For your health, get to know pectin as an important nutrient


For your health, get to know pectin as an important nutrient

What is pectin? What are its many benefits for health? What are its natural sources? The most important information and details about pectin can be found in the following article:

For your health, get to know pectin as an important nutrient

Let's get acquainted with the following on pectin and the most important information related to it.

What is pectin? 

Pectin is a natural type of dietary fiber that comes from the family of complex carbohydrates and is made up of a group of simple sugar chains.

This type of dietary fiber is usually found in the plant cell walls that make up some types of fruits, vegetables, and seeds, such as oranges, guavas, apples, and plums.

Because of the pectin structure that turns it into a gel when mixed with liquids, pectin is often used as a thickening agent to help thicken sauces, jams, and various soups.

Because of its vegetable nature and gelatin-like effect during cooking, pectin can be a good alternative to animal gelatin, especially for people following a vegetarian diet.

It is possible to benefit from pectin by obtaining it from its natural food sources or by using the commercial form of it, which comes in the form of a powder where it can be added to food and juices, and pectin is also included in the composition of some types of medicines, such as laxatives.

pectin benefits

Here is a list of the most important potential health benefits of pectin:

1. Anti celiac 

One of the various studies showed that pectin may help treat and combat a variety of digestive disorders, especially acute diarrhea because it is an important dietary fiber.

Consuming pectin may also help improve digestive health, due to its potential to:

  • Rebalance the good gut bacteria and improve their health.
  • Reducing symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

2. Lower cholesterol levels 

One different study showed that pectin may help lower blood cholesterol levels, both when obtained from natural sources or when taken as a dietary supplement in measured doses and under medical supervision.

Its liquid-soluble dietary fiber nature may make pectin able to bind to cholesterol in various foods, which may prevent the absorption of this type of fat during the digestion of food in the digestive system, thus preventing the transfer of cholesterol into the bloodstream.

3. Regulating blood sugar levels 

Eating pectin may help reduce high blood sugar levels, due to the potential ability of pectin to bind to some types of carbohydrates in the digestive system, which makes it difficult to digest and break these carbohydrates into sugars, as it can raise the blood sugar level is absorbed by the body.

However, it should be noted that the source of pectin may play a role in how effective pectin is in this regard, for example, the effect of pectin extracted from soy seeds may differ from that of pectin obtained from other food sources.

4. Losing excess weight 

One study showed that regular intake of sufficient amounts of pectin from its natural sources, or adding manufactured pectin to some types of foods and natural juices, may help stimulate excess weight loss  due to the potential ability of pectin to:

  • Burn fat.
  • Curb appetite and feel full for longer periods.

5. Anti-cancer 

A preliminary, non-human study showed that pectin may have anti-cancer properties due to the potential of some types of pectin to:

  • Blocking the activity of some enzymes that researchers believe may play a role in the development of some types of cancer, such as colon cancer.
  • Reducing the chances of growth and spread of cancerous cells, by preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors.

Natural sources of pectin 

Here is a list of the most important natural sources of pectin:

  • Some types of fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, apricots, and peaches. 
  • Citrus fruits and citrus peels.
  • Some types of vegetables, such as beetroot, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Cautions and harms

Although pectin is useful and nutritious, especially when obtained from its natural sources, eating it may sometimes cause some damage and side complications, especially when taken in large doses such as:

  • Digestive problems and disorders such as flatulence and gas, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
  • Allergic reactions, especially those who are allergic to pistachios and cashews may be allergic to pectin.
  • Negative interactions with some types of medications such as cardiovascular disease medications and some types of antibiotics.