Gut Check: Feed Your Microbiome with Inulin
The health of your gut is paramount. And if you’re in the know about what’s going on down below, then you’re well aware of the importance of prebiotic fibers. Like inulin.
What you may not be aware of is that they’re not remotely digestible by the human gut. Instead, they’re food sources for the good bacteria that take up residence there. Once they arrive in the old breadbasket, the prebiotic fibers are converted into short-chain fatty acids, which nourish the cells in your colon and allow them to flourish—and help keep you in the pink.
A major prebiotic fiber is…inulin. (You may have read that as “insulin,” but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that there is no “s.”) This fab fiber can be found in several types of foods, including asparagus, garlic, onions, chicory root, jicama, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Inulin: For the Health of It
When it comes to prebiotic fiber, inulin has some serious street cred. It’s been linked to various health benefits. Here are just a few of them for you to chew on:
Improves Digestive Health: Your gut is a veritable hotbed of good and bad bacteria. The right balance of these opposing forces is necessary to keep you free from disease. Inulin is instrumental in ensuring this balance and it can even help the good stuff from multiplying.
Promotes Weight Loss: Studies have shown inulin to be effective in regulating appetite in adults. This was noted by a decrease in hunger hormone levels and an increase in fullness hormone levels.
Helps Control Diabetes: There is evidence that high-performance inulin has been able to lower the blood sugar levels in diabetes sufferers as well as those with prediabetes.
It tastes good: Magically, inulin has a sweet taste without carrying sugar, and it’s also lectin free. For more examples of lectin-free healthy sweeteners, see Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox diet list of foods.
Outsourcing Inulin Intake
If you’re not keen on the inulin found in the aforementioned foodstuffs, or don’t have an easy way to consume them on a regular basis, you have options. One, you can purchase it in supplement form. In this case, the inulin is manufactured from sources such as native chicory (extracted from chicory root), oligofructose, and fructooligosaccharides, which are comprised of short inulin molecules taken from refined sugar.
Get Your Prebiotic Fiber On-the-Go
Inulin also makes a guest appearance as a prebiotic fiber source in a wide range of protein bars. This blog post would not be complete without me recommending MariGold Bars, our top-rated brand, which contain chicory root fiber and/or coconut fiber, both of which are rich in inulin.
The highest fiber bar they make is Pure Joy, which comes in at a solid 8g of fiber. We rated them #1 for good reason. While there is no definitive recommended daily allowance for prebiotic fibers, make sure to get some sort of daily dose to keep your gut’s good bacteria from going bad. The more, the merrier!