Guar seeds belong to the legumes. Strangely enough, this annual plant has never been found in the wild. Therefore, it is not known where the plant originally grew. It is suspected that a variety from Senegal has been bred in India and Pakistan. It particularly likes a steppe climate and needs a good rain shower from time to time. The guar bean also has medicinal value. In phytotherapy, guar is mainly used in a weight loss diet. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.
Guar beans / Source: Caduser2003, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-2.5)
- Eating the guar plant
- Active substances
- Guar gum for slimming
- Guar kernels and cardiovascular disease
- Guar gum for diabetes
- Safety guar gum
Eating the guar plant
The leaves of the guar plant can be eaten raw or cooked. The beans themselves are not really edible unless you roast them first. Only after roasting can the protein in this legume be absorbed by the body. The seeds are ground into guar gum, a product that is processed in the food industry. The young, green pods of the guar bush are also cooked and eaten. The leaves contain a lot of calcium and a little bit of protein. The pods especially contain a significant amount of folic acid and vitamin C.
The Latin name of guarpit is Cyamopsis tetragonoloba . In Dutch, this medicinal plant is also called guar bean in addition to guar kernel. Sometimes the bean is called Egyptian bean. The plant itself is called guar plant or guar bush. An alternative Latin name is Cyamopsis psoralioides .
Guar gum is used in the extraction of shale gas. The shrub is grown more for shale gas production than for food or natural medicine.
For medicinal use of the guar bush, only the guar beans or the seed are used. Guar beans contain mainly water-soluble polysaccharides, which are also called guar gum. Guar gum consists of branched chains of D-mannose and D-galactose polymers.
Guar gum for slimming
Guar gum has the property of binding a large amount of moisture. This greatly inhibits the feeling of hunger. You should first drink two glasses of water half an hour before a meal. Take guar gum fifteen minutes before your meal. You will quickly feel full when you start eating. This means you eat a lot less. This can be a solution for people who want to lose weight but who suffer from a feeling of hunger.
Scientific research shows that when garlic and guar seed extract are eaten at the same time, significantly more antioxidants are released into the blood than when only one of these two substances was eaten. It seems that the fibers of guar kernels and the antioxidants in garlic reinforce each other. Fiber retains substances for longer, allowing the availability of antioxidants to be measured over a longer period of time, according to scientists at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India.
Guar kernels and cardiovascular disease
The effectiveness that guar seeds and garlic provide more antioxidants in the body leads to the suspicion that this is the cause of the cholesterol-lowering effect of guar seeds. This cholesterol-lowering effect has been established, but it is still not entirely clear what cholesterol is. Some scientists see it as a culprit that causes cardiovascular disease, while others see cholesterol as a useful substance that actually fights cardiovascular disease. If you rely on the latter reasoning, you can say that guar kernels prevent the formation of cardiovascular problems more efficiently because less cholesterol is needed. After all, an increased presence is responsible for less inflammation at the cell level and fewer substances oxidizing on the walls of the blood vessels. In this way, cardiovascular diseases are prevented by guar gum.
Guar gum for diabetes
When guar gum is taken just before a meal, carbohydrates are also bound to this gum. The carbohydrates are retained for a relatively long time and are therefore digested more slowly. This means that blood sugar levels rise less quickly. This means the body needs to produce less insulin. In phytotherapy, guar gum is used for this medicinal effect in:
Guar plant / Source: Takavalulavan, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)
- Diabetes mellitus type 2
- Postprandial hyperglycemia or blood sugar levels rising too quickly after a meal.
Because guar gum binds moisture, it is a remedy for diarrhea.
Safety guar gum
Guar gum is sold in powders. It is a safe drug; you can safely take 30 grams per day. Unfortunately it doesn’t taste very good; that is why the powder is often offered in capsules. For the dosages below, you must always drink sufficient fluid first. That’s because it retains a lot of moisture. Mix the powder with water so that it can be drunk.
- Increased cholesterol: 12 to 15 grams per day,
- Overweight: 10 to 30 grams per day.