Acacia fiber is the gum released from the acacia tree, usually attained from the sap of the Acacia Senegal tree. But the question is acacia fiber, soluble or insoluble fiber?
Acacia is a source of soluble fiber, meaning it can dissolve in water. Acacia fiber can have several health benefits, including keeping cholesterol low, maintaining healthy gut bacteria populations (which helps you maximize the nutrition extracted from food and prevents diseases), and preventing metabolic diseases.
In this article, we’ll be going through a more detailed explanation of why this soluble fiber is essential for your health and the roles it has in your body.
What is Soluble Fiber, and Why is it Healthy?
Soluble fibers can dissolve in water. When in contact with water, they form a thick gel which is then broken down and used as food by our gut bacteria. Gut bacteria are responsible for keeping us healthy and preventing digestive problems, autoimmune diseases, and other unhealthy states.
A recent study examining rats fed acacia fiber found that rats eating this fiber source had better gut health and healthier gut microbiome (meaning the proportions of healthy bacteria in the gut) .
In contrast, insoluble fibers cannot dissolve in water and aren’t broken down by our gut bacteria. They promote healthy excretion of waste and act as agents that clean out our digestive tract.
By keeping your fiber high, you can promote good digestive system health, lower cholesterol, healthy bowel movements, improved glucose and insulin levels, better weight loss, and even cancer prevention and longer life [2, 3].
Dietary Fiber and Metabolic Health
Dietary fiber can reduce your risk of several different metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, which is thought to be because of its effects on the digestive system . Dietary fiber changes the hormone and digestive processes in your stomach and intestines, changing how food is processed and how our microbes exist for the better .
Lower cholesterol, better heart health, and lower rates of diseases like irritable bowel syndrome are just some of the many beneficial health effects of this process .
Another metabolic disease of significant global interest is diabetes, caused by an inability to produce or use insulin. Insulin allows the sugar in our foods to be let into body cells and be turned into energy.
In a recent clinical trial, acacia gum lowered blood glucose responses to food, avoiding the high blood glucose level characteristic of diabetes .
Acacia Fiber Can Reduce Cholesterol
A clinical trial looking at blood lipids (fat in your blood) of participants found that those who had acacia fiber mixed into their beverages had slightly lower lipid levels in their blood . Acacia fiber has also been noted to improve blood pressure in those with type 2 diabetes in a recent clinical trial .
More work is being done in this area, but it seems acacia fiber and other high-fiber food sources may be a natural way to lower high cholesterol.
Acacia Fiber Can Increase Weight Loss
Given the significant problem obesity and excessive weight now poses globally, researchers are continuously looking for natural solutions to this problem. Fiber can help you feel fuller and less hungry after a meal (called “increasing satiety”).
A recent study performed with adult female participants showed that those consuming acacia fiber had a greater BMI and overall body fat reduction than those on the same diet who did not .
Dietary Fiber Can Be Safely Added to Many Foods
Given these diverse nutritional benefits, it’s easy to see why dietary fiber is a fantastic and necessary addition to your diet .
Adding fiber to foods from baked goods to meat products is currently under development. Different methods of incorporation and cooking can alter the fiber (sometimes for the worse, so it no longer has these health benefits) .
A recent study looked at adding acacia fiber to yogurt and found this is a feasible additive that had a high therapeutic potential for patients with irritable bowel syndrome .
Is Acacia Fiber Soluble or Insoluble?
A Review of the Importance of Fiber
Sources of fiber-like acacia fiber are an essential part of any healthy diet. Approximately 90% of Americans do not currently get enough dietary fiber, leading to higher incidences of disease and digestive problems .
By getting enough of this essential nutrient, you can reduce your disease risk and symptoms, maintain a healthy weight, and digest food as efficiently (meaning your gut bacteria are healthier, and you get the most nutrients out of your food as possible) [15, 16, 17, 18].
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