If you’re familiar with the importance of fiber-rich foods to health, then the top benefits of inulin will surely blow you away.
You may know that regular consumption of fiber is attributed to a lot of uses, be it digestive improvement, weight-loss, or bowel movements, among many others. But have you heard of inulin, a fiber that improves the heart, metabolic, and gut health all at the same time? Now, that’s something, isn’t it?
What Is Inulin?
Inulin is a unique type of plant fiber, majorly found in chicory roots, as well as about 36000 other crops. Inulin is soluble and is available in other plants, such as garlic, whole wheat, asparagus, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, and onions — foods commonly referred to prebiotics. So, in a sense, inulin is a prebiotic, which is the food for probiotics.
In technical terms, inulin is a carbohydrate of the fructan, oligofructose structure that’s found in the stem and roots of most plants to store energy and regulate its internal temperature. A gram of inulin contains a quarter of the calories available in the same quantity of sugar. It, therefore, has no significant effect on blood sugar level, which is why it is effective in treating diabetes as well. Inulin possesses active, osmotic qualities, which aid resistance and survival in cold temperatures.
The digestive tract cannot process inulin, and that is its greatest strength. That means it cannot be broken down, much more absorbed. As a result, inulin contains lower calories than carbohydrates, and can also be fermented. And, since it is not digestible, it serves as a source of supply to gut bacteria, while ridding the body of harmful compounds, including cholesterol, and keeping you fuller for long hours.
Looking At The Top Benefits Of Inulin
At this stage, asking if inulin is healthy or not is an amusing question. It is, of course, and obviously beneficial. Our focus now would be concentrating on the amazing benefits of inulin. So, what can inulin do for me when I take it?
Let’s answer your questions.
Constipation is a condition no one wants to have. I do not wish to go on with a tight stomach and gnawing. But, how does inulin relieve constipation? Simple: it makes you poop when you find it hard to. Talk about relief. But how does this work?
Well, when inulin is taken, it mixes with body fluid to form a gel that eases constipation by greasing the body’s excretory organ. Think of this as a lubricant to get the parts of a cranky machine up and running. Upon the formation of this gel, inulin assumes the structure of fats (lipids), thus reducing the risk for hemorrhoids and related issues by lubricating the digestive system.
To make things easier, the fructans expand the biomass and water contents of your feces, but that’s not all. Studies have shown that they lead to improved bowel performance due to their ability to ferment quickly and feed probiotics in the colon, as well as their positive effects on the gastrointestinal functions.
Leads To Improved Gut Health
As we know, inulin is not digestible and therefore isn’t absorbed when it goes through the large intestines. As this passage is ongoing, it ferments almost immediately, thus serving as food for beneficial intestinal microflora, which are bacterial organisms populating the gut, for example, bifidobacterium.
Although inulin is not recognized as a prebiotic, it performs similar functions. This is attributed to its levels of oligofructose, which is a type of carbohydrate that affects the gut and colon linings, modifies the structures of present organisms, and modulates the immune and endocrine functions.
This can also help to combat inflammation because by stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria, inulin can slow down or even inhibit the development of harmful bacteria, yeasts, and parasites that trigger inflammation in the body.
Suppresses Your Appetite
A gram of inulin contains only 1.5 absorbable calories, and despite this meager amount, you feel fuller when you eat this unique fiber type. Dietitians thus recommend inulin if you’re seeking to lose weight. According to research, more fiber intake satisfies you the more and also regulates blood sugar levels better.
As we have previously explained, inulin forms a lubricating gel when it is mixed with water. This gel then grows larger and occupies the digestive tract, which may reduce your cravings and appetite and, perhaps, influence weight-loss. Furthermore, this gel fills up your stomach and assumes more volume for a long while, even if you ate little, both of which are likely to increase satiety.
Fortifies Heart Health & Lessens The Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome
Again, we appreciate the indigestible nature of inulin. Remembering that the digestive enzymes cannot absorb it when it travels the digestive system, it is obvious why inulin takes fat, toxins, waste, and cholesterol particles along on its way out. And by so doing, inulin contributes to a healthy heart.
Research has proven that taking more fiber (particularly soluble fiber) reduces blood cholesterol, lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis, and contributes to the maintenance of healthy glucose levels. Furthermore, soluble fiber appears to be indirectly associated with total cholesterol levels, systolic & diastolic blood pressure, and triglycerides. There are suggestions that high levels of soluble fiber in the body reduce LDL bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, the sugars of inulin cannot be digested. Therefore, you do not have to worry about insulin secretion and increased sugar levels.
May Be A Healthier Alternative To Sugar
Speaking of taste, inulin is described to be “10 times less sweet than sugar.” Typically, inulin is mild in taste and useful for hundreds of recipes. In fact, some say it tasted slightly sweet, but none has ever thought that it’s bitter. Throw in the fact that oligosaccharides help to enhance texture, moisture, taste, and health benefits of foods, and you see why inulin may be a good alternative to sugar after all.
Concluding The Top Benefits Of Inulin
Soluble fiber is extremely healthy. If you’re having any gut complications, you must look to maximize the top benefits of inulin. In addition to the uses above, it can also help to increase the absorption of calcium from foods, protect against type 2 diabetes, and do much more. Eat some inulin today. There’s no reason not to.