Do You Know What Pectin Is?
Have you ever heard the name pectin? Well, if it stirred your curiosity and you want to know what this is all about, you are in the right place! Up next, we’ve shared our top insights about pectin, its potential health benefits, and facts. Let’s see why you should pay close attention to it!
What is pectin?
Fruit pectin is a substance that naturally occurs in most fruits and some vegetables. The highest levels of this compound can be found in berries, apples, and membranes and seeds of citrus fruits. The most common use of pectin is for thickening fruit jams and jellies.
What is the nutritional value of pectin?
Overall, pectin is a fiber that comes with little to no calories and nutrients. It is used as a soluble fiber supplement. 30 grams of liquid pectin has:
- Calories: 3
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Fiber: 1 gram
If you’re searching for the fruits with the highest amount of pectin, you can choose from the following:
- Sour apples
- Sour blackberries
- Eastern Concord grapes
- Non-Italian plums
At the same time, the following fruits have low concentrations of pectin:
- Ripe apples
- Ripe blackberries
- Sour cherries
- Grape juice
- Grapes (with the exception of Eastern Concord grapes)
Does pectin have health benefits?
Surprisingly, taking pectin supplements can improve your overall health. Here are some potential health benefits you might access with regular pectin intake.
#1 It betters blood fat and blood sugar levels
One potential health benefit of pectin is an improvement in blood fat and blood sugar levels. Some limited studies done on mice reveal that pectin might have the power to balance blood sugar levels and aid in type 2 diabetes management.
#2 It diminishes the risk of developing colon cancer
Other limited studies focused on pectin’s effects on cancer. And it was discovered that pectin might kill colon cancer cells. Also, this fiber is useful in diminishing both inflammation and cellular damage that might favor the early onset of colon cancer. Even though there is a need for more studies, researchers are confident that pectin is useful in dealing with cancer cells in breast, liver, lung, and stomach cancers.
#3 It balances weight
Some nutritionists believe that pectin can promote a healthy weight. Increased fiber intake can balance weight and help patients deal with obesity. So, pectin might be helpful, too, since it is a fiber that promotes fullness with a decrease in calorie intake.
#4 It aids digestion
Pectin is a soluble fiber with particular gelling properties. As such, it can promote better digestion, and it can aid in several gastrointestinal problems. Besides, it can become a reliable prebiotic and help feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. Studies suggest that pectin has the power to act as a protective barrier around the gut lining and prevent harmful bacteria from entering the body.
Are there any side effects associated with pectin?
As for today, studies revealed little to no side effects for pectin. Of course, since it improves digestion, it might cause some people gas or bloat.
If you are allergic to the food pectin is extracted from, you should avoid it. Also, if you’re not sure a pectin supplement is right for you, it is best to ask for medical advice before adding it to your diet.
How to include pectin in a meal plan?
One of the safest ways to have more pectin in your diet is to eat more foods rich in fibers, like apples. Almost all vegetables and fruit’s come with some pectin content. Hence, having a nutritious diet based on a variety of vegetable foods is the best way to increase your pectin intake.
The bottom line
Pectin is an interesting substance with some health benefits. And the best part about it is that you can increase its intake naturally. Just make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, you can use pectin to stabilize homemade jams, which can turn out to be a great plus. But even though it has some potential benefits, there is still the need for additional studies on its effects. So, before you add a pectin supplement in your diet, it is best to ask for medical advice.