Do you know what is Arabic Gum? (often used in various confectionary, bubblegums, food items and sauces etc) And did you know that Arabic Gum is also known by other names such as ghond/ar, gum-tragacanth and acacia gum? This gum has many benefits and uses and is today being used extensively in the food industry to enhance the texture of foods. It is now also being increasingly used by lowcarbers to improve crispness of bakes and enhance texture of foods, especially when using gluten free flours.
In a previous post I said that I will share what I substitute to use in place of xanthan gum. Well, you have probably discovered by now what it is. Yes…its Gum Arabic!!! After starting low carbing and hunting for xanthan gum in my town and not finding any, I was fortunate to have someone inform me that ghondar (commonly sold in Indian spice shops) could be subbed for xanthan gum. So off I went to my local spice shop, got myself a R4.00 tub of ghondar …came home and ground it into powder in my coffee grinder. Wasn’t I pleased to find the powdered ghondar not only resembled xanthan gum in looks BUT also improved the texture of my baking too. An added bonus was I could follow recipes using xanthan gum and use the same quantity of powdered ghoondar to sub for it.
Below is an awesome link I came across that shared some marvellous info on the benefits of gum Arabic. Hope it enlightens you all as well.
12 Health Benefits of Arabic Gum
What is actually arabic gum? Arabic gum is a dried edible gummy exudates derived from the stems and branches of Acacia species plant such as Acacia senegal , Acacia laeta and Acacia seyal . Those three plant species grow abundantly in Central Sudan, Central Africa and West Africa. Arabic gum is rich in soluble fiber. It is also one of the largest amounts of gums being used nowadays. The color may vary from pale to orange brown. Arabic gum as soluble fiber may contribute many benefits to human health. Below are the list of benefits that you can get from Arabic gum :
1. Promotes good digestion
The first health Benefits of Arabic Gum is for promotes good digestion. Arabic gum contains high amount of soluble fiber which can help digestion tract function and ease the bowel movement. A study also reported that the fiber in Arabic gum can increase intestinal absorption.
2. Alleviate constipation
Constipation is a condition which cause by unhealthy bowel movement. As mentioned before that Arabic gum promotes good digestion, it may also help to alleviate constipation by improving bowel movement.
3. Strengthen Immune system
Fiber contained in Arabic gum is consider as pro biotic. It is a substance which can promotes the growth of good bacteria or normal flora inside the gut. The good bacteria or normal flora will later fight and suppress the growth of pathogen bacteria. This may help immune system to work better.
4. Control blood sugar
Studies reported that fiber has important role in the management of blood glucose. As part of food, fiber is not digested and it doesn’t require insulin to break it down. This may explain why eating a lot of fiber will not increase your blood sugar level.
5. Lowering cholesterol lever
Fiber in Arabic gum is effective in lowering cholesterol level. The soluble fiber will attach and bind the cholesterol so it wont be absorbed by intestine. Later the cholesterol will be brought out of the body through excretion system.
6. Gets rid of sore throat
Arabic gum is one ingredients which is present in cough syrup and lozenges. Arabic gum contains component which can relieve irritation especially in the mucosa layer of respiration tract especially in mouth and throat.
7. Keep healthy teeth
Have you heard that chewing gum can help you to maintain healthy teeth? Yes, it is not a hoax. Arabic gum contains some amount of anti-bacteria which can prevent the growth of bacteria in mouth that may cause gum bleeding and tooth decay.
8. Help in weight loss
Fiber is popular in weight loss management. It can make you feel full for longer time and prevent you to eat more by adding bulk to your stomach. Fiber also blocking fat absorption and it is a good news that Arabic gum provide this benefits.
9. Fight oxidative stress
Study reported that Arabic gum contains antioxidant which can help to fight free radicals. Those free radicals is the main cause of oxidative strees which lead to damage of cells and organ even further can cause cancer.
10. Improve kidney function
Arabic gum is also used in medication purpose such as renal therapy. Dietary supplementation of fiber in Arabic gum may reduce the need of dialysis in children who suffer End Stage Renal Disease ( ESRD )
11. Protect liver
Fiber contained in Arabic gum has hepatoprotection effect that may help protect liver by prevent lipid or fat cell attach to the liver. Study also reported that Arabic gum is considered used in treatment of chronic liver disease since it can improve the function of kupfer cells and help liver to detoxify body.
12. Cure diarrhoea
According to a study, Arabic gum has a potential effect to inhibit the growth of S. Aureus bacteria which known as the cause of diarhoea. Having Arabic gum as a supplement is still uncommon and there is no suggestion to take arabic gum as food supplementation.