Struggling with sluggish digestion or stubborn weight? If you’ve never heard of acacia fiber, it may actually be the superfood answer to all your weight-loss woes. Acacia fiber is a natural ingredient derived from the Acacia tree (acacia arabica). Native to Africa, acacia has been used historically to promote oral health, heal wounds, and tame coughs.
We are now learning, however, that the plant fiber has numerous benefits for those who are trying to improve their overall gut health and lose weight naturally. Scroll down for a few of the ways acacia fiber can help you gain control of your health and weight.
1. It lowers cholesterol and sugar levels.
By now, we all know the importance of a healthy gut to any weight-loss endeavor, but did you know there are different ways to nourish the digestive system so it's packed with good bacteria? While many in the health industry tout the benefits of probiotics for a healthy gut, the gut microbiome must be balanced with prebiotics as well. Fiber is rich in important prebiotics, and there are two different types of fiber that boost gut health: soluble and insoluble fibers.
Insoluble fibers are the fibers that create the roughage in our digestive tract, and they are so dense that they cannot be broken down in the gut. Acacia fiber, however, is a soluble fiber, which can also be found in foods like nuts, seeds, certain beans and legumes, and some fruits and veggies. According to one study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, researchers out of the Institute of Endocrinology at the University of Valladolid in Spain found that adding a soluble fiber supplement to subjects' diets helped to slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, improving both LDL cholesterol and glucose levels.
2. It improves digestion and can relieve IBS.
The body relies on your digestive system to expel toxins and waste. If you’ve got sluggish digestion or get constipated often, your body is likely holding onto toxins that can cause you to keep or put on weight. Introducing acacia fiber into your diet can help relieve constipation, as soluble fiber absorbs water and turns to gel in the colon, helping to move stool through the digestive tract for healthy elimination.
Acacia fiber is particularly helpful for those suffering with IBS as well. Many fiber supplements can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating if you have IBS or a generally sensitive stomach, because the fiber is fermented by the gut immediately. Acacia fiber, however, is unique in that it is fermented at a much slower rate than other fibers (in the bottom of the colon), and doesn’t cause the uncomfortable excess gas to form.
3. It helps you feel full and wards off obesity.
In addition to its other health benefits, soluble fiber also helps prevent overeating because it keeps you feeling full. In one 2015 study published in Nutrition Today, researchers found that subjects who consumed more dietary fiber (at least 25 grams for women) experienced as much as a 30 percent decrease in the risk of developing obesity.
How to Use Acacia Fiber
Luckily for us, acacia fiber is both cheap and tasteless, and it can be added to a variety of dishes without altering texture. You can add acacia fiber to soups, smoothies, and even homemade salad dressings, or just mix it in water. When choosing an acacia fiber supplement, be sure to choose one of high quality, like this one from Pure Organic Ingredients ($18.00 for a two-pound bag, Amazon).