Is Chicory Root Low in FODMAP? (10 foods for Gut Health)


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Can Chicory Root be used for improving gut health?

Chicory Root can be used for improving gut health as it is an excellent source of prebiotic plant fiber inulin, which may positively affect several parts of your gut flora. The following are some benefits of Chicory root for gut health:

  • Prebiotic: The inulin prebiotic aids in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut while helping to decrease harmful bacteria. This helps sustain the gut microbiome, which is believed to be strongly linked to gut health, digestion of food, and a decrease in gastrointestinal symptoms.

    The studies show that fermentation of prebiotics stimulates the growth of specific bacteria, especially bifidobacteria. Numerous studies have observed that supplementing your diet with inulin could raise the concentration of certain strains of healthy bacteria in the colon.
  • Improves stool frequency: Studies show that supplementation with a formula fortified with prebiotics improved stool frequency and consistency in infants. Another small study observed that drinking300 mL of chicory root extract daily for 4 weeks greatly improved bowel frequency.
  • Decreases constipation: Studies have also concluded that chicory may improve bowel function and relieve constipation. A study was performed on women suffering from constipation having only 1-2 bowel movements per week. The women were supplemented with inulin for 19 days. After the study, the women reported an increased frequency of bowel movements. Also, the stool consistency changed from hard to soft. 

    One study observed 44 people with constipation and administered them with chicory inulin supplements for 4 weeks. Scientists found that these people had increased stool frequency and softness, improving their constipation.
  • Prevents diarrhea in children.
  • Helps treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). 
  • Decreases bowel transit time. 

Inulin and chicory root are usually found in the following foods:

  1. Cow’s milk
  2. Coconut 
  3. Soy-based yogurts
  4. Low carbohydrate ice creams
  5. Protein shakes
  6. Granola bars
  7. Cereals
  8. Artificial sweeteners
  9. Gluten-free bread
  10. Probiotics

Is Chicory Root low in FODMAP?

Chicory root is not low on FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols); it is rather high as it is almost 68% inulin. Inulin is a naturally transpiring polysaccharide and belongs to a category of dietary fibers known as fructans which are high in FODMAPs. On the other hand, chicory leaves are low in FODMAPs.

Inulin from Chicory root is often added to food products as a source of fiber or for sugar replacement. If you are looking for items with a low FODMAP avoid products with chicory root, inulin, fructooligosaccharide, or fructans.

In the video below, Dutch biochemist Dirk Bosch explains why he sees such huge potential hidden in Chicory plant roots:

This is our recommended Probiotic Supplement with Chicory Root:


Biotics 8 – Probiotic Formula For Overall Gut Health

Does Chicory make you poop?

Chicory can make you poop because its Inulin content decreases bowel transit time and increases gut motility, helping bowel movements. A 2019 study conducted on middle-aged older adults can support this claim, as it concluded that daily consumption of 10 grams of inulin from chicory root for 5 weeks increased stool frequency significantly in people with low stool frequency as compared to the placebo group.

Another study showed that it can increase stool frequency and if consumed in large quantities it may cause diarrhea. 

Can Chicory Root be used to manage IBS?

Chicory Root can be used to manage IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) because prebiotics improve symptoms associated with it.

A study showed that administering inulin sourced from chicory root fiber to individuals with IBS symptoms improved their gut function by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria such as bifidobacteria in the gut, decreased gas retention in the gut, and reduced constipation and perception of abdominal sensations. But the scope of this study was limited, and further research is needed to confirm these effects.

In a clinical trial, patients suffering from IBS were supplemented with yogurt containing inulin. The patients consumed 125 ml of the prebiotic yogurt twice a day for two weeks, after the treatment the group reported a decrease in the symptoms associated with IBS as compared to the placebo group.

Inulin also helps decrease bowel transit time, increases gut motility, stool frequency, and changes the composition of gut microbiota which further eases the symptoms of IBS.

It is safe to say every individual reacts differently to chicory root fiber(Inulin), so it is best to consult a doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are suffering from IBS, as it is reported even small doses (0.5g to 1g) of chicory root fiber(Inulin) can cause gas, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea in people with IBS. Research shows a dose of 10 mg daily is most suitable for adults without IBS.

Does Chicory Root fiber cause diarrhea?

Chicory root fiber may cause diarrhea if consumed in large quantities, as the high osmotic activity of chicory root fiber (inulin) may cause fluid to be pulled into the colon.

A study shows that consumption of about 10 grams of inulin can cause side effects such as bloating, gas, and gastrointestinal distress. Given inulin nowadays is used in many products as a source of fiber, it is advised to check the quantity of fiber on the nutrition label of the product before consuming it. 

Medical practitioners and manufacturers suggest starting off with small amounts such as 3-5 grams per day and gradually increasing up to 25-30 grams to avoid diarrhea and other gastrointestinal conditions. Once the body gets used to the fiber, side effects subside. The usual recommended intake for fiber is 25-30 grams/ day in adults, so consuming that much amount may not cause any harm, however, be careful with the dosage.

Does Chicory Root cause gas?

Chicory root may cause gas and bloating in the gut if consumed in large quantities since chicory root fiber (inulin) is fermentable and not digestible, resulting in the release of gas. A suggested way to avoid these side effects is to increase the consumption gradually, this gives the body time to adjust to the fiber. Also, the side effects go away after regular consumption.

Can Chicory Root supplements cause stomach pain?

Chicory root supplements may cause stomach pain and discomfort due to excessive bloating in some people or if consumed in larger quantities, when taken in excess (more than 25-30 mg daily) as it is undigestible. 

Research shows a dose of up to 10 mg daily is most suitable for healthy adults. A study was performed to assess the quantity of inulin that initiates side effects. In the study, the participants were given 5 or 10 grams of inulin along with a regular breakfast. The group that received 10 grams of inulin reported the highest score for the side effects, while the other group reported mild symptoms.

The study suggests that consuming higher quantities of fructooligosaccharides can cause stomach discomfort and pain. To avoid such effects consumers must check for the quantity of the fiber in the product.

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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Is Chicory Root Low in FODMAP? (10 foods for Gut Health)
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