ABCs of Good Health

How To Stay Young: The Magic of Inulin

How To Stay Young: The Magic of Inulin

As society becomes more and more preoccupied with effective ways to stay young, the rush to get our hands on the next youth-inducing trend or ingredient is becoming oh-so-tangible. Now BBC’s programme ‘How To Stay Young’ (on which Angela Rippon explores how science could enable us to overcome the obstacles associated with ageing) has added inulin to the mix! But what is it, and how can it help to combat the age-old war on wrinkles?
At base level, inulin is a nutritional component that’s found naturally in many plants – it’s best known as a starchy and fibrous carbohydrate. Pulses, lentils, bananas, chickpeas and even garlic are very rich in inulin, which – being low in calories and full of fibre – is often touted as a waist-friendly health hero.

The Benefits Of Inulin

Inulin offers a wide range of health advantages:
– Recent studies have suggested inulin plays a role in contributing towards the metabolism of fat.
– Inulin is a prebiotic – a carbohydrate that the good bacteria in your digestive system uses to produce nutrients beneficial to your health!
– It stimulates the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.

Plants naturally produce inulin and use it for energy. Today, we’re seeing it more and more as it’s being added to more foods for its health benefits and flexibility.

Natural Sources of Inulin

• agave (syrup)
• artichokes
• agave
• leeks
• wild yams
• bananas
• garlic
• asparagus
• wheat
• onions

With its cream-like consistency, inulin functions as a fat substitute in food products like salad dressings and margarine. It’s also becoming a common replacement for some flour in certain baked goods such as cakes and biscuits, being a fantastic binding agent and it’s also now commonly recognised as a versatile fibre which can be used in smoothies to make them thicker and more filling!

Ashley English

Ashley English

Writer and expert

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