Health And Wellbeing

What Is Inulin – The Chicory Plant’s 5000 Years Of Health Benefits

inulin health benefits

If you’re a newcomer to taking accountability for your own health and looking at ways to “biohack” your way to a better life, you may never have heard of inulin, the unassuming fiber found in the chicory plant, and many others.

inulin pathways
Image credit:https://agutsygirl.com/2019/04/17/what-is-inulin/

The list of benefits of inulin in your diet seems to keep growing, as more and more research is done around the world.

Inulin is a type of soluble fiber (fructans), that is found in up to 36,000 species of plant. The majority of inulin used in foods and industry generally is extracted from the Chicory plant.

Plants that contain inulin include Asparagus, Chicory Root, Garlic, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jicama, Onions, and Yacon Root.

The History Of Inulin

Inulin had been known as a source of health fibre for 1000s of years. However in modern times is was discovered and defined in 1804 by a German scientist called Valentin Rose. It was named “Inula helenium”, but over time it’s also been known as helenin, alatin, and meniantin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inulin

Why Is Inulin Becoming So Popular

As more research into the health benefits of adding more fiber into your diet continues, many people are looking at find alternative ways to introduce more fiber into their diets.Research suggests that westerners only take in half the amount of fiber recommended.

One of the major reasons inulin is becoming so popular is that it is a type of prebiotic, where microorganisms use inulin in the digestive tract. As it passes through the small intestine, it is fermented by the bacteria in the large intestine. https://www.sciencealert.com/inulin-is-being-added-to-many-foods-but-it-could-be-causing-stomach-problems 

The Known Health Benefits Of Inulin

Improves Digestive Health

As mentioned above, it can aid digestive health by supporting the beneficial bacteria in your gut. It stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19690573

Control Of Blood Sugar & Appetite Suppression

There have been some animal studies that suggest inulin fiber protects or delay type 1 diabetes in mice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28218451

Studies have also been conducted have show that taking daily inulin can suppress hunger, by decreasing the hunger hormone level in obese adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19386741

It’s also been shown that it may help us feel full for longer, due to short chain fatty acids and their ability to increase appetite suppressing hormones such as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).

Side Effects of Inulin Intake

Common side effect include:

  • bloating and flatulence
  • diarrhea and abdominal cramping

Some people may be intolerant, specifically people intolerant to FODMAPs may experience side effects. Most practitioners recommend starting a low daily intake and increasing slowly over the cause of a few weeks.

Recommended Daily Intake

It is recommended that 2-3 grams per day for 1 to 2 weeks is an ideal amount when first taking the supplement. It can then be increased to 5 to 10 grams per day over a number of weeks.

Where To Purchase Inulin In Australia

While you can purchase raw inulin powder and capsules in pharmacies and online, many super food blends also will contain inulin. It’s relatively cheap and can be added to your everyday diet in food or beverages.

Our Curavita Green Boost Super Greens contains inulin powder as one of it’s ingredients. You get all the benefits of inulin along with the benefits of the other 11 super foods and super greens in the blend.

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