Why Inulin Is Your Gut's Secret Weapon

Add this subtle nutrient to your diet for max benefits.

August 3, 2016
onioins
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There is a class of carbohydrates called fructan, which acts like fertilizer to support the good bacteria in our intestines. The best-known fructans are in the family called inulin. Inulin is a natural storage carbohydrate present in more than 36,000 species of plants.

Inulin is also considered to be a prebiotic used as an energy reserve and for regulating cold resistance. Chicory root is a prebiotic that contains the highest concentration of inulin (New Orleans residents will be happy to hear this, as it's a cultural addition to their regional cuisine). 

More: 7 Gut-Healing Foods That Tame Inflammation

One of the potential pitfalls of a gluten-free diet is that most of us get more than 70 percent of our inulin from wheat. When we lose the wheat, whatever level of good bacteria we have in our gut, which has grown dependent on wheat as the major source of its fertilizer, begins to starve. Gluten-free products often are much lower in inulin. So in our efforts to fix intestinal permeability, we create a worse environment in our microbiome than we had before. This is why we must be sure to include inulin-rich foods as part of our daily diet. 

Check out and stock up on these inulin-reach foods for the microbiome benefits: 

chicory root
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Chicory root
wheat
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Wheat

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sugar beets
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Sugar beets
leeks
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Leeks
asparagus
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Asparagus
 
 
artichokes
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Artichokes
onions
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Onions
garlic
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Garlic
 
 
Dandelion root
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Dandelion root
bananas
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Bananas
Plantains
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Plantains

Adapted from The Autoimmune Fix

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