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Digestives Were Originally Invented To Curb Flatulence

Digestives Were Originally Invented To Curb Flatulence

Does this mean we can class them as a health food?

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

Although you might enjoy dunking them in your brew now, you may be surprised to learn that digestive biscuits were actually invented to help aid digestion and keep flatulence at bay.

The Biscuit: The History of a Very British Indulgence by Lizzie Collingham reveals the origins behind our biscuit tin favourites and claims digestives were created to help combat farting or 'windy colic' - if you want to sound a bit posher.


Of course, before you go hailing them as a health food, it's important to remember that back then they weren't covered in chocolate or packed full of as much sugar as they are now.

In fact, post doctoral researcher for Food Science and Nutrition, Dr Michael Houghton, has warned that any benefits gained from the fibre in the biscuits is negated by the amount of sugar and fat - sorry, guys.

He told The Voice of London: "They do contain small amounts of fibre, which aids digestion, but to follow recommendations to increase our intake of dietary fibre there are definitely better sources.

"Wholegrain cereals also contain a compound called ferulic acid, which we have shown recently in our lab to exert small but beneficial effects against diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Unfortunately, the sugar and fat outweigh any benefit that might come from any whole grain that goes into the biscuits."


Say it ain't so, Doc.

Still, it doesn't seem as though Brits will be letting such an inconvenience put them off - as a recent survey found that the good old chocolate digestive was the nation's favourite.

Researchers from Perspectus Global surveyed 2,000 Brits to ask them to name their most beloved biscuit and a whopping 69 percent opted for chocolate digestives. A classic.

Somehow, shortbread came in second place - there really is no accounting for taste, is there?

Meanwhile, chocolate fingers, jaffa cakes and chocolate HobNobs filled out the rest of the top five, respectively.

Elsewhere in the top 20 were ginger nuts, bourbons, rich tea and custard creams.


The researchers also found that Brits tuck into an average of 11 biscuits a week.

And if you're wondering which town is the biggest biscuit lover of all, it's Norwich, where residents each scoff an average of 650 of the sweet treats each year - nicely done.

I'm off to make a brew and raid the biscuit barrel.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, UK News, Interesting