The Wonder Dietary Fiber: Sources, Uses, & Health Benefits of Inulin
Food companies want to sell nutritious products to help customers become healthier as they consume the goods they provide. One way to do that is to mix nutritional components in the products they manufacture. Among the most common ingredients they use is inulin fiber.
For this reason, many food companies partner with inulin fiber wholesale suppliers in the Philippines, like Wills International Sales Corporation. They do so in order to procure enough inulin for their manufacturing process. If you are wondering what inulin is, be sure to read through the rest of the article. Below, we explain what inulin is and where = it can naturally be found.
What Is Inulin?
Inulin fiber is a type of prebiotic that helps the growth of beneficial bacteria in the body. It is not digested in the stomach; instead, it stays right in the intestines to aid digestion by increasing the number of good bacteria, which can include:
- Bifidobacteria – Bifidobacteria are a group of good bacteria in the body that typically live in the stomach and the gut. They are essential in digestion, and they help curtail the number of bad bacteria in the digestive system.
- Lactobacilli – Lactobacilli are rod-shaped bacteria in the body. They help in the body’s natural production of lactic acid. In some cases, they also aid digestion and help reduce the risks of diarrhea and other digestive issues.
- Proteobacteria – Proteobacteria are another group of bacteria typically found in the digestive tract, particularly in the gut. Like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, Proteobacteria are essential in keeping the digestive system healthy and functioning.
Primary Sources of Inulin
The good thing about inulin is that it is naturally occurring. It can be found in grains, leafy greens, wheat, asparagus, leeks, onion, oats, artichokes, and garlic. Some herbs and legumes, especially chicory and soybeans, are also incredibly rich in inulin.
Inulin is a prebiotic, so consuming foods that contain it can help aid digestion. Doing so also helps prevent certain health complications, like diabetes and obesity.
Anyone who cannot consume inulin-rich goods for various reasons can take inulin food supplements instead. Health companies in the Philippines partner with inulin fiber wholesale suppliers to manufacture such products, which can come in different forms, including powder, capsules, and chewables.
Health Benefits of Inulin
Whether it is taken from natural sources or supplements, inulin offers plenty of health benefits to consumers. Here are some of its advantages:
Improves Gut Health
People who take a substantial amount of inulin can expect improved digestive system functions and an overall boost in their gut health. Inulin does not simply help increase the number of good bacteria that aid digestion; more than that, this substance is also needed in fighting off bad bacteria in the digestive system and curtailing their numbers.
Several studies have also shown that taking enough inulin can help a person feel “full” for a longer period. This effectively cuts off their food intake and eventually leads to a healthier weight.
Inulin has also been found to decrease a person’s cravings for unhealthy food options. Continuous intake might help improve their overall health because they no longer desire an unhealthy diet.
Enhances Heart Health
Inulin does not just benefit the digestive system. Some studies have shown that it also has a positive effect on a person’s circulatory functions, particularly in the heart. Inulin is believed to decrease the number of triglycerides, which is a type of fat naturally found in the blood that can harden or thicken arteries and increase the risks of stroke and heart attacks.
In the same study, it is found that inulin can also help lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body. LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, like triglycerides, can also cause a build-up on the walls of the artery. Too much of it can cause stroke, heart attacks, and other heart-related complications.
It should be noted, however, that the link between inulin and heart health has not been firmly established yet. More studies need to be conducted to ascertain that inulin can indeed improve the heart.
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is one of the body’s primary sources of energy. However, too much can lead to different health complications, primarily diabetes. According to data from the Department of Health, this lifestyle disease is among the leading causes of death among Filipinos.
Keeping your blood sugar at its optimum levels is one of the keys to maintaining your overall health. One way to do that is by having inulin-rich foods in your main diet. Inulin is known to help with type 2 diabetes, characterized by the body’s inability to regulate sugar in the blood.
Products That Contain Inulin
Inulin comes naturally in certain foods, but you can also get them from several products, such as the following:
- Probiotic Drinks – Probiotic drinks typically contain good bacteria, but certain products also have a substantial amount of inulin. This substance helps make the probiotic drinks more nutritious.
- Yogurt – Some yogurt manufacturers add inulin powder to their products to make them healthier. Inulin-rich yogurt aids digestion and helps increase the number of good bacteria in the intestines.
- Supplements – If you think you are lacking in inulin in your body, you can always take inulin supplements. They are readily available in certain stores. Before taking them, be sure to consult your doctor to avoid any complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Using Inulin Have Any Side Effects?
Inulin fiber might be highly beneficial when taken in moderation. However, people should still be wary of consuming it in excess because the substance can cause specific side effects, which can include the following:
- Bloated or Upset Stomach – Taking too much inulin might cause an upset or bloated stomach. You might feel like your tummy is aching or overly full.
- Loose Stools and Diarrhea – Consuming inulin in excess can also lead to diarrhea. If not treated immediately, it can even result in other complications, like dehydration.
- Flatulence – Gas can build up in your digestive system if you take too much inulin. It can result in abdominal discomfort, which is sometimes released as flatulence.
- Abdominal Cramps – In some cases, having too much inulin in the body can result in abdominal cramps. You might not be able to function well because of the discomfort.
- Anaphylaxis – There are rare instances when consuming excessive amounts of inulin can leads to anaphylaxis. This is often the case when the person is allergic to the inulin-rich food they consume.
Can Inulin Help You Lose Belly Fat?
Belly fat is the excess fat commonly found in the abdomen, particularly in the spaces between your organs. It is often associated with poor diet, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Excessive belly fat can be quite dangerous since it can lead to various health concerns, like heart disease, liver problems, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. For this reason, getting rid of too much belly fat becomes necessary for anyone who wants to stay healthy.
There are several ways to trim your belly fat, and one of them is by consuming inulin fiber. Several studies have been conducted, and they showed that using inulin is linked to significant belly fat loss.
Which Is Better: Psyllium or Inulin?
Those who wish to make inulin supplements and other inulin-rich goods take advantage of the services provided by inulin fiber wholesale suppliers in the Philippines. Products containing inulin might sell well on the market because of the many advantages they offer consumers. Those benefits include the increased production of good bacteria in the digestive system, which can lead to weight loss and better digestion.
However, inulin isn’t the only substance that offers those benefits. Psyllium is another popular option. Like inulin, psyllium is a naturally occurring substance found in various foods people regularly consume. Both of them are essential in promoting a healthy digestive system. Doing proper research and consulting your doctor can help determine if inulin or psyllium is better for your body.
Inulin is incredibly helpful in keeping the digestive system healthy. Taking enough of it has plenty of health benefits and can do wonders for your body. It is needed to control blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes and obesity. In some cases, it can also keep the heart healthy by decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
If you have or work for a food processing company and wish to make your products healthier, you might want to add inulin to the goods you manufacture. Partner with a trusted inulin fiber wholesale supplier in the Philippines, such as Wills International Sales Corporation. Our company can help you procure enough inulin fiber that you can add to your products.
Contact us today at Wills International Sales Corporation for more information about our products.