According to the Higher Institute of Health as well 4 Italians over 18 out of 10 (46%) are in overweight or obese, with the incidence increasing with increasing age, bringing with it a greater chance of being affected by cardiovascular diseases, but also by viruses such as Covid-19. What is particularly worrying is the incidence of the phenomenon among the youngest: excess weight, in fact, concerns 1 minor in 4.
The latest Italian Obesity Barometer Report shows how in the last 30 years there has been a general in our country average weight gain of about 30%, often due to unregulated diets or an excess of sedentary lifestyle, but never as today, in the midst of a global pandemic, this should raise alarm in the population.
A help for the good functioning of the intestine, responsible for a large part of our immune system, and, at the same time, a help for stay or get back in shape comes frominulin long chain. It is a carbohydrate of vegetable origin, obtained mainly from artichoke or even chicory, which is not digestible by our body and arrives intact in the intestine where it acts as prebiotic. It is therefore essentially one fiber with a very low calorie intake and numerous beneficial properties.
Inulin comes in the form of a very fine whitish powder from neutral flavor and it can also be chemically synthesized from sucrose.
“Unfortunately, very little is said about the potential of inulin, and there are still too few people who have habitually included it in their diet”, comments Dr. Chiara Manzi, expert nutritionist and creator of the Evolution Kitchen Food Method. “Once in our intestine, this extraordinary element is able to increase the density of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, decreasing the load of harmful bacteria, favoring the absorption of nutrients and some minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, the regular functioning of intestine and fighting the development of tumors and intestinal diseases. Also, long-chain inulin reduces the absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides and blood sugar levels ».
Thanks to the beneficial effects on the intestine, inulin is an excellent adjuvant for stimulate and strengthen the immune system, developing greater resistance to viruses. In fact, more and more research conducted by universities around the world demonstrates the fundamental role played by a healthy intestine for the correct functioning of the immune defenses. A thesis also supported by the investigation conducted by Dr. Chiara Manzi on a sample of 900 people who had included inulin in the Mediterranean diet for at least 3 consecutive months.
It is, therefore, a precious element, which we should learn to know and use every day, but we must be careful, since often its long chain comes broken up by industry to commercialize a sweet, more soluble inulin. Inulin a short chain it has very different characteristics, yes hydrolyzes easily turning into sugar, especially if used in recipes, subjected to cooking, leavening and acidic preparations such as a tomato sauce.
L’inulina a long chainon the contrary, during cooking, leavening, contact with water and food enzymes maintains a sufficiently long chemical structure, such as to add to its prebiotic effects also the ability to lower the glycemic index of pizza, bread and refined carbohydrates and give us a discount on calories. It is therefore able to trigger all those mechanisms that can lead us to develop a stronger immune system, reducing fat mass and, above all, the glycemic spikes of some foods.
“Long-chain inulin has a neutral taste, which is why it can be added to both savory preparations, such as pasta, bread, pizza or meat and fish main courses, and sweets, from ice creams, to baked preparations, up to spoon desserts », continues the doctor Chiara Manzi. «A daily consumption of inulin, without falling into excesses, allows us to live healthier, helping to solve weight problems because it reduces the absorption of fats and carbohydrates making the dishes lighter. Furthermore, it is a fiber that, when dissolved in liquids at controlled temperatures, is able to imitate fats. With long-chain inulin we can replace butter, cream, egg yolks, cheeses in recipes, with zero calories and without changing the flavor ».
In the gallery above, other valuable information on this still little-known carbohydrate of vegetable origin but which we can define as a real super food.