Over Dandelion tea? Never really felt the whole mushroom movement? Gold lattes feel more like golden ‘blah’-ttes? Then it might be time to give chicory root a run for its money… especially if you’re looking to rid that stubborn belly flat and detox ahead of Summer. A potent plant-based prebiotic, chicory root (often served as tea) is derived from the blue-flowered herb native to North America and Europe and is famously used as a natural coffee alternative that’s gentle on the tum while boosting all of the healthy gut bacteria. Best consumed in the morning as a caffeine-free tea to ‘get things moving’ (if you know what we mean), it also can be alternatively added to salads for a bonus pre-digestive kick at lunch or dinner!
With ‘inulin’ acting as the key fibre boosting ingredient within chicory root, it hosts a hoard of benefits for digestive and general health, including easing constipation, suppressing the appetite, supporting weight loss and also lowering glucose and insulin levels. So how does inulin work as a prebiotic exactly? Well, essentially it heads straight to the large intestine and feeds your gut good bacteria. As a prebiotic, inulin helps build a base for the gut flora so that your gut can effectively then absorb probiotics! Translation, fuelling up on inulin (aka chicory root) will boost probiotic Bifidobacteria levels in the gut and help the bowels stay regular too—no prunes necessary!
And interestingly, by choosing chicory root tea, you’ll get a higher dose of inulin, when compared to other food or nutrient sources. While other plant based foods contain inulin, such as onion, garlic and asparagus, chicory root has double the dose of inulin, with approximately 36-48grams per 100grams versus the others which have only 2-16 grams per 100. A word of warning though, with such a high inulin average, note that excessive inulin intake will have the same effect as excessive fibre intake of any variety, so if you’re wanting to detox and de-bloat, don’t go overboard with endless cups of tea (no matter how comforting it is!). Instead, aim for around 5-12 grams of inulin (read: a weak chicory tea) to still boost probiotic bacteria in the gut, help absorb calcium and and encourage ‘regularity’ and flatten that tum for bikini season.