Going Gaga for Gum Acacia
If you think that gum acacia is related to bubblegum, then you’re absolutely correct. Gum acacia is the natural gum that consists of the hardened sap of many types of acacia trees. It has been historically cultivated in Arabia and West Asia. Presently, they are harvested from Sudan, Senegal, and Somalia.
There are two main types of grade for this product. There’s Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal. For the food industry, the Seyal grade is the better option.
Gum acacia is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides. It is used in the food industry as a stabilizer. Specifically, it is a thickening agent in icing, fillings, chewing gum, and many others. Its color varies from a light brown to a reddish tinge. If eaten alone, it tastes bland. It has a naturally sticky texture.
Aside from the food industry, it is sued in other areas as well. In the arts, it is a binder for watercolor paintings. It is also used in ceramics, photography, printmaking, pyrotechnics, and even smoking.
Gum acacia has a high percentage of potassium and calcium. It also contains soluble fiber, protein, and sodium.
Gum Acacia Benefits
Gum acacia is another one of the superfoods that has amazing benefits. Though it may not look like much, you’d be surprised by what it can do to make you feel and also look better.
Improves Oral Health
This superfood is in some dental products. One example is mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. Powdered gum acacia may also be used as a herbal toothpaste that cleans teeth without being too abrasive. An old study shows that this herbal toothpaste cleaned and cleared over two-thirds of tooth plaque.
Also, did you know that gum acacia is one of the main ingredients in cough syrup and lozenges? That’s right. It has properties that allows it to be in solutions to coat the throat. It also protects the mucus in the throat from irritation. This soothes coughs. It also prevents sore throat and its symptoms, including losing your voice.
And finally, it has some amount of antibacteria that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth that causes gum bleeding and tooth decay.
Aids in Wound Healing
You can apply gum acacia topically to help heal wounds faster. Its components of alkaloids, glycosides, and flavonoids take responsibility for this. It also has other properties that help stop blood flow in gashes, wounds, and other surface cuts. One effective way in using gum acacia to heal wounds is by pouring acacia-infused water over the wound. This stops heavy bleeding and also washes bacteria from the cut.
Promotes Good Digestion
The soluble fiber in gum acacia promotes overall digestive health. It makes sure the digestive tract functions properly. It also increases intestinal absorption and eases bowel movement. This leads to less bloating, constipation, excess gas, and many other gastrointestinal issues.
Helps in Weight Loss
Everyone knows that fiber is very helpful when it comes to losing weight. And if you want to lose weight or maintain the weight you’re in, gum acacia can help. It makes you feel full for a longer period of time. This is one way to make sure you don’t sneak in some snacks in between meals. It also reduces your body mass index and overall body fat. In a recent study, women who were taking gum acacia reduced their total body fat percentage by 2 percent. And lastly, fiber also blocks fat absorption. All these make gum acacia a possible treatment for obesity.
Strengthens Immune System
This product possesses antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Gum acacia also contains powerful antioxidants that combat harmful free radicals. These free radicals are the bearers of different kinds of bad bacteria, illnesses, and diseases to the body. The antioxidants make sure the immune system defense is up to par and can effectively protect the body against toxins.
In addition, the fiber content in gum acacia is probiotic. This promotes the growth of good bacteria or natural flora in the gut. This good bacteria or normal flora fights and suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria. This helps the immune system to function better.
Helps the Kidneys and Liver
Children who suffer from end stage renal disease can turn to gum acacia for relief. Gum acacia can reduce the need for dialysis. They also assist in renal therapy.
For the liver, it has a hepatoprotective effect that prevents lipids or fat cells to attach to the liver. It also treats chronic liver disease. How? It improves the function of kupffer cells and makes sure the liver properly detoxifies the body.
Aids in Diabetes
The fiber in gum acacia maintains blood glucose levels. This is because the fiber is not digested and doesn’t need insulin to break it down. Its consumption, therefore, does not affect the body’s sugar levels.
It is helpful for patients with type 2 diabetes. In this illness, there is lesser insulin secretion than required. Gum acacia increases the production of beta cells. These are the cells responsible for increasing insulin production.
Helps in Heart Health
The water-soluble dietary fibers that gum acacia has helps keep cholesterol under control. It manages the concentration of plasma cholesterols in the blood. Also, it makes sure to bind with the bad cholesterol, making sure the intestines don’t absorb it. It then deposits them out of the body through the excretion process. Gum acacia also lowers high blood pressure
A Word of Caution
Of course, keep in mind that too much of something is never a good thing. A study shows that the intake of excess gum acacia causes several negative side effects. It causes allergies and triggers various reactions. Some examples include runny nose, itchy skin, red eyes, shortness of breath, and other allergic reactions. It can also interact with the efficacy of certain medications.
The first time you try this product out, especially in the first week, you may experience an unpleasant feeling in the mouth, bloating, mild nausea, and even diarrhea.
Make sure to consult with your primary care physician before taking in any gum acacia supplements or anything that lists this as an ingredient.