What are xanthan gum and guar gum? If I do not want to use them, are there alternatives?

Both xanthan gum and guar gum are commonly used in gluten-free baking to provide some of the properties otherwise delivered by gluten, such as improved texture and elasticity. Guar gum comes from the guar bean seed, originally of Asian origin. Xanthan gum is the result of bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates from various non-gluten sources. Alternative ingredients that offer some of the same characteristics are chia seeds and psyllium husk. More and more gluten-free recipes, as well as packaged foods, are now incorporating these ingredients.