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Prebiotic FOS Explained

FOS. What is it?

To those who don’t know, it sounds like a type of fancy lettuce. But it’s even better than that!

Fructo-oligoasaccharides (FOS) is a simple carbohydrate that is non-digestible by humans. It’s an alternative natural sweetener that can be found in the storage units of the Yacon plant. This fancy little plant/root vegetable originates from Ecuador before the plant material was brought to New Zealand in the early 1990’s by Plant & Food Research New Zealand.

Yacon was brought to New Zealand in 1990's by Plant and Food Research New Zealand

FOS is a prebiotic supplement that can be added to raw natural recipes and is shown to improve overall gut health and it is because of this that the Yacon plant is harvested.

To preserve the highest amount of FOS, the Yacon plant needs to be harvested at the right time of year. Sounds finicky, however, this is to ensure that when crushed all the juices extracted will be rich and high in FOS.

Now, did you know that Yacon is not the only plant that has FOS in it? Many common vegetables such as garlic, onion, artichokes, and asparagus contain small amounts of FOS too.

Why should we use FOS?

So we know that FOS is a natural prebiotic sweetener. Cool. But how can it actually benefit our health instead of just making things taste naturally sweeter?

FOS improves Calcium Magnesium absorption

Well, a daily dose of FOS which is about 5-15 grams can increase the proportion of beneficial bacteria in the colon which, like said earlier can improve gut health. So if you find you’re struggling with signs of an unhealthy gut, FOS is a great way to relieve those symptoms.

5 to 15 grams of prebiotic FOS a day

Not only is FOS amazing for our gut, but there are actually a lot of other health benefits too! Firstly, FOS stimulates minerals absorption such as calcium and magnesium in the intestines which can promote bone health, and for women as they get older, not getting the right amount of calcium can actually lead to ‘Osteoporosis’ in the postmenopausal stage. With the high amounts of calcium and magnesium, FOS is also great for kids as it can encourage stronger bone growth.

It’s also known that FOS is a great alternative sweetener for those who suffer from diabetes, it prevents the rise of blood sugar, regulates insulin secretion, and most importantly, it improves insulin resistance.

Lastly, everyone has their own weight loss journey. Some diets work and others don’t. But did you know that consuming FOS daily can aid in the help of weight loss? As FOS is considered a soluble fibre which slows down how quickly foods are digested, which in turn can actually make you feel fuller for longer, so there won’t be a tendency to snack in-between meals, helping you with your weight loss goals.

With that being said, we hope that you have a better understanding of what FOS is, where it comes from and how it can help your day to day life. As you’ve read it can really provide many different positive ways to promote overall health, but what’s even better is that it’s sourced from a natural plant and there are no added nasties going into your body.

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