What is inulin?
Superfood health benefits

What is inulin?

Inulin is a name you probably heard of, but did you know this product has several health benefits? So if you are asking; what is inulin? Here we reveal our findings, including how it can improve your health and any contradictions you should be aware of.

Where does inulin come from?

Inulin is a soluble dietary fiber that is extracted almost exclusively from chicory root. To provide the highest quality of inulin possible, the chicory root goes through a filtration and purification process.

As it is a soluble powder, it can be added to any food or drink without greatly influencing its taste or texture, thus adding a fantastic source of fiber to your daily diet. 100% natural, inulin helps boost daily fiber intake, increases satiety and helps maintain a healthy digestive system. 

Natural Sources of Inulin

Some plants have small amounts of inulin, while others are great sources. Below is the amount of inulin in 3.5 oz, or 100 grams, of the following foods:

  • Chicory root: 36-48 grams.
  • Asparagus: 2-3 grams.
  • Jerusalem artichoke: 16-20 grams.
  • Garlic: 9-16 grams.
  • Onions: 1-8 grams.
  • Jicama: 10-13 grams.
  • Yacon root: 7-8 grams

What is inulin made of?

Inulin belongs to a class of dietary fibers called fructans also known as oligo- or polysaccharides. This is a type of soulable fiber that can also be found in foods such as vegetables and legumes. Fructans are made by linked chains of fructose molecules that cannot be digested by your small intestine.

Inulin Benefits

Inulin intake is an easy and convenient way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. It is a fantastic source of soluble fiber, providing more than 85g of fiber per 100g. This helps your digestive system to function more effectively, while enhancing the beneficial bacteria of the gut. 

Since it is not digestible in the intestine, the fiber passes through the stomach and small intestine without change, directly entering the large intestine. One of things that many people don’t is that this type of fiber makes a great prebiotic. 

As a prebiotic fiber, inulin can stimulate the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. This can help maintain good colon health and produce important metabolites such as milk acid, acetate, propionate and butyrate.

How to use inulin powder

Inulin has a sweet and pleasant taste and is extremely soluble, but without increasing blood sugar levels. This means, if you follow a low carb diet then inulin will be a great addition to your regime.

Since it supports the proper functioning of the digestive system, inulin is ideal for people who consume large amounts of calories, such as athletes and bodybuilders. Not only can it be used as a source of fiber, but it has a range of other uses in the kitchen.

This soluble vegetable fiber Prebiotic can be incorporated into:

  • processed foods,
  • yogurts
  • milks
  • vegetables
  • sweeteners. 

It can be used for baking to help preserve moisture in cakes and cookies and is a great binding agent for many foods. Inulin can be used  as a thickener, or added any food or drink, with little or almost no impact on flavor.

When mixed with water and heated, Inulin can be used to produce a syrup. For anyone on a diet, knowing that you can have the sweetness without the calories, is a big deal. So being able to produce a low calorie syrup for those wholemeal pancakes is a big deal. In addition to all this, inulin can also be added to smoothies to make them thicker as well as to increase sweetness.

Benefits of inulin powder

  • 100% Inulin Powder
  • Inulin stimulates good bacteria 
  • Derived from chicory roots
  • A source of soluble fiber
  • Natural prebiotics
  • Can be used in home cooking
  • Ideal for adding to smoothies
  • Can substitute sugar or flour
  • Almost neutral (sweet taste) subtle)
  • Suitable for vegans

All about Inulin

Prebiotics are indigestible, but they help nourish the beneficial bacteria in your body. These beneficial bacteria, in turn help digestion and absorption of food while playing an important role in immune function. 

Inulin is a fructose, which means it is made up of chains of fructose molecules.

In the intestine, inulin is converted to short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which then become healthy ketones that feed your tissues. SCFAs can also nourish the large intestine cells and produce more hormones that control appetite in your body.

As such, inulin has several health benefits, although there are also some risks to be careful with.

Inulin May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

In women with obesity, inulin consumption beneficially changes the composition of their intestinal microbiota. It’s this t in a way that could help promote weight loss or reduce the risk of having diabetes.

