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Nutrition Highlight: Acacia Gum

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

The Acacia Senegal Tree is a native to Africa and it’s sap, Acacia gum, is a rich source of soluble fiber with many healthful benefits. Before we dive into those, a brief (and very general) comparison of the difference between soluble and insoluble fibers:

Soluble Fiber

Absorbs water in the GI

Softens the stool

Slows absorption of sugars in the blood stream

Satiates hunger

Lowers cholesterol

Gentle and well tolerated by most

Insoluble Fiber


Helps to scrape along the GI, keeping it clean (like a toothbrush for your colon!)

Moves stool through the system

High in Lectins

Due it’s rough nature, may not be well tolerated by everyone

While both forms of fiber work to resolve and prevent constipation, soluble fiber tends to be the safest form for those with GI conditions – particularly IBS. Over the years, Acacia gum has been rising to the top of the list of favorite soluble fiber supplements to recommend by many nutrition-based practitioners, and with good reason. Fiber comes exclusively from plant-based sources. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are supported by decades of evidence to promote health and decrease disease. However, there are many other underlying factors such as genetics, environment, and stress which conflict with a rich plant-based lifestyle. Even temporary inflammation of the bowels following infection and/or anti-biotics may require a bit of tweaking in the diet – even a healthy one. Personally, I have had nothing but success with my patients when recommending Acacia fiber.

Benefits Profile:

Feeds the microbiome (good bacteria, yeast, and viruses living in our gut)

Improves colon motility without causing bloating

Slows digestion (resolves diarrhea) but can also as an aid for constipation by softening the stool

Creates a healing barrier against “leaky gut”

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

As a supplement, the flavorless Acacia sap is pulverized into powder form and easily added into (dairy-free) yogurts, smoothies, soups, and other soft foods. Although it is typically tolerated quite well in larger doses, I still recommend starting small and building up dosage and/or frequency of dosage over time.

Begin with a teaspoon 1x/day, and for optimal benefits, combine with daily probiotic.

My personal all-time favorite brand honestly has to be Heather's Tummy Fiber. I've been using her products for years, and have had phenomenal results in patient outcomes when addressing GI issues such as IBS. She also carries a line of high-quality teas for bowel issues, and has authored a couple of books that are definitely worth reading.

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