Inulin is high in fiber and low in calories. It also has other health benefits.
It keeps you full (of fiber)
Fiber is any type of carbohydrate the body can’t digest. It moves through the intestines intact and continues into the colon to serve as a food for the bacteria there. Fiber has low caloric value, but it’s essential to good health.
The fiber in inulin is soluble, which means it dissolves in water. It dissolves in the stomach and then forms a gelatinous substance that:
reduces cholesterol absorption as it passes through the digestive tract
Fiber is an important part of your diet. Soluble fiber swells to form a gel-like substance when it comes in contact with water. Soluble fiber supplements are used by many to improve their digestive health. Inulin and psyllium are commonly used forms of soluble fiber but they differ in many ways.
Psyllium fiber comes from the Plantago ovata plant. The plant produces up to 15,000 seeds, all of which are coated in psyllium husk. Psyllium is generally found in fiber supplements. Inulin is found in many foods, such as bananas, asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic and wheat. Inulin is extracted from chicory root and other herbs and may be used as an additive in food.
Psyllium fiber comes from the Plantago ovata plant.
Inulin is found in many foods, such as bananas, asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic and wheat.
Effects on Intestinal Bacteria
The human intestines naturally contain some bacteria that do not cause infections but instead play important roles in digestion, metabolism and immunity. Substances that serve as food sources for these bacteria are known as prebiotics. Inulin is a particularly effective prebiotic, Med Herb explains, as it can be rapidly broken down by these bacteria and promotes their growth. Although in theory psyllium fiber could have similar properties, a 2008 article in the "Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology" determined that psyllium did not promote growth of intestinal bacteria.
The human intestines naturally contain some bacteria that do not cause infections but instead play important roles in digestion, metabolism and immunity.
Both inulin and psyllium are forms of soluble fiber. One of the main benefits of adding soluble fiber to your diet is that it adds bulk to stool, helping to relieve constipation. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your digestive tract, helping to prevent loose watery stools. Increasing your soluble fiber intake also aids in controlling your cholesterol and blood glucose levels, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Psyllium is more effective in these aspects because it does not get broken down by intestinal bacteria.
Both inulin and psyllium are forms of soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your digestive tract, helping to prevent loose watery stools.
Both psyllium and inulin cause some gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating, gas and nausea. This is more likely if you are not accustomed to eating a high fiber diet. When inulin is broken down by bacteria, gas forms, which exacerbates some of these symptoms. If you have trouble with inulin or psyllium, switching to the other fiber source may alleviate your symptoms.
Both psyllium and inulin cause some gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating, gas and nausea.
If you have trouble with inulin or psyllium, switching to the other fiber source may alleviate your symptoms.
Getting enough fiber is an important part of eating healthy, and getting enough - and of the right kinds - is sometimes hard to do. That's why inulin fiber has grown in reputation, thanks to its adaptability and health benefits.
Inulin is a naturally-occurring soluble fiber, found in many kinds of fruits and vegetables. Inulin fiber is categorized as a "prebiotic," meaning when your stomach dissolves inulin, it becomes food for the good bacteria ("probiotics") in your digestive system. Prebiotics help boost the activity of those beneficial bacteria, helping to improve digestion overall. In doing so, inulin can open the door to many other health benefits.
Ongoing studies and research have illustrated that there are many benefits of soluble fiber, including inulin. Among these discoveries are:
Promotes weight loss - As a fiber, inulin can help slow digestion and help you feel fuller for longer, aiding in your weight loss journey.
Promotes bone strength - Some studies suggest that inulin boosts the absorption of calcium in your body, which helps remineralize and strengthen your bones.
Helps control blood sugar levels - Inulin fiber can slow your body's digestion of carbohydrates, which helps to regulate the release of sugar into your bloodstream without harsh spikes.
May reduce cholesterol - Foods high in soluble fiber help remove cholesterol (in the form of bile acids) from the digestive tract as they are excreted in your waste.
Adds sweetness - Inulin is made up of fructose molecules, giving it a slightly sweet flavor without the high calories and carbs of fructose or other sugars.
Sources of Inulin
The number one natural source of inulin is chicory root; in a 100 gram measurement of chicory root fiber, inulin takes up nearly 48% percent. You may be familiar with chicory root as a staple of New Orleans cuisine, where it is ground and used as a coffee flavoring. (Or, sometimes, as an entire substitution.)
Other naturally-occurring foods high in inulin include:
Inulin is also known as a “prebiotic” fiber based on the fact that it's highly fermentable by the friendly bacteria in our guts. Prebiotics are, in essence, like food for “probiotics;” or, a source of nutrition for gut bacteria that helps nourish them and enable them to thrive. It's not surprising, then, why inulin is often included in probiotic supplements or other digestive health supplements. However, digestively healthy and digestively tolerable are two different things, and it’s important to mention that the more fermenting your gut bacteria do, the more gas they produce as a byproduct. In other words, large doses of prebiotic fibers like inulin can cause gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating and pain in some people. Very sensitive individuals, like those with irritable bowel syndrome, can experience symptoms at even minute doses, like 0.5 to 1 gram. People with “normal” digestive function may tolerate 5 to 10 g of inulin without discomfort.
Inulin is a water soluble storage polysaccharide and belongs to a group of non-digestible carbohydrates called fructans. Inulin has attained the GRAS status in USA and is extensively available in about 36,000 species of plants, amongst, chicory roots are considered as the richest source of inulin. Commonly, inulin is used as a prebiotic, fat replacer, sugar replacer, texture modifier and for the development of functional foods in order to improve health due to its beneficial role in gastric health. This review provides a deep insight about its production, physicochemical properties, role in combating various kinds of metabolic and diet related diseases and utilization as a functional ingredient in novel product development.
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Extra full, much less meals: helps curb urge for food by leveraging its fabulous fiber to offer a fuller feeling after consuming, and for an extended time period than regular.
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Fiber energy: inulin’s fiber-power is second to none and the constructive results of fiber have lengthy been recognized to scrub out the pipes, so to talk.
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Inulin is a soluble fiber, one of three types of dietary fiber including soluble, insoluble, and resistant starch. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gelatinous material. Some soluble fibers may help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
Inulin may: Decrease constipation. In one study, older people with constipation who took 20 to 40 grams of inulin daily for a month had less trouble with constipation. Increase helpful bacteria in the colon.
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