Today I sat out on a journey to discover all of the hidden dirty little secrets behind inulin. No, I don’t mean insulin, I mean the food additive inulin. It turns out it is some pretty good stuff.
I checked with the Dr. Axe website and found this :
“So what is inulin exactly? It’s a soluble plant fiber that’s present in high amounts in the chicory plant, along with an estimated 36,000 other plants! Inulin — a type of fructan, oligofructose carbohydrate — along with other fibers (like psyllium husk, for example) is considered a functional plant-based ingredient that effectively boosts digestion and other processes. Dietary fibers have been used for hundreds of years to improve bowel functions and gut health, curb appetite, and help maintain heart health, all completely naturally.” https://draxe.com/inulin/
After checking with WebMD, I found that inulin is a supplement that people take in order to improve their pooping action and to help control their appetite (among other things). That’s all well and good but I am looking for the food additive. Why put inulin in food? What does it do for the food?
Again I turned to Dr. Axe:
“Because of its lubricating, water-absorbing, enzyme-resistant qualities, inulin is used in food manufacturing very often to give products a uniform texture and add chewiness and bulk. It’s added to more and more packaged foods because it has adaptable, unique characteristics in terms of its ability to blend with any taste well, improve the food’s “mouth feel,” and even to replace other ingredients like sugar, fat and flour.”
I think where we see inulin as an added ingredient the most is in protein powders and protein products like bars and shakes. It naturally occurs in many common foods that we ingest regularly like:
ground chicory root (the most common source of inulin due to its extremely high concentration)
leeks and onions
bananas and plantains (especially when they’re slightly green)
sprouted wheat (such as the kind used in Ezekiel bread)
coneflower, also called Echinacea
Well, I don’t know about you but I am very impressed by our little inulin. Apparently, it’s a very good thing. 🙂
Of course I did not give you all the scoop I uncovered – I wouldn’t want to rob you of the fun of hunting information yourself. Go ahead and check inulin out. If you come up with a different take on it, let me know. I love a good discussion.
Be looking for our Facebook post on Friday. Amy and I made one together today for Friend Friday and we are talking about complacency and shock tools. Check it out.
Bye for now.