Foods That Contain Inulin
Many healthy and delicious plant foods contain the soluble dietary fiber called inulin. Eating foods that use this carbohydrate storage material will add bulk to fecal matter, which aids in mineral absorption through the intestines. The probiotic nature of inulin helps provide an environment for healthy bacteria to continue growing in the intestinal tract. Add these foods to your diet to benefit from their positive effects on digestion.
Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, have a high concentration of inulin in their edible root. Not to be confused with the globe artichoke that is a thistle, the sunchoke is a member of the sunflower family. Farmers report this plant having a tendency to grow like a weed and take over a garden space. Eat the swollen root of the sunchoke, which is similar to a potato. Peel and steam your sunchokes before adding butter and pureeing them to a smooth, thick consistency.
Asparagus stems are known to contain large amounts inulin fiber by weight. This member of the lily family grows well in sandy soils. In best possible agricultural conditions, asparagus will grow up to 10 inches in a 24 hour period and is harvested every three to four days. Buy fresh asparagus with tips that are closed tight and bottoms that are still moist. Cut the bottom before steaming asparagus whole and serving it in a butter sauce with freshly ground black pepper.
Chicory root is used as a source of inulin supplements because of its high concentration of the fiber. Chicory root extract is added as a prebiotic to active culture yogurts and a sweetener and main source of fiber content in many processed foods. Consume this root by adding the extract to a regular vitamin and nutrient regimen. Prepare chicory root to drink by roasting and grinding it before brewing it with hot water like coffee.
Although artichokes are a bit difficult to prepare for consumption, these tasty thistles are full of inulin fiber. Remove the outer surface of the artichoke’s leaves and base as well as the furry choke before eating. Do this by completely removing the first row of base leaves and then using scissors to cut off the top quarter inch of each leaf’s tip. Steam the artichoke in an open pot, and dip the leaves in butter sauce to serve. Remove the thorny choke completely before eating the immature leaves at the heart of the artichoke.
Salsify root is another member of the sunflower family that contains high levels of the inulin fiber. This root vegetable is sometimes called the oyster plant because of its seafood taste. Select salsify roots at your grocer that are firm and fresh. Prepare salsify similar to mashed potatoes, peel and steam them thoroughly before mashing and adding cream, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Add this unique vegetable to your menu for an exciting twist to the starch component of your meal.