WHY WE'RE ADDING INULIN TO EVERYTHING
By now, there is a high chance that you’ve come across and know all about probiotics. These healthy gut maintaining strains of bacteria have dominated the health and wellbeing space for a while now and pop up in our skincare, preserves and even in our beer (you read that right - let us have our fun!).
But what is just as important as maintaining a healthy gut microbiota is creating one in the first place, which is where those lovely prebiotics come into play.
Prebiotics pass through your digestive tract pretty much undigested and therefore are fermentable. The fermentation provides nourishment for the healthy bacteria in your gut bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
A well-cared-for gut microbiome is responsible for every single one of the body's systems optimal health and we are constantly discovering more benefits.
For example, improving the health status of your gut's microbiome can influence mood and anxiety, our energy levels and how well our skin is behaving.
Foods such as artichokes, leeks and onions all contain prebiotic fibre but are a bit of a faff to mindfully think about consuming every day. This is why inulin in the form of a powder is our new best friend.
BLOOD SUGAR BALANCING
Inulin, part of the fructans family of fibre, is naturally sweet but, and here’s why we love it so much, won’t affect your blood sugar levels.
Keeping blood sugar levels stable is one of the most important factors in achieving optimal health, as when we fall into patterns of constant peaks and troughs we release more insulin to push the glucose consumed into our cells.
High levels of insulin can have a knock-on effect on the rest of our sex hormones which govern pretty much every aspect of our lives, and our stress hormones too.
So, by keeping blood sugar stable despite its sweet taste, inulin is a great replacement for sweeteners (refined and natural sources). It slows the absorption of carbohydrates and keeps blood sugar levels stable as well as having a positive outcome on fasting glucose levels and glucose metabolism.
Let’s be honest, probiotic, live and fermented foods in the form of supplements, kombucha and kimchi are a pain in the ass to store. You must keep them in the fridge in order to preserve the live cultures and get all the benefits. However, inulin fibre in the form of a powder is super low maintenance and can be kept in your pantry.
Now, we’re not saying to ditch the probiotics completely, as they undoubtedly come with countless benefits, but consider inulin fibre as a great on-the-go option, for when travelling with your sauerkraut just isn’t ideal. In fact, we like to combine the two, the prebiotic fibre from the inulin alongside probiotics. They work well as a pair.
Ideally, start on a lower dose and gradually increase as your gut adjusts. Inulin supplementation is generally safe for most people, however taking too high of a dose straightaway could result in some stomach disturbances if there are prior sensitivities in that area.
If you do suffer from conditions such as SIBO, leaky gut or IBS, talk to your health care provider first.
HIGH FIBRE, FEW CALORIES
Let's get one thing straight, the quality of your food is the utmost importance, and focusing on nutrients rather than just calories will do the world of good. However, inulin can be an attractive supplement due to its high fibre and low-calorie content.
This means that it will act to keep you fuller for longer and keep your satiety hormones in check by suppressing ghrelin, peptide YY and GLP-1. It’s a nice way to bulk up meals and snacks if you find yourself constantly grazing.
HOW TO USE INULIN
- Sprinkle it over a fresh fruit salad
- Blend it into a green smoothie
- Mix it into a warm bowl of porridge
- Mix it into a chia pudding
- Blend it into your matcha latte, coffee or hot chocolate
- Stir it into soup once cooked
How much? Start with between 2 and 2 grams and gradually increase. Ideally, between 5 to 10 grams is optimal.TYPES OF INULIN
- Chicory root – the closest to its whole food state
- Oligofructose - longer molecules are removed
- High-performance inulin or HP – shorter molecules are removed
- FOS or Fructooligosaccharides – short inulin molecules from table sugar