TAG | soluble fiber
We are huge advocates of acacia fiber here at ReNew Life, and it was great to see a recent famous TV doctor tout its health benefits.
Acacia—Your Waistline’s Best Friend
Fiber is a wonderful weight loss aid because it curbs your appetite by helping you feel full. Acacia fiber is made from the sap of the Acacia senegal tree. The sap is dried and ground into a fine, crystalline powder that dissolves clear and packs a powerful fiber punch. At 5 grams of fiber per 5.6 gram serving (one tablespoon), it is almost pure fiber but not the type of fiber we think of when we envision bowls of bran flakes.
Acacia is a soluble fiber and one of the most nutritious fiber types for your digestive system. ǂ Here are just a few of the many benefits acacia offers:
- Acacia helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which may promote successful weight management.ǂ
- Acacia supports normal blood sugar levels against spikes and crashes that can prompt irresponsible eating. This fiber slows the rate at which your body absorbs sugar from foods, promoting healthy blood sugar levels ǂ
- Acacia helps your body detox by working like the soft side of a kitchen sponge and soaking up toxins in the digestive tract so they can be eliminated. Detoxing with acacia supports bowel health, digestive health, and your overall toxin load. ǂ
All these benefits and acacia is also a great heart health booster! ǂ But the big reason we think acacia is so fantastic is that you won’t even know it’s there. It mixes totally clear into foods and beverages and will not alter their taste or texture. A shaker of acacia makes a great addition to any mealtime—simply sprinkle it on foods and in drinks to boost your healthy fiber intake.
By now many of you have heard about the remarkable health benefits of probiotics. In fact, the good-for-you bacteria seem to be making headlines everywhere these days—especially as we head into another cold and flu season. And as awareness increases about just how good probiotics are for optimal digestion and immunity, there’s another “p” word you might be wondering about: prebiotics.
In technical terms, prebiotics are often defined as “non-digestible food ingredients” that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. So what does that mean? Quite simply, prebiotics are a food source for probiotics. So as they travel through the digestive system, they nourish all those good bacteria along the way and help them grow and multiply. The result? More good bacteria in the gut, which means better digestion and a stronger natural defense system.
So where do prebiotics come from? Well, mostly from soluble fiber sources such as oats, legumes, flax and almonds—and that’s where the “non-digestible” part comes into play. Dietary fiber—including both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber—really just refers to the parts of plant foods that our bodies are unable to digest and absorb, which is why it’s sometimes called “roughage”. Because prebiotics are not digested, they remain in the digestive tract where they can do their job of feeding their probiotic partners.
In addition to obtaining prebiotics through the diet, nowadays many probiotic supplements will actually include prebiotics to help you get the benefit of this dynamic duo (i.e. probiotics and prebiotics). For example, you may see something called FOS on the label. Short for fructooligosaccharide, FOS is extracted from soluble fiber foods such as chicory root and will help to feed and stimulate the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
So there you have it! Two powerful “p” words that can go a long way toward better digestion and a stronger natural immune system—talk about a winning combination!
Prebiotic Food Sources:
- Chicory Root
- Whole Grains