How Chicory Root Fibre Can Improve Your Gut Health
by Callum Allan on Apr 13, 2023
As an active individual, I’m highly aware of the importance of a well-balanced diet that supports my fitness goals. Eating food that improves my gut health is vital for me, and that involves incorporating fibre-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. But did you know that one particular type of fibre - chicory root fibre - can be especially beneficial for your gut health? In this blog post, I will tell you why you should add chicory root fibre to your diet and how it can help improve your digestion, immunity, and overall well-being.
What is Chicory Root Fibre?
Before digging into the benefits of chicory root fibre, let’s define what it is. Chicory root is the root of the chicory plant, which many people use as a coffee substitute. Chicory root fibre is a soluble fibre extracted from the root. It has a sweet taste and can be found in many processed foods, such as protein bars and shakes, breakfast cereals, and snacks. Chicory root fibre is a low-calorie sweetener and a prebiotic, which means it can feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Chicory root fibre can help keep your digestive system running smoothly. When it enters the large intestine, the fibre absorbs water and turns into a gel-like substance. This gel makes stools softer and easier to pass, reducing the risk of constipation, bloating, and other digestive issues. Additionally, chicory root fibre has been shown to increase stool frequency, which indicates a faster transit time in the intestines. A faster and smoother digestive system can help you feel more comfortable and energized.
Did you know that around 70% of your immune cells are located in your gut? Yes, your gut plays a significant role in your immunity, and chicory root fibre can help boost it. As a prebiotic, chicory root fibre feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids, in turn, can regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that consuming chicory root fibre can increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut and boost immune function.
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to various health issues, such as autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Chicory root fibre can help reduce chronic inflammation by modulating the immune system and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. One study found that consuming chicory root fibre for 4 weeks led to lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) in overweight individuals.
Aids Weight Management
Are you trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight? Then chicory root fibre can be your friend. As mentioned earlier, chicory root fibre is a low-calorie sweetener, which means that it can add sweetness to your food without increasing your caloric intake. Additionally, chicory root fibre can increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness, because it takes longer to digest than simple sugars. This means that consuming foods rich in chicory root fibre can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce your overall caloric intake.
Incorporating chicory root fibre into your diet is a smart move for your gut health and overall well-being. This soluble fibre can improve digestion, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and aid weight management. However, as with any dietary change, it’s important to introduce chicory root fibre gradually and drink enough water to avoid any potential side effects, such as gas and bloating. You can find chicory root fibre in various forms, such as inulin or oligofructose, in health food stores and online. So go ahead and add this sweet and healthy fibre to your smoothies, protein shakes, and other meals. Your gut will thank you!