In addition, in women with type 2 diabetes, those who took inulin had improved glycemic control and increased antioxidant action. It is believed that inulin could work to improve diabetes by positively modifying the intestinal microflora or through a direct antioxidant effect.

Prolonged exposure to excess insulin causes oxidative stress, which is considered to play a key role in type 2 diabetes and its complications. Inulin could help counteract this with its antioxidant effects.

In addition, it was discovered that a type of high-performance inulin decreases liver fat in people with pre-diabetes.

Women with type 2 diabetes who took 10 grams of high-performance inulin per day also lowered the fasting blood glucose level (by 8.5%), while A1c levels (a measure of blood sugar control a long term) reduced by 10.5%.

Inulin Promotes Weight Loss

A number of studies have demonstrated the potential of inulin to help with weight loss. Among adults who were overweight and obese, those who took 21 grams of inulin per day had lower levels of the hunger hormone and higher levels of the satiety hormone.

In addition, they lost more than two pounds, while the control group increased a pound. Meanwhile, among people with pre-diabetes, those who took inulin for 18 weeks lost 7.6% of their body weight compared to 4.9% in the control group.

A study in mice also showed the possibility that inulin helps with weight loss.

Mice fed a high-fat meal with or without inulin or beta-glucan (another prebiotic) experienced a lower increase in body weight, had a significantly lower total body fat and an increase in the number of beneficial bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and the Lactobacillus-Enterococcus. According to the researchers:

… [The] low inulin-induced body fat content could be metabolically advantageous … The different effects of fermentable carbohydrates open up new possibilities for appetite regulation from a nutritional and body composition point of view .

Fermentable fibers’ could be protective for Your Health?

One way that a diet rich in fiber may have a protective effect against obesity and diabetes has to do with the ability of intestinal bacteria to ferment the fibers.

inulin is a fiber so fermentable, that the bacteria in its intestines ferment it in butyrate and propionate – the SCFAs involved in the production of sugar. As reported by Medical News Today:

The researchers explain that glucose has certain elements that are detected by nerves located in the vein that collects blood from the intestine – known as the portal system. A nerve signal that is subsequently transmitted to the brain.

Then, the brain activates a series of defenses against diabetes and obesity in response to the signal. Defenses include increased satiety, increased energy expenditure during rest periods and reduced production of glucose in the liver . “

In an animal study, mice fed a high-fiber meal gained less weight and had diabetes protection , unlike mice fed a meal without fiber supplement.

When mice designed not to produce glucose were used in the study, they gained weight and developed diabetes even when they were fed high-fiber food. Medical News Today continued:

” These results suggest that the glucose-producing action in the intestines is the result of propionate and butyrate, and intestinal bacteria, which cause fermentable fibers to protect against obesity and diabetes. “

What Other Benefits Does Inulin Offer?

Inulin offers a number of possible additional benefits, including:

  • Cardiac Health: Inulin can lower triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood.
  • Bone Health: Inulin improves calcium and magnesium absorption, which causes higher bone density and bone mineralization in children.
  • Large Intestine Cancer: There is research showing that inulin can reduce precancerous growths in the large intestine, which causes less inflammation and fewer changes in precancerous cells in animal studies, as well as favoring a less adequate environment. for the development of large intestine cancer in humans.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Research is not definitive, but it seems that inulin can help reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and decrease inflammatory markers in Crohn’s disease.
  • Constipation: Daily supplementation with 15 grams of inulin improves constipation and quality of life in the elderly who have this health problem.
  • In addition, by feeding and increasing the number of beneficial intestinal bacteria, inulin helps stimulate and boost your immune system.

The Risks of Inulin If It Is Intolerant to FODMAP

Unfortunately, like antibiotics, inulin is indiscriminate and not only feeds beneficial bacteria, but can also feed the growth of bacteria that cause diseases such as klebsieilla, a bacterium implicated in ankylosing spondylitis and leaky gut.

FODMAPs (oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and fermentable polyols) are short chain carbohydrates that are difficult for some people to digest. Instead, they are fermented by their intestinal bacteria, causing flatulence, pain, inflammation and diarrhea.

FODMAPs are found in many foods and include lactose in many dairy products, fructose, galactans (found in some legumes), polyols (found in sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol) and the fructasans (i.e. inulin).

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