5 Important Functions Of Carbohydrates

5 Important Functions of Carbohydrates

The carbohydrates are complex molecules and include Sugars, starch, cellulose etc. The carbohydrates are found in a variety of food items like rice, wheat, potatoes, bread, milk, fruits, table sugars etc. Between 45 and 55% of our calories should be derived from carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are present in different forms in different food items. Sucrose is the carbohydrate in sugars, fructose is in fruits and some vegetables, glycogen is in liver and muscle cells. Glycogen is the animal source of carbohydrates.

Cellulose is the source of fibre from plant food and is a carbohydrate. There is no doubt in the fact that the carbohydrates bring a variety in our diet and add flavour to our food. So many diet plans are being followed by several people for weight loss and many of them recommend to limit the intake of carbohydrates. A look at five of the most important functions will surely reveal the importance of carbohydrates in the diet.

5 Important Functions Of Carbohydrates:

1. Source Of Energy:

Glucose is the most important source of energy. The carbohydrates in the food are broken down inside our body to release glucose. The glucose serves as the source of energy for every cell in the body including the brain and nerve cells. When it is not immediately needed, the glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells. These are used up by the body when needed.

When there is deficiency of carbohydrates in our diet and the glycogen stores as well, the body begins to use protein as the source of energy. This is not desirable as proteins have important functions of their own, like cellular repair, body building, wound healing etc. Thus the carbohydrates spares the protein from being used as energy [1].

Source of energy

2. Cellulose For Proper Digestion:

The carbohydrates present in the walls of plant tissues, otherwise known as cellulose is an important source of fibre in our body. Cellulose is very important for the proper functioning of our digestive system. It adds up bulk to the stool and aids in proper bowel movement. It thus prevents constipation and it’s related troubles.

The fibre also imbibes a feeling of fullness in our tummy. This is helpful for those who are on a weight loss diet or for those who are trying to maintain their adequate weight. Thus salads and fruits prevents us from feeling hungry for a long time after a meal [2].

Cellulose for proper digestion

3. Maintaining Immune System:

Certain carbohydrates are an important component of co enzymes needed for energy release and other bodily functions. A carbohydrate is the backbone of the genetic molecule RNA. Carbohydrate is also related with DNA. Carbohydrates are also needed for blood clotting. Many antibodies in the body contain carbohydrates. They thus play a role in resisting infections and maintaining the immune system of our body. They also play a role in fertilization [3].

Maintaining immune system

4. Aids In Fat Breakdown:

Carbohydrates aid in fat metabolism. When carbohydrates are broken down, they release oxaloacetic acid. This in turn is needed for the proper breakdown of fats in the body. In the absence of carbohydrates, the fats are broken down to release ketones which is harmful for the body [4].

Aids in fat breakdown

5. Synthesis Of Good Bacteria:

This again happens in the presence of carbohydrates in the intestines. The carbohydrates, when they ferment in the intestines, stimulate the growth of good bacteria. These bacteria helps in proper digestion. The bacteria also aids in the synthesis of vitamin B complexes. Carbohydrates are also needed for absorption of calcium from the intestines [5].

Synthesis of good bacteria

Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.