The Arabic gum is the name given to the sap the oozes out from the acacia, a shrub like tree which is generally found in the African and Australian tropical regions. The Arabic gum or acacia is generally made from the sap of two species of the tree Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal and has been used by the civilizations of Egypt and Arabia for their medical powers. The sap is still being used widely for its medicinal and health benefits.
Benefits of Arabic Gum:
Source of Fiber: Acacia is a good source of fiber and has over 90% of fiber which dissolves easily in water. This helps in preventing even chronic diseases of heart and diabetes. Acacia does not alter the color or texture of our food as it has low viscosity and can easily be mixed with our regular food to subsequently increase the fiber content of our food. The feeling of fullness we get when consume foods rich in fiber will make us consume less food and aid weight loss.
Digestive Health: It goes without saying that since acacia contains lots of fiber it helps in maintain the health of the digestive system of a person. Fiber in the diet reduces constipation problems and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is not all that acacia offers in terms of digestive health but it also acts as a prebiotic or it is a good source of good intestinal bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Prebiotics generally prevent digestive disorders and is also useful to relieve IBS symptoms. Research has proved that 10gms of gum Arabic increases the concentration of prebiotics.
Lower Cholesterol and Maintain Blood Sugar Levels: The fiber in gum arabic helps in lowering cholesterol levels in blood and also to maintain the blood sugar levels. Also studies have proven that acacia reduces the glycemic index of food thus helping to maintain the blood sugar levels.
Helps to Relive Sore Throat Symptoms: Gum arabic is a demulcent. It helps to reduce the irritation in the mucus membrane of the mouth by forming a protective covering over the mucus during sore throat. It is added to cold and cough medicines and throat lozenges for this reason.
Dental Health: The anti bacterial property of gum arabic helps in controlling the bacterial population in the mouth thus reducing teeth and gum decay. The product has also been found to reduce the formation of plaque.
High levels of calcium: The high levels of calcium helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Beneficial for Renal Patients: Renal patients can safely consume gum arabic to reduce the blood urea levels and convert it to stools which are excreted thus reducing the pressure on the kidneys to excrete them.
Acacia helps in healing of wounds on topical application.
Other uses of gum arabic:
Gum arabic has a gum like texture and is often substituted for chemical binders. The product is widely used in candies and soft drinks. It finds its use in the pharmaceutical industry as a binding agent in pills and an emulsifying agent. It is utilized to beauty industry to apply aromatherapy and essential oils and as a resin. It is used to improve the texture and shelf life of food in the food industry.
Conclusion: Gum arabic or acacia is a natural occurring product which is safe to use with no side effects. It can be easily added on to our daily diet and is completely free from additives or preservatives of any kind, no impurities and negligible bacterial counts. It is a perfect package with numerous benefits.