Yesterday’s Daily MANtra covered the complex world that is our gut flora, specifically those all-important gut bacteria.

Read it if you haven’t already because our gut bacteria is proving to be rather important, perhaps THE most important factor in determining everything related to health and wellbeing!

Acacia Fibre

The point of discussion was Acacia Fibre. Also known as gum Arabic and acacia gum, acacia fibre is a form soluble fibre sourced from the sap of the Acacia Senegal tree, a plant native to parts of Africa, Pakistan, and India.

After some basic processing (not a bad thing in this case) the fibre forms a powder that mixes well in water to be consumed via smoothies or even as is…it actually has quite a mild taste.

The fibre is the soluble kind meaning it mixes well into water, but what makes this quite unique is that it isn’t gritty, and nor does it thicken to point of needing to consume it with a spoon (unlike some fibre powders).

This high fibre content makes it great for reducing cholesterol levels, maintaining steady blood sugar as well as supporting healthy digestion to name but a few examples.

The Bacteria Booster

This fibre dense product is widely accepted to be a prebiotic, a non-digestible food ingredient in dietary fibre that can stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut (intestines, particularly the colon).

This particular fibre could be considered ‘fertiliser to our bacteria’ thanks to its prebiotic qualities.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are different to probiotics (although they are obviously linked). Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut ecosystem healthy. These healthy bacteria (probiotics) are often added to yoghurts or drinks to get the good bacteria into our bodies/guts.

Basically…

Probiotics are bacteria we consume, whereas Prebiotics are foods we consume that feed the healthy bacteria we already have in our body.

Prebiotics such as the wonderful Acacia fibre, but also wheat dextrin, psyllium, banana, whole grain wheat, and whole grain corn exert their beneficial effect via the carbohydrate portion of the food, primarily oligosaccharides.

Oligosaccharides resist digestion in the human small intestine meaning they reach the colon where they are fermented (eaten) by the gut microflora.

The more food they have the more they grow. Simple.

How to take Acacia Fibre

Simple, whack 1 level tablespoon per day into at least 200ml of water or juice, give it a stir or blitz in a blender with some other fruit (bananas are another prebiotic don’t forget) and hey presto.

I quite like Now’s Acacia Fibre Organic Powder

NOTE: It might be wise to start with 1 teaspoon to begin with and gauge tolerance, most are fine but better to be safe than sorry (we don’t want any ‘accidents’ if you get my meaning).

When to take Acacia Fibre

This is of less importance so long as total daily intake is consistent and maintained, but generally I try to get mine in first thing as part of my morning routine.

See my morning shake/smoothie below…

So that’s it, yes it can pay to vary the type of probiotics and prebiotics you consume, but if there is one staple to this rule then for me it has to be the humble acacia fibre.

So that’s it, yes it can pay to vary the type of probiotics and prebiotics you consume, but if there is one staple to this rule then for me it has to be the humble acacia fibre.


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