What is inulin?

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what is inulin

The cool kid on the block

No, we haven’t misspelled insulin.

Inulin is kind of like the new kid to join the cool group at school. The one that you never really noticed, but is now able to comfortably get a seat at the back of the bus. In the eyes of his parents and close friends, he has always been pretty awesome, but now everyone is noticing him.

So who and what is Mr Inulin all about?

What is inulin?

In short, it is a fibrous carb, which can be classified as a starch. Sounds pretty simple eh? Well, strangely in the world of nutrition supplements, it kind of is.

Unlike other foods such as beef and apples, inulin is not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore, can be called a fibre. As it goes down the large intestine, where bacteria catalyses it in order to grow, it can also be seen as a prebiotic.

Foods with inulin include garlic, sweet spuds and bananas. We don’t recommend combining the three, and it may well be easier to use a discounted supplement, or at least top if with inulin powder.

matrix inulin powder

What are the benefits of inulin?

As inulin can be called a prebiotic, it can assist with digestive health. The bacteria the inulin promotes, aids the health of your stomach, can improve, or at least give a kick start to, your immune system, and being a catalyst for “good bacteria” can also fight off the bad stuff. Though its effectiveness against super nasty bacteria such as salmonella is obviously going to be limited, so stay away from raw chicken.

Fibre makes you feel full too, as it slows digestion, so inulin is good on that level also. Oh and of course, fibre keeps you regular, so that’s good too.

There are also thoughts that inulin can aid with weight management. By controlling blood sugar levels, aiding in your feeling of fullness, and even from being used as a sugar substitute, you can see the backing behind this thought.

Expert view

Here’s the view of our in-house expert, Dominic Swift MSc…

Usually the media builds up a fad ingredient unnecessarily but on this occasion finally they’ve got it right. Inulin is a hidden gem in terms of its benefits to overall health and improved body composition, and its ease of use makes it ideal for people of all ages, shapes and sizes.

Inulin side effects

If you drink enough gin and tonic, you can fend off malaria, because of the quinine in the drink. Sadly, you would probably die due to alcohol poisoning, or from drowning down to the ridiculously high intake of fluid you’d need.

Why mention this? It’s to highlight that everything probably has some kind of adverse effect on someone, but that you’d often need over-do it to Pacific-Ocean-like-levels. So always follow the dosage of around 5g of inulin a day.

If you don’t, you run the risk of diarrhea and cramping (basically problems with your stomach). So follow the supplier’s instructions.

Conclusion

Taking inulin can aid your digestive health and is easy to take. Now the cool kid on the block, thanks to, of all people Angela Rippon, it can sit at the back of the bus, knowing that it’s a very useful supplement indeed.

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