Pectins are natural plant ingredients that are classified as dietary fiber soluble in water, which can be found, among others, in fruits, where they perform different functions.The industry uses their gelling properties, which is why pectin is most often used as an addition to jam or Pectins also show pro-health effects. Check what other properties pectin has and where they occur.
Pectins are natural plant components that are included in the water-soluble dietary fiber: pectins are components of the plant cell wall (especially the central lamina), in larger quantities they are found in fruits. Pectins have gelling properties, which is why they are most often used in the preparation of jelly marmalades. Pectins also have pro-health effects – above all, they favor the regulation of the cholesterol and carbohydrate economy.
What are pectins? Pectin functions
Pectins are polysaccharides (polysaccharides) found in the cell walls of plants, they belong to the dietary fiber fraction They are polymers in the form of a chain, composed of many different sugars and D-galacturonic acid molecules .. These natural substances were first detected in 1790. in tamarind fruit and isolated from apples in 1825. The name pectin is derived from the Greek pectos, which means solidify, harden. It indicates the basic physicochemical property of these substances, used in industry, i.e. gelling ability.
Pectin and cholesterol
Pectin as a soluble fiber has the ability to bind cholesterol in the intestines and prevent its absorption into the bloodstream. The recommended amount of pectin in cholesterol problems is 15 g per day .. A study from 2014 showed that pectin reduces the rate of lipids digestion, which results from their ability to bind Large fat molecules are slower to break down into smaller ones, making them less available for lipid-digesting enzymes and are eliminated from the body more often. A diet rich in pectin results in a reduction in bad LDL cholesterol and cholesterol in the liver and This was based on studies in rats and humans, one of which was conducted for 16 weeks in volunteers with medium to high risk of myocardial infarction.The participants supplemented the grapefruit pectin and did not make any lifestyle changes.There was an average reduction in total cholesterol by 7.6% and LDL cholesterol by 10.8%.
Pectin and carbohydrate economy
Pectins reduce the activity of enzymes that break down simple sugars and starch, which releases glucose more slowly into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes, and consequently reducing the risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and weight gain. This has been confirmed by many scientific studies already At the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, it is now known that pectin is an effective natural means of reducing the risk of carbohydrate disorders.
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Pectin and slimming
Pectin binds with water, thus contributing to the increase of the volume of nutrients and lengthening the feeling of fullness after a meal, also reducing the rate of gastric emptying. The consumption of products with pectin helps in weight loss also because reduced blood glucose levels and insulin response (insulin secretion after a meal) – one of the very important factors that help gain weight.
In addition, pectin removes heavy metals from the body, prevent constipation, formation of gallstones, atherosclerosis, the development of cancer, and also act antibacterial.
Pectin obtained from plants can be bought as a white to pale brown powder.They are odorless and have a sweet taste.They dissolve well in water and in solutions with the addition of large amounts of sugar.
Pectin in reducing diarrhea
In the case of diarrhoeas, gelling properties of pectins are used, they bind water, increase the density of stools and reduce the frequency of bowel movements, they also bind bacteria that cause diarrhea, accelerate their excretion from the body and shorten the duration of the disease.
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