What is Inulin?
In our previous blog post we discussed improving skin complexion by coupling prebiotics with probiotics. Inulin, a popular prebiotic, is a type of soluble, but indigestible dietary fiber that improves digestive health, helps control diabetes, and aids with weight loss.
How does Inulin Work?
Inulin is a carbohydrate. Specifically, it is a polysaccharide consisting of fructose monomers. Humans lack the digestive enzymes to break the bonds between the fructose molecules, making inulin indigestible and non-absorbable by the small intestine. By slowing down small intestine motility after consumption, inulin aids in satiety, without the caloric intake. This makes inulin an important component in low-caloric foods for diabetics in maintaining blood sugar levels. Inulin also increases mineral absorption by drawing in water to manage constipation when it reaches the colon intact.
Sources of Inulin:
Inulin is distributed in over 3000 vegetables. One of the more significant sources of inulin is chicory root. Manufacturers often use chicory root extract as a main source of inulin in supplements. Other natural sources of inulin include leeks, onions, asparagus, wheat, garlic, soybeans, and Jerusalem artichokes.
Inulin is a soluble fiber, meaning it is readily dissolved in water, and forms a gelatinous substance. Because of its enhancing textural property, it is a popular additive in foods such as low fat or dairy free yogurts and protein shakes.
Inulin for Skincare:
Inulin is a natural humectant, drawing water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it hydrated. Inulin also acts as a skin-conditioning agent, by forming a thin film on the skin, leaving the skin smooth. It also helps to offset factors that lead to redness, dryness, and aging. By applying Inulin to the skin, Probiotics thrive, keeping the surface of the skin balanced, youthful, and strong.
Ingrid De La Mare-Kenny, the creator of Simply INULIN Pure Powder, provides consumers with an easier alternative for a fiber supplement. Consumers ingesting her supplement reported noticeably faster results and avoided “plateauing” in their weight loss journey.
All consumers who followed Ingrid’s consumption tips reported a flatter stomach faster, and saw no elevation in their weight loss efforts. Because inulin is naturally sweet, it is becoming a viable alternative to sugar. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported lower spikes in blood glucose levels when sugar was replaced with inulin. Unstable blood sugar continues to be a health concern and inulin could be a healthy alternative.
Because inulin is highly versatile as a powder, it can be easily added to daily beverages, meals, and other consumable goods. Adding a subtle amount of sweet Simply Inulin Pure powder to a food/beverage can help acquire a convenient, high fiber source.
Side Effects of Inulin:
It is clear that the bacteria on our skin’s microbiome affects our complexions. The inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles occurs often in puberty and as follicles mature, they create more of the P. acnes bacteria. P. Acnes bacteria clogs pores, resulting in an acne outbreak. This is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics promote the growth of bacteria that kill P. acnes bacteria. By using prebiotics in topical skincare, it can significantly reduce the inflammation of the bacteria, without eliminating necessary bacteria. This allows for the skin to return to its natural, healthy equilibrium.
Why Inulin is great to include in your diet:
Inulin slows digestion, including the digestion of carbohydrates. This allows sugar to be released slowly without spiking, which promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
Fiber in general has a thermogenic effect, which means that when your body tries to digest it, your metabolism speeds up. Fiber adds bulk to food, keeping you satiated and innately leading to a caloric deficit, which is crucial for weight loss. Maintaining a healthy caloric deficit, usually 500 calories under your total energy expenditure- which is the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis, is the best way to ensure progressive weight loss. Further, fiber soaks up fat and calories from other foods you eat with it and ushers it out of the body.