Scientific Name: Plantago ovata
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Psyllium can be encapsulated and taken daily to reap its long-term benefits
Psyllium is a soluble fiber made from the husks of the
Plantago ovata shrub. Psyllium is commonly used for its natural plant-based fiber properties to relieve constipation and mild diarrhea.
Psyllium husks are the outer wrapping of a plant native to India. These seed husks have a curious nature. When exposed to water, they swell to 10 times their original size. The seed husk is made up of dense mucilage (fibre)which has the capacity to absorb huge amounts of water. When you swallow psyllium husks, they swell in your stomach and form fibre missiles that blast their way through your digestive tract.
Psyllium is found in whole husk or powder form. Psyllium powder is made from grinding down psyllium husks into fine dust. This powder instantly dissolves in liquid and when added to lukewarm water, it swell into a gel-like bulk.
Psyllium contain negligible protein and only trace essential vitamins and minerals. However, the powder provides twice the amount per tablespoon when it comes to dietary fiber than the husk.
A 1-tablespoon serving of psyllium powder provides 7 grams of fiber, while the same amount of psyllium husks provides 3.5 grams of fiber. Because it absorbs moisture and swells, taking psyllium can increase the sense of fullness and slow down digestion. As a result, you'll consume fewer calories and have fewer blood sugar spikes.
Benefits of Psyllium Husk
Being constipated is not normal or natural. As a bulk forming laxative, psyllium fiber is frequently used for the relief of constipation. It absorbs liquid in the intestines, swells and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass.
A tablespoon of psyllium husk contains the amount of fibre you find in 8 plums.
Pysllium husk is often referred to as a colon cleanser, and as a by-product of this – a natural weight loss tool. Due to its bulking properties, psyllium husk can be a great aid for those seeking to lose weight. Taking it 30 minutes prior to a meal with a full glass of water allows the psyllium to expand, creating a full feeling.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Psyllium is immensely beneficial in all types of IBS as it has a bowel-regulatory effect (beneficial effects in both constipation and diarrhea).
As mentioned before, Psyllium husk is able to soak up and retain water. This action happens in your gut, which can make your stools bulkier and more formed. This means it can ease both constipation and diarrhea.
This action can also relieve abdominal pain and discomfort in some people with IBS. A study has shown that participants receiving 10g of psyllium per day has led to a significant reduction in the severity of IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain. Bowel bowel habits were also improved in just a week.
Cholesterol and Insulin
Interestingly, psyllium’s water-retaining and gel-forming effects play a role in improving your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A study has shown that adding Metamucil to a normal diet significantly improved cholesterol and insulin levels in people who were overweight or obese (5).
Psyllium soared into popularity during the Keto diet craze- one reason is because it is a perfect binder especially for vegetable swallow meals.
Think of it as a food glue. So if you’re have been making healthy swallow meals with cabbage or other vegetables, this is the perfect glue to help you bind it together
No more excuses on eating low carb swallows as psyllium helps to bind cabbage, eggplant, coconut flour, coconut fufu, ebbage (cabbage eba) etc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does psyllium husk do to your body?
Rich in soluble fiber, psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative that can assist with a range of health issues. The supplement soaks up water in your gut, making bowel movements easier and more regular without increasing flatulence. And by slowing digestion and transit time,
psyllium gives the large intestines a chance to absorb additional water.
Does psyllium husk cleanse your colon?
Another benefit of adding psyllium to your diet is that it binds indigestible food together, easing various digestion problems. In this way, psyllium acts as a colon cleanser in that it gets rid of the excess waste that can build up and cause complications.
Unlike other colonic treatments, proper use of psyllium does not alter your electrolyte balance or result in bacterial imbalance. On the contrary, psyllium alters the colonic environment favourably by promoting the balanced growth of healthy bacteria.
Is psyllium husk good for gut bacteria?
A healthy colony of good bacteria in the gut is essential for healthy brain and immune system function. Psyllium is also considered a prebiotic as it promotes a healthy
environment for probiotics to grow in the gut.The dietary supplement is particularly beneficial for the guts of chronically constipated individuals. Because of its effects on the gut microbiome, taking psyllium can boost immune function, reduce inflammation and help your body maintain healthy tissues and cells.
How does psyllium support weight loss?
Many customers use our psyllium husk to relieve constipation, diarrhoea, and other digestion issues. Some choose psyllium because the fibre helps slow the food absorption process, thereby improving the glycemic response and possibly supporting weight loss. Additionally, similar to weight loss aids such as Xenical and orlistat, and because psyllium may reduce fat absorption in some cases, it's possible psyllium may support a calorie reduction plan and may aid in weight loss.
When is the best time to take psyllium husk?
You can take psyllium first thing in the morning or before bedtime. It's a gentle laxative that does not interfere with your day but makes your digestive system more efficient at expelling waste.
As a rule, however, you should not take psyllium supplements simultaneously as other supplements. If a health care provider has recommended psyllium consumption to treat certain conditions, it's best to follow their overall directions.
How long does psyllium husk take to work?
In people with constipation, psyllium usually produces a bowel movement within 12 to 72 hours. You can use psyllium regularly to get the most benefit from it and to make your bowel movements more regular. It may take a few days before you feel the full benefits of
Can you take psyllium husk on an empty stomach?
Because psyllium slows down digestion, it's important to consume it with food rather than on its own. This way, it will positively affect your blood sugar levels. What's more, fibre, by its very nature, isn't digested by the body; it only aids digestion. Psyllium husk is best taken after meals and not on an empty stomach.
Can psyllium husk affect vitamin absorption?
Taking psyllium means you may have trouble absorbing all the fat in your diet, resulting in issues absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as iron, calcium, and zinc.
This is why it is suggested that you follow the directions for taking psyllium, drink plenty of fluids and take psyllium husk at least 1 hour before or 2 to 4 hours after eating meals and or taking your vitamins to allow your body enough time to absorb the nutrition.
How much psyllium should you take daily?
The recommended daily serving of psyllium is ½ to 2 teaspoons of psyllium mixed with 8 ounces of water. If you're on medication, talk to your doctor about the proper dose and other aspects of safe use.
You can also add psyllium husk or powder to juices and smoothies or add it to soups and stews as a natural thickener. It's an incredibly versatile supplement as you
can add it to your baking recipes, mix it in with cereal or use it in place of flour or breadcrumbs.
When you first start taking psyllium, it's recommended to start with the smallest amount to allow your digestive system to adjust accordingly and reduce side effects like
gas and bloating. You can then gradually increase intake to 2 teaspoons as you see fit. Make sure to increase your water intake when you start taking psyllium to avoid
Can psyllium be taken long-term?
Psyllium is considered safe for long-term use because fibre is not absorbed by the body but p asses through the digestive system. For this reason, psyllium is one of the safest long-term treatments for constipation.
Babies, toddlers, and young children should not take psyllium. It is also not recommended for persons with kidney disease, swallowing problems, oesophageal narrowing, or any kind of gastrointestinal issues because of its moisture- absorbing capabilities. If you do not have any of these conditions, psyllium is generally safe for consumption in the long term.
Psyllium can interact with some medications, so it's important to consult with your doctor before taking it with medication.
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Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.