Increase helpful bacteria in the colon. Because it has this effect, inulin is called a prebiotic. Prebiotics may have numerous health benefits.
Prebiotics don’t actually contain bacteria. They are fuel to help bacteria grow. All prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber. The fiber inulin, which is found in chicory root, bananas, and asparagus, is a prebiotic that can be used as food for gut bacteria. Onions, garlic, artichokes, and legumes are also prebiotic sources.
Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found in many plants. Inulin is also fructan. Like other fructans, it is a prebiotic, meaning that it feeds the good bacteria in the gut.
Fructans are chains of fructose molecules. The molecules link together in a way that the small intestine cannot break down. Instead, they travel to the lower gut, where they feed beneficial gut bacteria.
Inulin is a starchy substance found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including wheat, onions, bananas, leeks, artichokes, and asparagus. The inulin that is used for medicine is most commonly obtained by soaking chicory roots in hot water.
Inulin is commonly used by mouth for high blood fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also used for weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, and diabetes.
Inulin is not digested or absorbed in the stomach. It goes to the bowels where bacteria are able to use it to grow. It supports the growth of a special kind of bacteria that are associated with improving bowel function and general health. Inulin decreases the body's ability to make certain kinds of fats.
Chicory root fibre comes from the pretty blue-flowered herb shown at the top of this post. It grows across the world - throughout North America, China and Europe. It's also sometimes called 'inulin'. The first source of inulin from chicory root fibre came from flowers grown in Northern Europe. For years the roots have been used to make a great caffeine-free coffee substitute, and of course the leaves of the herb make a bitter addition to a tasty salad. It should not be confused with the Belgian endive or radicchio, these types of salad chicory are from the same family but are quite different.
Inulin come from an extract from the roots; a prebiotic fibre sometimes listed as polysaccharides or fructooligosaccharides (FOS) - these are the scientific names for the extract's type of sugar chains. Whilst technically it is a type of sugar and it does add sweetness, it's really different to normal sugar as it isn't easily digested and so it has little to no impact on your blood sugar levels. This has been scientifically proven and approved by the European Food Safety Authority.
We recommend a dose of 12g per day, but it is best to start out with a smaller amount per day; introducing it slowly to be sure it is well tolerated, and to avoid any discomfort or uncomfortable side effects such as gas or bloating. You can then gradually increase the dosage until you find your comfortable limit - again this varies from person to person.
Fruit and vegetablesPlants and grainsProcessed or manufactured foods
asparagus, bananas, leeks, onionsagave, artichoke, chicory root, garlic, wheat, Jerusalem artichokecereal or protein bars, milk and yogurt products, baked foods, desserts
Chicory root coffee alternative is an excellent way to cut down on your caffeine intake and boost your consumption of fiber and prebiotics for your gut health.
Inulin seems to be safe when used appropriately. The most common side effects occur in the stomach. Using too much inulin causes more stomach problems.
Any amount of inulin is considered safe for human consumption. It's extremely unlikely to trigger any kind of allergic reaction. When you begin using inulin, you may experience digestive discomfort, such as excessive flatulence or loose stools.
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