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How Does Chicory Root Fiber Improve Digestion in Kids?

When it comes to your little one’s digestion, it's important to choose the right type of fiber for their diet. That's why our Growing Up Prebiotics includes chicory root fiber, a prebiotic fiber derived from the chicory plant's root [1]. This unique fiber has gained recognition for its digestive health benefits and studies have shown that it can improve digestion and gut health in kids [2].

In this article, we will dive deeper into how chicory root fiber works to enhance your little one’s digestive health and explain why it's a valuable addition to their daily gut health routine.

What is chicory root fiber?

Chicory root fiber is a prebiotic fiber found in the chicory plant’s roots. Chicory root contains a type of fiber called inulin, which acts as a prebiotic to feed the friendly bacteria in the gut.

How much fiber does my kid need?

According to the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the USDA, the following chart breaks down the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for fiber in kids.

One serving of our Growing Up Prebiotics provides 3 grams of fiber to help give your little ones a daily prebiotic fiber boost.

Chicory Root Fiber Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria

Chicory root fiber provides nourishment to the friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics, in your little one’s gut. When consumed, it travels through their digestive system and supports the growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus in the colon. This helps maintain a healthy balance in your kiddos gut microbiome [5]. Studies on the pediatric microbiome show that a balanced microbiome is crucial for the development of the immune system, nervous system, and growth [6]. This nurturing effect on the gut flora supports overall digestive health, making chicory root fiber a good choice for supporting your kid’s digestion.

Promotes Softer Stooling and Regulates Bowel Movements

One of the notable benefits of chicory root fiber is its ability to regulate bowel movements. Chicory root fiber absorbs water in the digestive tract and adds bulk, making stools easier to pass [2]. This can be particularly helpful for kids dealing with constipation or irregular bowel movements. By softening the stool, chicory root fiber promotes regularity and reduces discomfort.

What Other Benefits Does Chicory Root Fiber Have?

In addition to supporting digestive health and constipation, other chicory root fiber benefits may include:

  • Increased Satiety

    The fiber in chicory root fiber can help increase satiety by promoting feelings of fullness for longer [1].

  • Anti-inflammatory properties

    Chicory root is a rich source of polyphenols, which has anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation in the body caused by oxidative stress can lead to various diseases, but incorporating antioxidants and polyphenols into your diet can help reduce this risk and support your overall health [7,8,9,10].

Where Can I Find Chicory Root Fiber?

Chicory root fiber is typically not available in your grocery store aisle. However, inulin is the prebiotic component found in chicory root fiber and food sources such as asparagus and leeks also contain natural sources of inulin. In addition, our Growing up Prebiotics contains these two prebiotic ingredients:

  • Chicory Root Fiber (Inulin)
  • 2’-FL HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide)

HMO (2’-FL HMO) is a prebiotic that replicates Human Milk Oligosaccharide, a vital component of breast milk. Contrary to its name, Human Milk Oligosaccharide is not from human milk. Human Milk Oligosaccharide is a prebiotic with the same molecular structure as the most abundant prebiotic in human breast milk. HMO has been extensively researched for its health impacts on immunity and the development of a healthy microbiome in our growing kids [3]. This combination of ingredients helps with easier digestion and promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria [2]. Using it consistently on a daily schedule can help establish a solid foundation for a balanced digestive system in our little ones [3].

Key Takeaways:

Choosing the right fiber for your kid’s digestion is important. Our Growing Up Prebiotics contains chicory root fiber, derived from the chicory plant. It acts as a fuel source for probiotics, promoting a healthy and balanced microbiome. It regulates bowel movements by softening the stool and is beneficial for kids dealing with constipation. You can find chicory root fiber in foods like asparagus and leeks. But for pickier eaters, our Growing Up Prebiotics combines chicory root fiber with Human Milk Oligosaccharide (2’-FL HMO) for softer stooling and a balanced gut. Our Growing Up Prebiotics are tasteless and textureless, perfect for kids who need an easy fiber boost. Including prebiotics like chicory root fiber can support your little one's digestive health and well-being.

References:

[1] Puhlmann, M. L., & De Vos, W. M. (2020). Back to the Roots: Revisiting the Use of the Fiber-Rich Cichorium intybus L. Taproots. Advances in Nutrition, 11(4), 878–890. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmaa025

[2] Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferré, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llauradó, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., & Escribano, J. (2016). The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 68(5), 587–594. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1263605

[3] Hegar, B., Wibowo, Y., Basrowi, R. W., Ranuh, R., Sudarmo, S. M., Munasir, Z., Atthiyah, A. F., Widodo, A. D., Supriatmo, Kadim, M., Suryawan, A., Diana, N. R., Manoppo, C. T. M., & Vandenplas, Y. (2019). The Role of Two Human Milk Oligosaccharides, 2′-Fucosyllactose and Lacto-N-Neotetraose, in Infant Nutrition. Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, 22(4), 330. https://doi.org/10.5223/pghn.2019.22.4.330

[4] Bellini M, Tonarelli S, Barracca F, Rettura F, Pancetti A, Ceccarelli L, Ricchiuti A, Costa F, de Bortoli N, Marchi S, Rossi A. Chronic Constipation: Is a Nutritional Approach Reasonable?. Nutrients. 2021 Oct;13(10):3386.

[5] Macfarlane, G. T., & Cummings, J. H. (1999). Probiotics and prebiotics: can regulating the activities of intestinal bacteria benefit health? BMJ, 318(7189), 999–1003. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7189.999

[6] Gaufin, T., Tobin, N. H., & Aldrovandi, G. M. (2018). The importance of the microbiome in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 30(1), 117–124. https://doi.org/10.1097/mop.0000000000000576

[7] Rizvi, W., Fayazuddin, M., Shariq, S., Singh, O., Moin, S., Akhtar, K., & Kumar, A. (2014). Anti-inflammatory activity of roots of Cichorium intybus due to its inhibitory effect on various cytokines and antioxidant activity. Ancient Science of Life, 34(1), 44. https://doi.org/10.4103/0257-7941.150780

[8] Juśkiewicz, J., Zduńczyk, Z., Zary-Sikorska, E., Król, B., Milala, J., & Jurgoński, A. (2010). Effect of the dietary polyphenolic fraction of chicory root, peel, seed and leaf extracts on caecal fermentation and blood parameters in rats fed diets containing prebiotic fructans. British Journal of Nutrition, 105(5), 710–720. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114510004344

[9] Hussain, T., Tan, B., Yin, Y., Blachier, F., Tossou, M. C. B., & Rahu, N. (2016). Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: What Polyphenols Can Do for Us? Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/7432797

[10] Singh, A., Yau, Y. Y., Leung, K. K., El-Nezami, H., & Lee, J. C. (2020). Interaction of Polyphenols as Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Compounds in Brain–Liver–Gut Axis. Antioxidants, 9(8), 669. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080669

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.



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