Nature took care of us, endowing plants familiar to the eye with enviable beneficial properties. But for most people, they remain a mystery, and when information about the miraculous qualities of such species appears, many perceive it with disbelief (what if this is another move by pharmacists and marketers). At first, this was the case with the most valuable inulin. He has already passed the “phase of doubt”, and now its benefits are obvious: it’s time to find out what it manifests itself in.
Natural polysaccharides with a sweet taste.
It is an organic substance that is a carbohydrate. For many plants, inulin acts as a reserve energy substance and is mainly found in rhizomes and tubers.
The main component of inulin is fructose (9 or more terminal residues). When interacting with water, it forms already whole line of D fructose and a small amount of glucose with a minimal proportion of sucrose. So this is a valuable raw material for the pharmaceutical and food industries.
After processing, it produces a sweet odorless white powder or small amorphous crystals that dissolve perfectly in hot water (and extremely reluctantly in cold).
Important! This is an exclusive plant product – an animal, and especially synthetic inulin simply does not exist.
Inulin is assigned to the group of dietary fiber and is considered a prebiotic – once it enters the human body, it does not break down in the stomach (it does not have specific enzymes) but is digested in the large intestine. Thus, the work of intestinal microflora is normalized.
Did you know? The people are also called chicory “Peter the Great”. According to legend, the apostle Peter used this plant as a twig.
Useful properties of the compound
Like many substances of natural origin, inulin has a number of useful qualities. Let’s see what exactly they appear.
This connection can rightfully be called an ally in the struggle for health.
Indeed, with proper administration, this polysaccharide has a beneficial effect on the body:
- Improves metabolism.
- It removes toxins and toxins from the body, salts of heavy metals and radionuclides (moreover, it is considered one of the best cleansing substances).
The removal of toxins from the body is also facilitated by: black radish, lemon, semolina, tomato juice, apricots, kombucha, birch juice, corn, sencha tea, milk thistle meal, spirulina, stevia, and marmalade.
- Stimulates bone growth, which prevents disturbances in the functioning of the bone apparatus.
- This is due to the fact that inulin activates the absorption of calcium by the body.
- Strengthens the immune system (the protective orders of the gastrointestinal tract, ureters and bronchial tracts are especially enhanced).
- Lowers blood glucose.
- Regulates the intestines and maintains the integrity of its mucous layer.
- Cleansing the liver, normalizes its work, which is used for the prevention and comprehensive treatment of hepatitis (especially types B and C).
- Significantly reduces the risk of tumors and other oncological complications.
As you can see, the list is impressive. It is not surprising that inulin has firmly become one of the mass prophylactic agents. Practice shows that to the fullest extent its healing properties are manifested when taken by older people.
The substance obtained from plants is able to help the child.
Such help is usually manifested in the following:
- improving digestion (maintaining the intestinal microflora in tone, the compound thereby eliminates feces in time, preventing constipation);
- maintaining a stable acid balance;
- strengthening bone tissue and ligaments, which are weak in babies due to age.With constant use (more than six months), the bones condense faster;
- the normal absorption of valuable vitamins and minerals. Some of them (calcium, magnesium) in their pure form are still difficult for the digestion of crumbs, while inulin softens them;
- the removal of harmful substances and allergens from the body.
Another very valuable quality for children is the support of their immunity. Most of all, babies aged 1-1.5 years need such help: during this period, their body loses maternal antibodies, data at birth, and the formation of their own protection begins. And this carbohydrate comes in handy.
The effect of inulin on the body of pregnant and lactating
Inulin also helps in anticipation of childbirth. So, in the first trimester, he smooths out the effects of hormonal changes – removes irritability and evens out mood. Feeding neurons, the substance prevents depression (which is not so uncommon among expectant mothers).
Important! The combined use of funds based on inulin and other drugs requires the obligatory consultation of a doctor: it is possible that the drug will exhibit side effects.
At the same time, the main organs of a man are formed: a mass of “building material” is required in the form of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals, the absorption of which is regulated by this particular substance.
The benefits of inulin are also felt in improving digestion (milk and products from it are easier to digest, less often disturbances in the form of constipation and diarrhea).
In the later stages, this carbohydrate enhances the diuretic effect, which allows you to quickly remove the swelling. And, of course, the prompt withdrawal of toxins from the mother’s body, which is good for the health of the child.
Gynecologists and obstetricians usually approve the intake of inulin by pregnant women. True, with bronchitis or asthma, it is advised to abstain from it – as a component of medicinal plants or drugs, it can cause a strong coughing fit (which immediately increases the number of contractions of the abdominal wall and uterus).
During breastfeeding, inulin is used more as a general strengthening agent that supports the body after childbirth. But accuracy is required here.
The fact is that breast milk itself is a powerful supplier of prebiotics and vitamins needed by the baby. With increased intake of the substance, the baby risks getting them beyond measure, which can lead to allergies.
Therefore, plant matter is introduced into the diet of nursing mothers with caution, in small doses. At the first approach, they must take a break for a day or two to find out if the baby has milk rejection or allergic redness. If everything is normal, mom can continue taking it.
Harm from the substance.
Any active compound is useful if you know the measure. Inulin is no exception in this regard.
Excessive dosage can remind of itself except for short-term diarrhea or vomiting. Although these manifestations are noted quite rarely. Much depends on the form in which the substance is taken – if parts of fresh products are put into operation, the likelihood of side effects increases slightly.
Particular care should be taken for those who use carbohydrates obtained from chicory root: people suffering from varicose veins, hemorrhoids, or chronic diseases of the respiratory system need to be extremely careful.
Did you know? Replace coffee beans with dried chicory roots began in the XVII century.
