From regulating our immune system and improving our digestion to optimizing our metabolism and even balancing our moods, our body’s friendly microbes work hard to keep us healthy, and the only things they require in return are a safe place to live and plenty of nourishing prebiotics—soluble fibers that are our microbes’ perfect meal.
Much like fertilizer for a garden, prebiotics give our beneficial gut bacteria all they need to thrive in our digestive tract, so they can help us stay healthy and vibrant. Fortunately, many plant-based foods (like apples, oats, asparagus, and bananas) are excellent sources of prebiotics, but one special prebiotic—acacia fiber—might take the cake when it comes to your gut and overall health.
Also called acacia gum or gum arabic, acacia fiber is made from the sap of the Acacia senegal tree, a small, shrub-like species native to Africa. Packed with soluble fiber and brimming with health-promoting benefits, acacia fiber has been used medicinally by native cultures for centuries and is a “must-have” in your gut health toolbox.
Facts about Acacia
Following are some of the facts about Acacia:
- Acacia herb usually grows up to a height of 40 feet. Some of the Acacia types can grow up to 70 feet in height.
- Most species of Acacia have pinnate, dark green leaves arranged densely on the thorny grey colored branches.
- Yellow colored pea-shaped flowers with 5 petals each usually grow in Acacia and the flowers are arranged in dense globular clusters at the end of the branches. Flowers are used in cosmetic industry in producing perfumes.
- The fruit of Acacia is dry pod, elongated and filled with 5-6 seeds.
- Acacia can be propagated through seed or cuttings.
- Acacia has strong and durable wood which are used for producing floorings, tpys, furniture, jewellery, tools etc.
- The Gum of Acacia is widely used medically. Gum Arabic isolated from African species of Acacia has great benefits in food industry.
- Acacia mostly lives for 15-30 years.
Health Benefits of Acacia:
In this section we will know about some of the health benefits of Acacia.
Benefits of Acacia in Treating Digestive Problems:
Fiber can aid you in alleviating constipation and other discomforts associated with the digestive disorders including the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can also be mentioned that Acacia is pretty good for the digestive system. A study reflects that yogurt with added Acacia fiber is more effective in lowering the symptoms of IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome.
Dental Health Benefits of Acacia:
Acacia may help you keep brighter smile and appropriate dental health. In fact an extract of one type of Acacia tree is added to toothpaste for more benefits, especially in lowering risk of gingivitis and maintaining a daily oral hygiene. Even early research has suggested that Acacia gum having antibacterial properties aid control harmful bacteria in the mouth that leads to various gum diseases. Apart from this, studies have also concluded that chewing gum made with Acacia was more beneficial in reducing plaque for 7 days when compared with the regular toothpaste.
Health Benefits of Acacia in Weight Loss:
Acacia is also known for reducing weight as it contains rich fiber and eating a diet rich in fiber helps you stay full for longer. It is obvious that when you feel satisfied and full with stomach, you are less likely to snack and this in turn help you in reducing your weight or treating obesity.
Acacia is Beneficial in Reducing Sore Throat:
Acacia is also known to be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of sore throat. It is a demulcent or a substance that reduces irritation in the mucus membranes of the mouth by creating a protective film. In current days Acacia is used as an ingredient in many cold medications like throat lozenges and cough medicines.
Health Benefits of Acacia in Lowering Cholesterol:
Acacia is also known to have a fair role in lowering cholesterol. By adding Acacia gum to your diet you can lower your cholesterol levels significantly.
Acacia as a Detoxifying and Cleansing Agent for the Body:
It is also known that Acacia is used as an ingredient in total body detox or cleansing procedures. Acacia is important in cleansing the body because of the fiber contents present in it.
Benefits of Acacia in Treating Skin Diseases:
Acacia has also been known to have its beneficial effects in treating various skin diseases including the pores in the skin and the leading Acne. Acne is usually common in teenagers. The pores on the skin usually get infected which further lead to Acne breakouts. Acacia honey contains a large concentration of fructose sugar in it and this it does not crystallize. This Acacia honey actually possesses antimicrobial properties in it which in turn can help in reducing Acne, especially when combined with other medications.
Acacia is Beneficial in Enhancing the Immune System:
Body’s immune system is also improved by taking Acacia extract. Research studies have shown that Acacia extract has increased the WBC count in mice, making their immune system stronger and more functional. It is also known that Acacia extract reduces the side effects of chemotherapy. This in turn may help the cancer patients stay healthier and stronger throughout their treatment.
Possible Health Benefits of Acacia in Treating Diabetes:
Though there are no strict proofs about Acacia being helpful in treating diabetes; some claim that Acacia supplements can aid in controlling your blood sugar level. It is however known that foods rich in dietary fiber helps in regulating blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thus by taking foods with added Acacia may boost their daily fiber and in turn aid in regulating blood sugar level.
Various Other Health Benefits of Acacia:
Among various other health benefits of Acacia, are the benefits of Acacia in clotting of blood, reducing the swelling in liver, reducing symptoms of Asthma, bronchitis, etc, health benefits in reducing Leukaemia, leprosy etc.
Side Effects of Acacia:
There are some specific side effects associated with Acacia. Here we shall take a look on some of the side effects that can be caused by the herb.
- If one is allergic to dust, he or she may develop lesions or experience asthma attacks while taking Acacia for first time. However, it is not toxic in nature.
- Research says that taking Acacia over a week for the first time creates an unpleasant feeling in the mouth, some mild nausea and diarrhea.
- Acacia might interact with your medication and create complications. So, it is essential for you to consult your physician before turning to Acacia treatments or supplements in case you are under any form of medication, especially for high cholesterol or respiratory problems of high blood pressure.
- Shortness of breath may be one side effect of Acacia in person who are allergic to it.
- Rhinitis and conjunctivitis are also some of the side effects appearing in the form of allergic reactions to Acacia.
- Acacia has one more side effect, especially in the pregnant women. Acacia interferes with iron absorption in the body and thus pregnant women who require added iron supplements during pregnancy may be affected by taking Acacia.
Appropriate Dosing of Acacia:
Acacia can generate some side effects (as mentioned earlier). So, it is essential for you to take the appropriate dose of Acacia if you want to take the Acacia supplement or Acacia treatment. It must be mentioned that appropriate dose of Acacia depends on several factors which include age, health conditions, etc. It is recommended to take Acacia at least four hours prior or after taking Amoxicillin (if you are in to the antibiotic treatment).
Be very much sure to consult your physician before taking Acacia.