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What is Chicory Root?

What is Chicory Root?

Chicory Root Fibre - curious about the star ingredient that makes our lollies taste so damn good? This prebiotic fibre can be found at the top of our ingredients list in each of our FUNDAY sweets, packing a gut-loving 7g of fibre! But what the heck is it and why is it so damn good? Our FUNDAY Dietitian breaks down all the juicy facts about Chicory Root!

Let’s start with the basics..

Prebiotic Fibres (aka the underdog of the nutrition world) are a form of Dietary Fibre. What is ‘dietary fibre’ you may ask? Dietary Fibre is important for us as it provides nourishment for the beneficial bacteria living in our gut and is vital to keeping our gut functioning optimally. Prebiotic fibre is an interesting character, as it isn’t digested or metabolized the same as the rest of the food we eat. Humans lack the digestive enzymes required to fully break down prebiotic fibre and as a result - it passes through our digestive tract relatively unchanged providing hardly any energy or calories along the way.

So what is Chicory Root?

Chicory Root Fibre comes from the (you guessed it) - root component of the Chicory plant (aka - Cichorium Intybus). It’s a natural ingredient that has been used all throughout history and cultures in a range of different foods. For all you coffee lovers - chicory root was used back in the day as a caffeine-free alternative due to its similar taste and texture to the good 'ol coffee bean. Used widely for cooking purposes throughout time, it was eventually discovered that chicory root provided more health benefits than originally thought. Cue the discovery of Inulin! Inulin is a type of dietary fibre that has health-promoting properties for the gut and is one of the main players in the Prebiotic fibre world.

 

Chicory root contains a matrix of multiple types of prebiotic fibres, making it rank higher in fibre than many other fibre-rich vegetables or fruit. As chicory-derived Inulin passes through the gut, it is met by the good gut bacteria that ferment the Inulin creating by-products that aids bowel function and confers health benefits to the host of the bacteria - which is you! Just as you would sprinkle fertilizer on your garden for your flowers to flourish, Chicory-derived Inulin is the fertilizer that helps you maintain a healthy thriving environment for your gut microbiome inhabitants.

So, what makes Chicory Root the ideal ‘Functional’ Food Ingredient?

Now that we already know that the high fibre content of chicory root is beneficial for the health of our gut beneficial bacteria, it is also worth noting that Chicory Root is also a game changer when it comes to sweetening up lollies without the sugar content that traditional sugarcane-derived lollies would have. Another benefit of Chicory Root is the fact that it does not provide the body with energy and calories as it is unable to be digested as regular sugar is. So you get to enjoy the sweetness of your Sour Peach Hearts or other FUNDAY faves, sans the sugar rush and energy spike like you’d expect from commercial gummy lollies.

 

In summary, for the health-conscious person, FUNDAY Sweets are the perfect snack for when you feel like something sweet sans the sugar high.
So go enjoy ya sweeties packed with a healthy punch of gut-loving prebiotic fibre! One of our go-tos? Of course, our delicious FUNDAY Natural Sweets – those Raspberry Frogs are on point!

Written by Daena Ryan

Dietitian & Nutritionist

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