The use of drugs with inulin requires working with strictly indicated doses indicated in the instructions (side effects are also listed).
Pharmacists and doctors agree that, in fact, there are none. With one exception – intolerance to the substance.
Reception is forbidden to people who are allergic to prebiotics: they have contraindicated inulin in any form (whether it is a food ingredient or a component of a cosmetic product).
Where inulin is contained
Having seen the useful properties of such a valuable substance, many are wondering where it is.
Of all plants, the largest reserves of inulin can boast:
- Jerusalem artichoke, it is an earthen pear. A minimum of 16% of the total mass of tubers falls on this compound.
- Chicory rhizomes are not inferior to it (the average proportion of such fibers is 15-20% of their weight). Everyone knows chicory powder, which maintains the same balance.
- Garlic (10-16% clove mass).
- Bow. Among its varieties, primacy over leek (from 3 to 10% inulin), while for onion this indicator is about 2-6%.
- Artichoke (3-10%).
- Barley (0.5-1%) and rye (up to 1.5%). When cooking dishes, rice is often replaced with barley, and when baking, use rye flour, which in this regard is more valuable than wheat.
- Inulin is smaller in bananas (maximum 0.7%), but with regular use, this treat maintains a normal balance of prebiotics.
All mentioned plants or their parts are processed by cold pressing. Note that, in addition to plants going to food, a lot of inulin is also found in other species, which are used mainly in cosmetology and traditional medicine.
Important! Nutritionists advise avoiding the simultaneous intake of inulin formulations and exotic dishes (especially spicy).
Among them are dry burdock roots (where the polysaccharide concentration reaches an impressive 37-45%). In the rhizomes of dandelion and elecampane, it is about the same (40% and 44%, respectively).
In pharmacies, you can see a lot of bio concentrates. Inulin, acting as their “top” element, is enhanced by the use of vegetables (carrots, celery, beetroot juice, etc.) or berry ingredients – sea buckthorn and blackcurrant juice, strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits.
Many consider them to be full-weight drugs, but doctors still attribute these compounds to the number of saturated additives (and in terms of content they are much closer to the latter).
Important! Any of these formulations will help relieve the primary symptoms of diabetes mellitus II degree. If the disease is started, then the additives will play the role of a regulator.
A lot of mixtures with the addition of medicinal raw materials – nettle or mint leaves, ginger and ginseng roots, as well as the color of calendula and rose hips. All these dietary supplements are useful if you take them in moderation. But even before taking it, it is advisable to coordinate their use with a doctor.
Cosmetic properties of inulin
The polysaccharide is known for its healing effects on the skin and hair. Moreover, a positive effect is observed after the first procedures involving inulin or funds based on it.
It is widely used in the manufacture of creams and lotions, tonics and anti-aging compounds, conditioners, and shampoos for hair, which, when caring for skin or curls, give the following results:
- Penetrating into the cell layer of the dermis, establish oxygen exchange of cells and restore their natural regeneration.
- Nourish and moisturize the epidermis, while making it more gentle and smooth to the touch.
- Smooth out wrinkles.
- They stop inflammatory processes and eliminate acne, wounds and acne.
- Support collagen production and circulation.
- Nourish the scalp.
- Strengthening weakened hair follicles, restore the former shine and health of the strands.
- Give hair a silky feel.
- Prevent their loss and the appearance of problems of split ends.
Did you know? The ancient Egyptians were the first to master the manufacture of cosmetics: they mixed crushed lead ore with pieces of copper.
In general, carbohydrate is also useful for external use – many make masks and refreshing applications from such products.
Inulin and weight loss
Everyone has heard that the fight against excess weight is always stressful for the body, accustomed to a dense menu. This natural product helps to cope with such a shock.
Rambutan fruit, chia seeds, milk thistle oil, parsnip root, pineapple, lingonberry, and raw beets also help to speed up metabolism.
Nutritionists value inulin mainly for its ability to accelerate metabolism (including the key ones for controlling the weight of carbohydrates and fats). Cells, freed from harmful ballast, begin to absorb beneficial compounds more actively, and this is a direct weight loss.
In addition, it works with lipids, thereby regulating the action of enzymes that the liver produces. Due to the mild effect on the nerve endings, and emotional balance sets in (which eliminates the possibility of “breakdown” during the diet).
Another useful quality – once in the body, the polysaccharide causes a feeling of satiety: with regular intake, the craving for frequent snacks disappears. Biochemistry is also involved here – being in the intestine, inulin decomposes into “fractions” similar to the fat component, and the body takes them for pure lipids (which are responsible for saturation).
What Inulin Does in Baby Food
The transition from baby food to complementary foods is a very crucial moment. In an effort to bring the composition of their products as close as possible to breast milk, manufacturers of baby food often include prebiotics in it.
Important! When buying baby formula, look at the composition. If aspartame and neotame, saccharin, and sucralose are indicated, it is better not to take a pack: all these substances are artificial sweeteners harmful to the child’s body.
By virtue of its natural origin, inulin was here in the first roles. Helping to absorb key minerals, stabilizing digestion, and preventing dysbiosis is all his job as an element of mixtures for babies.
Hypoallergenic of the substance also speaks in favor of inulin supplements: cereals with this ingredient are suitable even for children predisposed to allergies. By eating such mixtures, the baby gradually gets rid of unpleasant manifestations (redness, cough, excessive secretion of mucus, etc.).
So pediatricians do not see any special obstacles that would interfere with the intake of mixtures involving inulin. Now you can imagine what kind of component it is, where it comes from, and what its benefits are. We hope this information will be noted by our readers and they will be prudent when using natural carbohydrates. Good health!