With a quick glance over a food label, you may think there is a misprint. What is insulin doing in my food?
No, no not insulin…inulin! This fiber is derived from a wide variety of everyday foods including onions, garlic, agave, jicama and articokes. And while its sources may be urbane, the health benefits of inulin are quite astounding. This functional fiber provides a heap of health benefits and serves a number of culinary purposes, as well.
From a scientific standpoint, inulin is basically a chain of fructose molecules linked together. That’s why it has such a pleasant, sweet taste. But it is the unusual way that these molecules are linked which gives inulin its fantastic functionality and low glycemic score.
You see, inulin can’t be digested by the enzymes in your body, which means it produces no effect on blood sugar levels. And that means less work for your endocrine engine.
It might seem counter-intutive that something that has no effect on blood sugar could taste so sweet, but sweet it is! The extraordinary chemical structure inulin gives it not only a sweet taste, but a creamy, fat-like texture too. That’s right, inulin fiber can be used to replace both sugar AND fat in baked goods like our gluten free desserts.
That’s enough press about inulin’s culinary campaign, let’s have a look its deeper directives. Research shows that inulin, as a prebiotic, helps to boost friendly bacteria in the digestive tract – especially the important Bifidus variety. Boosting these healthy “germs” stokes your immune system and helps to guard against cellular mutations.
And there’s more! By positively modifying the pH in the digestive tract and feeding the “good germs”, inulin helps your body absorb more nutrients – especially calcium and magnesium.
Now you know why we are so excited to feature this functional ingredient in gluten free Chocolate Bliss Cake. It adds sweet taste and a creamy texture, while boosting your health so many ways.
- Brennan, C – Dietary fibre, glycaemic response, and diabetes. Molecular Nutr. Food Res, 2005. 560 – 570.
- Gibson, G:Dietary Modulation of the Human Gut Microflora Using the Prebiotics Oligofructose and Inulin Journal of Nutrition. 1999;129:1438S-1441S
- Griffin, IJ, et al: Non-digestible oligosaccharides and calcium absorption in girls with adequate calcium intakes. British Journal of Nutrition (2002) 87, Suppl. 2 S187-S191.
- Holloway, L, et al: Altered Mineral Absorption and Bone Turnover in Postmenopausal Women Treated with Oligofructose plus Inulin. Research presented at American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Sept 19-23, 2003