Product Spotlight: Psyllium Husk
It might not be very glamorous to talk about, but healthy bowels and a good digestive system are an essential component of good health and well-being. If you're suffering from IBS issues, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, or gas, then psyllium husk may be able to help.
What is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium husk is a form of soluble fibre made from the Plantago ovata plant, a native of India and Pakistan. Psyllium comes from the husks of the plant's seeds. It is also known as Ispaghula or Isabgol. Psyllium is used as a dietary supplement and usually is in the form of whole husks, powder, and capsules. It is essentially a natural laxative that is great for digestion and overall health.
How Does Psyllium Husk work?
Once ingested, psyllium husk expands and forms a gel-like mass by drawing water from the colon. It then promotes natural, healthy elimination by sweeping waste out of the colon more quickly and efficiently. One study found psyllium had a more significant effect than wheat bran on moisture, total weight, and texture of stools.
As well as aiding digestive issues, psyllium husk has other health benefits and is excellent for the whole body:
1. May boost satiety and aid weight loss: Psyllium absorbs liquid in your body, so it can give you a feeling of being full. A study had 12 healthy participants consume 10.8 grams of psyllium immediately before a meal. They experienced significantly delayed stomach emptying from the third hour after the meal and prolonged sensations of satiety after the meal.
2. Helps control blood sugar: Fibre supplementation has been shown to control glycemic response to a meal and reduce insulin and low sugar levels. This is particularly the case with water-soluble fibres like psyllium.
3. Lowers cholesterol: Psyllium is able to bind to fat and bile acids, which promotes its excretion from your body. In the process of replacing these lost bile acids, the liver uses cholesterol to produce more. As a result, blood cholesterol levels decrease.
Dosage and how to take:
Always start with a small amount, build up slowly, and listen to your body. Add 5-10g of psyllium to a glass of water, stir and drink. Follow this up with another glass of water. Due to the bulking nature of psyllium husks, it is essential to stay well hydrated.
What else can psyllium husk be used for?
Psyllium husk is versatile and sometimes used in low-carb or gluten-free cooking as a binding agent. Psyllium husk expands and becomes gel-like when added to water, thus preventing gluten-free baked goods from becoming flat, dry, and crumbly.
Psyllium husk is a natural product that is great for your health, but care should always be taken when making changes to your diet. Speak to a health professional or nutritionist if unsure. Like all health aids, it will be much more effective when taken as part of a healthy, balanced diet.