Inulin is a type of water-soluble prebiotic fiber found naturally in foods, in particular leeks, garlic, asparagus onions & artichoke are recognised as being a natural source of this digestive supporting active. The really smart thing about prebiotics are indigestible to you, but they help nourish beneficial bacteria in your body which is essential when you’re wanting to support a healthy digestive system or promote your body’s immunity.
In your gut microbiome, inulin is converted into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are then converted to healthy nutrients that feed your tissues. SCFAs may also nourish colon helping create regular and healthy bowel movements and produce more appetite-controlling hormones in your body which helps satiety. Because inulin and fibre help you feel to full for longer, prebiotic fibre is great to be taken as part of a healthy weight-loss plan.
Recent studies involving obese women showed consuming inulin beneficially changed their gut microbiota composition in a way that might help promote weight loss or lower the risk of type 2-diabetes. Although research is in it’s early days the findings are very promising for These initial studies found women who regularly consumed inulin had improved glycemic control, it is thought that inulin may work to better manage diabetes by positively increasing gut bacteria and supporting the gut microbiome.
Fibre has also been shown to provide additional potential benefits, including:
- Heart Health: fibre can assist in lowering blood triglycerides and cholesterol, which is fantastic for people looking to improve their heart health and general well-being.
- Colon Cancer: taking fibre on a daily basis helps with bowel regularity. A 2011 study found high intake of dietary fibre, in particular cereal fibre and whole grains, was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): inulin may help reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis and reduce inflammatory markers in Crohns disease; although research is in its early stages we do know prebiotic fibre helps support good bacteria balance in the gut and probiotics are frequently recommended for IBD and Crohns sufferers.
- Bone Health: Inulin improves absorption of calcium and magnesium, leading to improved bone density. In Australia 1 in 3 women need more calcium in the daily diet, helping the absorption of calcium can be highly beneficial.
- Constipation: Daily consumption of fibre helps support bowel regularity. Always drink plenty of water and try to balance with exercise or physical activity.
A healthy gut microbiome is important for a vast number of reasons, inulin and fibre are just a component of creating a healthy gut microbiome. Talk with your health practitioner to better understand how you can improve your digestive health and how this is a gateway to better health.