It is contained in many foods of plant origin and is a very precious soluble fiber for our body. Let's find out why
Fiber is good for your health. Those who take the right amount of these substances in their daily diet run less risk not only of gaining weight, but help their body to defend itself from those diseases defined as "non-communicable", such as heart attack, stroke and cancer. In addition to ensuring good intestinal digestion.
But there is a soluble fiber called inulin that has very special actions.
- The benefits of inulin for the intestine
- Helps reduce the absorption of sugars and fats
- Where is it
- How to use it in the kitchen
The benefits of inulin for the intestine
First of all, it is a friend of our intestine. “It is a prebiotic that increases the density of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and decreases the load of harmful bacteria”, explains Dr. Chiara Manzi, expert nutritionist and author of the book “Cucina Evolution. In shape without a diet ”(Art joins nutrition editor), a volume in which he explains how to bring to the table delicious dishes with more antioxidants and fewer calories. "Basically, it works better than active lactic ferments, with the advantage that inulin is not subjected to any aggression by gastric juices. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are the most useful bacteria for humans, because they promote the absorption of nutrients present in foods and medicinal plants, the regular functioning of the intestine and fight the development of intestinal tumors. Precisely this positive action on the activity of lactic bacteria allows better absorption of some minerals, such as magnesium and calcium contained in foods, especially when their intake is low and / or when the body's demands are high. Therefore inulin is also an important ingredient in preventing osteoporosis. Finally, there are many recent researches that link Bifidus Bacteria and Lactobacilli to the increase in immune defenses, therefore it is also a valid ally against Coronavirus ".
Helps reduce the absorption of sugars and fats
When the fiber is ingested, together with the water present in the small intestine, it forms a gel that acts on the intestinal villi, governing the gradual entry of glucose and fatty acids. In this way there are no sudden and rapid increases in blood sugar after the meal and the weight is kept under control. Inulin is also capable of controlling the intestinal absorption of cholesterol into the blood: both are also important factors when you want to lose weight. "In addition – continues the expert – it promotes the absorption of soy isoflavones which, in turn, can help improve the metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women and limit some of the typical menopausal disorders: hot flashes, insomnia, irritability , weight gain. And, like all fibers, it is not assimilable and therefore does not provide energy ".
Where is it
Inulin is found in many vegetables and in particular in artichokes, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes.
How to use it in the kitchen
Purchased in powder form, it can also be inserted in small doses in recipes, from salty to sweet, without the flavor being altered. “The long chain one – explains Chiara Manzi – helps us to use less fat, less cheese, less yolk in many preparations, helping to obtain balanced recipes from a nutritional point of view and maintaining an excellent aromatic profile. Furthermore, during cooking, it maintains a chemical structure long enough to add to its prebiotic effects also the ability to lower the glycemic index of foods and give us a discount on calories, unlike short-chain inulins, with a slightly sweet taste. , which turn into sugar during cooking and leavening. It goes well in creamy bases such as custards or bechamel, both in desserts and for making sauces for condiments. Or, it can be interesting to use it in doughs. Furthermore, it can be simply added to drinks, such as milk, tea or yogurt ”. Here you will find examples.
But be careful, concludes the expert. "Although inulin is a natural product, do not exceed in consumption as it could have laxative effects or cause bloating".