What is Guar Gum?
Guar gum occurs commonly as a constituent of the seeds of a herbaceous legume plant. Which is grown in India, Pakistan, Australia Africa and South America. This plant can have different roles for human and animal nutrition. But what is mostly used of it is guar, or the bean (or seed), from which its famous gelling substance is obtained.
Guar seed consists of three components:
- the outer shell of fibrous material (14-15%)
- gum or endosperm (38-45%) which contains a large amount of galactomannan
- germ (40-46%) rich in protein
The compound comes in the form of a fine powder of white or ivory colour and has a thickening power, 5-8 times higher than that of corn starch. It is chemically a polysaccharide made up of mannose and galactose polymers. The fields of application of guar gum are manifold: food industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, and tobacco. The presence of the polysaccharide, galactomannan, confers elastic and thickening properties to the substance. Which also acts as an excellent protective colloid.
Many foods commonly used within which we find the guar gum: yogurt, breakfast cereals, sauces, puddings, etc. The use of guar flour is very advantageous since it leads to absorb water and gel the compounds. In reality, its effectiveness is better than that of cornstarch and carob seed flour, both known for their thickening properties.
Availability of Guar flour
Unfortunately, guar flour is not very easy to find. But can still be found in shops, pharmacies and herbalists trained in organic food stores as well as, of course, on the Internet.
In any case, it is constantly good to make sure that the product you are about to buy is intended for food use.
From a chemical viewpoint, it’s a hydrocolloid polysaccharide, mainly consisting of high molecular weight galactomannans; the latter are polymers composed of linear chains of mannose monomers, branched with galactose monosaccharide units. Guar gum contains galactomannan in an amount of 70-80%, a minimum amount of water (10-13%), proteins (4-5%), crude fibres (1.5-2%), fats (0, 50-0.75%) and traces of iron.
Properties of Guar Gum
This product is widely used in the food and cosmetic industry. One of its most exciting qualities concerns the capability to consume important amounts of drinking water. It creates especially viscous solutions even though employed in demanding environmental conditions; guar gum is more soluble in both hot and cold water and tolerates slight deviations from pH out of neutrality very well.
All these features, together with the low cost, make it an excellent thickening and gelling agent, particularly used in the cosmetic field. For the excellent emollient and softening properties of the skin, guar gum is part of the composition of moisturizing creams, detergents, and those dedicated to hair care.
The food industry exploits its thickening, stabilizing, and thickening properties in the preparation of various products, such as ice cream, sauces, preserved meats, and drinks. Its use can be indicated on the label in full or with the initials E412.
Gum, or guar flour, is known for its qualities and its health benefits.
- Several studies have imputed to the guar gum hypoglycemic power as a result of the presence of the galactomannan polysaccharides, which, together with all the fibers, may decrease the glycemic load of their meal by creating the sugar absorption gradual.
- Another peculiarity of this gum is the ability to reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol by 20% and triglycerides. At the same time, it manages to increase the level of HDL (good cholesterol), with the advantage of limiting the risk of atherosclerotic and cardiovascular problems.
- The fermentative processes of guar flour while in your intestine can originate short or medium-chain as, promoting the regeneration of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria that improve the fitness of the gastrointestinal tract. They promote digestion and fight constipation, thanks to the presence of fibers. The latter facilitates the movements of the intestinal tract and allows a more fluid expulsion of the stool.
- Many suggest consuming guar flour to relieve the hassles of irritable bowel syndrome and gastro-oesophageal reflux. Today on the market, we can find PHGG or partially hydrolyzed guar gums, which, unlike the one used in the industrial sector, finds its applicability at a nutritional level.
- The lower coherence and the ability to resist the acid pH of the stomach and digestive enzymes allow the hydrolyzed composition to reach the intestine and perform its biological functions. This hydrolyzed form exerts prebiotic effects; for example, it incites the growth and function of beneficial microorganisms in the intestine. This is why hydrolyzed guar gum is an excellent remedy for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulosis.
- At a report conducted on a group of women, the intake of guar gum to the procedure of weight reduction was shown to be somewhat effective; that is due to the hygroscopic properties of the chemical that prefer gastric distension; therefore they reduce the sense appetite and calorie intake of food. The conditions of the people subjected to the test gave ample evidence of the slimming properties of this substance.
Does Weight Loss?
It is used in diets globally aimed at managing or decreasing body weight. Its remarkable hygroscopic properties favor gastric distension, consequently inhibiting appetite.
