July 20, 2017

Humans are unable to digest cellulose because we lack the appropriate enzymes to break it down. While cellulose is not digestible, it is the fibre that aids in the smooth working of the intestinal tract. Eating cellulose foods helps aid healthy digestion and bowel movements. In addition, all foods with cellulose also contain other valuable minerals, proteins and vitamins.

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Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale, are high in cellulose. Our bodies have limited ability to access the nutrients encased in the cellulose structure, so most of what we eat of these vegetables is simply eliminated from the body. However, these vegetables are packed with other nutritious vitamins, minerals and fibre that make them valuable additions to a diet.


Tubers are vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and yams that grow underground. They are high in cellulose and starch. They are also rich in dietary energy and provide the body with complex carbohydrates.


Squashes such as pumpkin and zucchini are high in cellulose and low in sugar. They are similar to tubers in digestibility. They are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.


Sprouts such as alfalfa and sunflower are high in cellulose and low in energy value. They are rich in minerals, amino acids and proteins.

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About the Author

Sefira Fialkoff began her journalism career working at "The Hartford Courant" in 2004 and has since worked for "The Good Times" and "The Santa Cruz Sentinel." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in global economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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