Inulin: properties and benefits
Do you know inulin? Do you know what it can help you with?
Inulin is not one of the most common supplements on the market, in fact, it is usually quite unknown by a large number of people and, nevertheless, it can generate great benefits for our health.
Lately, it seems that this product has been gaining ground in the world of supplementation and has achieved a greater number of consumers, even so, there are still many people who do not know their properties.
In this article we explain how this type of soluble fiber can help your body in such important aspects as the control of sugar, weight, and digestive health.
What is inulin?
It is classified as a prebiotic that provides our intestinal bacteria with the right type of fuel.
It is a natural form of carbohydrate that is classified as a fructan and that We found mainly in vegetables and fruits. Unlike fructose or simple sugar, inulin usually survives digestion, enters the colon and becomes a fuel for intestinal bacteria.
The consumption of this substance is considered as part of our daily fiber needs.
What are the benefits of inulin?
As we mentioned, inulin can be highly beneficial for certain aspects of your health. Would you like to discover what they are?
- It benefits the production of bacteria that naturally inhabit our intestines forming the intestinal flora, which exerts functions of great importance in the body.
The state of our intestinal flora will depend largely on the lifestyle we lead. Stress, medication use, or changes in diet could alter it and cause some imbalances that would make us more vulnerable to certain diseases. Therefore, the consumption of prebiotics and probiotics turns out to be highly advisable for our health.
- It improves the digestion of the food we eat.
- A diet rich in inulin also contributes to a better assimilation of certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
- It reduces gases, prevents constipation and intestinal inflammation.
- It helps in weight loss, as it improves the rates of leptin, satiety hormone, and ghrelin, hunger hormone.
- Lower triglyceride levels and control our cholesterol. Therefore, it prevents hypercholesterolemia and prevents us from the appearance of future heart diseases.
- Prevents the onset of colon cancer and the risk of diabetes.
What are the side effects?
Despite the great advantages and benefits we have presented above, its consumption in large quantities can cause:
- Irritation or discomfort in the digestive system.
- Taking too much fiber can cause bloating and digestion problems.
- The main concern is for those who carry out a diet low in FODMAP, that is, they restrict the amount of some short-chain carbohydrates. These types of people should avoid their consumption.
The symptoms that we may notice They range from mild discomfort to increased gas and bloating.
How to consume inulin
There are two ways to consume this substance: through food or supplements.
Actually, supplementation is an easy, fast and effective way to supply our body with certain substances. You can add inulin powder to any food, dessert or drink. Did you know that you can even use it in baked recipes?
Of course, you should keep in mind that disproportionate consumption can alter your body, therefore, do not exceed the recommended daily dose, and in case of doubt always go to a professional who can guide you on your intake.
For example, a 500gr pot of Inulin (valid for 100 portions of 5gr) can be found at a price close to € 15.
Foods with inulin.
If you consider that the option of the supplements is not for you, you can find inulin in more than 3000 vegetables. It is also present in foods consumed on a daily basis such as the banana, the onion, and the leeks.
Other of the most common sources are:
- Chicory root.
Dare to create different recipes with these foods to incorporate this fiber into your body and be able to benefit from all its advantages.
What amount is recommended to take?
As a supplement, it is usually recommended to take a dose of 8-10 grams daily approximately. With this amount it would be enough not only to meet daily needs, but also to promote a healthy intestine.
In the case that you take this supplement for the first time, you should start with about 2-3 grams a day and increase the dose once you check how your body responds, in this way you will avoid possible adverse effects.
If you opt for its consumption through food, try to include several of those that we have presented before in your meals during the day.
The consumption of inulin turns out to be highly beneficial for our organism, especially with regard to digestive health.
Obviously, it is important to include a variety of fiber in our daily diet, but if we supplement with a small amount of inulin we will get some extra benefits.
Its consumption is safe for most people. In case of doubt it is always better to see a professional to advise you.