In one study, ten grams of guar taken for two months before the main meals (for a total of 20 g / day), allowed a group of nine women, with an initial weight of between 72 and 109 kg, to lose on average 4kg apiece. The researchers also noted a decrease in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The slimming effect of guar gum appears to be time-consuming and dose-dependent (the longer and the longer it is taken, the greater its positive effects on weight loss).
However, it is advisable not to exceed the suggested intake doses, since higher quantities could cause intestinal disturbances ( flatulence, meteorism ) and also significantly reduce the absorption of nutrients useful to the body. If taken concomitantly with antibiotics (phenoxymethylpenicillin), it may decrease their absorption.
Finally, if accompanied by abundant quantities of water, guar gum can also prove to be a useful complement in the treatment of constipation.
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A valid ally against diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol
Confirmed by numerous studies, the hypoglycemic virtues of guar gum depend on its ability to regulate the glycemic index of the meal, slowing down and reducing the absorption of carbohydrates; for this reason, it represents a beneficial complement in the feeding of people with diabetes.
Guar gum is also indicated for those suffering from high cholesterol, given its ability to lower blood LDL levels.
The intestinal fermentation of this fiber, operated by the local bacterial flora, produces short-chain fatty acids, some of which, after being absorbed, are conveyed directly to the liver. At this point, the short-chain fatty acids carry out their cholesterol-lowering action by reducing the synthesis of cholesterol.
Like all water-soluble fibres, guar gum also has chelating properties. The gelatinous compound to which it originates in the intestine interferes with the absorption of bile salts, fats, and cholesterol, helping to improve the blood lipid profile.
Recipe with Guar Gum
Among the many recipes that can be made with guar flour, we thought to offer you one of the wholemeal biscuits, suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as for those who have celiac disease.
Let’s briefly see the procedure:
- 350 g of flour (120 g of brown rice flour + 80 g of whole sorghum flour + 35 g of entire millet flour + 77 g of potato starch + 38 g of tapioca starch + 3 g of guar)
- 150 g of brown sugar
- 250 ml of fresh vegetable cream
- 12 g of baking powder
- One pinch of salt
- vanilla flavoring
Mix all the flours (including the guar one) in a bowl with the cream, then add all the other elements. Work well with your hands and, when the mixture becomes thick, place it on a pastry board covered with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is 1-2 centimetres thick. Make the cookies with special moulds; arrange them in trays covered with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated oven at 160 °. Leave to cool and serve!
Cookies can be stored in glass vessels for one week.
Guar absorbs a large amount of liquid from the digestive system.
It is also believed to work as a thickener in food compared to related products such as corn starch or locust bean gum. It can contain almost eight times the amount of water compared to corn starch.
And since guar gum works in the same way as a more processed thickening or stabilizing agent, such as carrageenan, it is, therefore, an excellent natural alternative when cooking, cooking (especially with gluten-free flours ) or preparing other DIY recipes.
Though guar gum may help normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels, there’s one thing that we will need to be mindful of when it comes to consuming it; like some other significant weight reduction linked to diet products containing guar gum disease.
The guar is it in fact, sometimes used in meal replacement products, diet pills, or other supplements for weight loss because the manufacturers claim that it can help curb your appetite and swelling by absorbing water in the digestive system.
The FDA recently battled these claims, pointing out that excessive use of guar diet pills can clog the intestine and esophagus due to the formation of high quantities of gel in the gastrointestinal tract.
Potential Side Effects
Guar expands very quickly and can be challenging to control once consumed and combined with a liquid. In high doses, it has been associated with harsh side effects, including death, along with pulmonary embolism, gastroesophageal reflux, or bowel obstruction.
Some research has additionally determined an allergic sensitivity to guar gum in people with soy hypersensitive reactions and people with an excessive intolerance to guar seeds due to work in sure commercial environments.
Common adverse reactions when guar causes allergic symptoms to include breathing problems, redness, itching, diarrhea, and asthma.
Guar gum must be avoided in large quantities in any form of supplement, including diet pills. It could cause side results such as constipation, suffocation, or obstruction of the esophagus or gut due to the tenacious gelatinous consistency of the fabric whilst mixed with water.
A more secure manner to use guar for capability weight reduction is to shop for glucomannan powder merchandise (also derived from guar bean). Read the guidance carefully; do not take more than indicated and monitor the symptoms to make sure you are not at risk of side effects.
Having ascertained that the intake of this product must be well thought out, there are subjects to whom it could cause allergic reactions and various types of ailments, based on sensitivity and personal predispositions.
Even those who are allergic to soy should limit the consumption of guar flour as it contains traces of soy protein.
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