Pectin is the soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables. Pectin is often used to lose weight and treat certain diseases. To find out what are the benefits of pectin for health, consider the following information.
Pectin is a soluble fiber that can turn into a gel when heated in a liquid. Pectin is often used as a mixture of jam and jelly because of its thickening properties.
Pectin Benefits for the body
In addition to making food, pectin is also good for health. The following are the various benefits of pectin for body health:
1. Help lose weight
Consumption of pectin can help you lose weight. This benefit is obtained because pectin is able to make the feeling of fullness last longer, thereby reducing the desire to overeat.
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
A study shows that pectin from apples can lower bad cholesterol levels. Pectin can improve blood fat levels by binding cholesterol in the digestive tract so that it cannot be absorbed.
A study conducted on 57 adults showed that those who received 15 grams of pectin per day experienced a 7 percent reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) levels compared to those who did not receive pectin.
In addition to lowering LDL levels, studies have also shown that pectin can help increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower total cholesterol. With these properties, consumption of pectin can indirectly help maintain heart health.
3. Lowering blood sugar levels
Animal studies have shown that pectin can help lower blood sugar levels and increase the work of hormones related to blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Pectin can also control blood sugar levels by binding to carbohydrates in the stomach and intestines. If bound by pectin, the breakdown of carbohydrates into their constituent sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and galactose, becomes slower.
5. Relieves diarrhea and constipation
As a gelling fiber, pectin can absorb water and has been proven effective in making stools more dense but still soft. So, do not be surprised if this one fiber is able to relieve diarrhea and constipation.
Research also shows that people who consume 24 grams of pectin have a higher number of good bacteria in their intestines. Meanwhile, maintaining gut bacteria is associated with a healthier digestive tract and reduced complaints of constipation and diarrhea.
6. Lowers the risk of colon cancer
Although it needs further investigation, laboratory studies have shown that pectin can kill colon cancer cells. In addition, pectin helps reduce inflammation and damage to intestinal cells that can trigger the formation of colon cancer cells.
Experts also theorize that the risk for colon cancer may decrease because pectin is able to inhibit the absorption of galectin-3. This is important because high levels of galectin-3 can increase the risk of colon cancer.
The best way to get the benefits of pectin is to eat vegetables and fruit, because almost all types of vegetables and fruits contain this fiber. Consumption of jams and jellies made with pectin is fine, but you should limit them as they can tend to be higher in sugar and calories.
Pectin supplements should also be taken with caution, especially for those who have allergies to apples and oranges. The reason is, pectin supplements are often made from these two ingredients, so it is possible to trigger gas and bloating.
Although it has the potential to treat various diseases, more research is still needed to confirm the benefits of pectin in medicine. If you want to use it to treat a disease, first consult with your doctor to make sure whether pectin is safe and suitable for your condition.