Psyllium husk has been in existence for many centuries. It was a staple part of traditional Indian Ayurveda medicine. Psyllium husk supports the health and well-being of the body.
However, did you know pysillium husk works wonders for gluten-free baked goods? Before we discuss the effects of pysillium husk powder, lets discuss what this super star ingredient is.
What Is Psyllium?
Psyllium, or ispaghula, refers to several classes of the plant species Plantago. In particular, psyllium comes from the shrub-like herb called Plantago ovata.
Though this plant thrives all over the world, the largest populations of this plant are in India. Each psyllium plant can generate up to 15,000 tiny, gel-coated seeds. These seeds are the primary source of psyllium husk.
What Is Psyllium Husk Used For?
Psyllium husk seeds are used commercially to manufacture a thick, gluey substance known as mucilage. Moreover, psyllium is primarily used as a dietary fiber to alleviate constipation and mild diarrhea symptoms.
As it relates to food, psyllium husk is used to help gluten-free breads maintain moisture and prevent them from becoming too crumbly. Additionally, psyllium is also occasionally used as a thickener.
Why Is Psyllium Husk Powder Popular?
Psyllium husk powder is a hot commodity when it comes to keto, low-carb, and plant-based recipes. Specifically, psyllium husk works wonders when it comes to baked goods such as bread and pizza.
It’s in high demand because it has indigestible carbs. Furthermore, even though it is not gluten, it is a close second. It replicates bread’s texture, and it is easier to manipulate and shape into loaves or rolls.
Benefits Of Psyllium Husk
Not only is psyllium powder a hot ingredient, but it is now the subject of many research studies. Present-day findings have found psyllium husk to be a beneficial fiber for maintaining digestive health in addition to many other health benefits.
Promotes Digestive Health
Psyllium is known as a bulk-forming laxative. It absorbs water in the intestines allowing defecation to occur easier. Moreover, it improves frequency without creating an increased amount of flatulence.
One randomized, double-blind research study with 170 participants who suffered from chronic idiopathic constipation found psyllium to be an excellent docusate. It increased the stool water content and regularity of bowel movements.
Improves Heart Health
Maintaining cholesterol is essential. Soluble fibers can help you control cholesterol levels. Case in point, psyllium is composed of approximately 85% water-soluble fibers.
Research studies have found that psyllium reduces LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, by 6–24%. Additionally, it decreases the overall cholesterol level by 2–20%. Therefore, when consumed on a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, psyllium husk may reduce your chances of contracting coronary disease.
Stimulate Weight Loss
Psyllium husk can stimulate weight loss. Since psyllium powder absorbs water in the body, it keeps you satiated longer. Not only can this help you regulate the food you eat, but it will decrease your chances of overeating.
One six-month study examined the effect of two soluble gel‐forming fibers: guar gum and psyllium, on 141 participants with metabolic syndrome. Though participants on the control diet and guar gum experienced weight loss, they regained the weight within a few months. On the other hand, patients given psyllium experienced continued weight loss during the full length of the study.
Individuals with diabetes must be cautious of the foods they consume. Several clinical studies provide evidence to show that psyllium husk is correlated with decreased daily base glucose concentrations, reduced postmeal glucose concentrations and hypoglycemic events, decrease A1C levels, and insulin concentrations in people with diabetes.
Psyllium Husk Side Effects
Whether you take psyllium as a supplement or consume it via baked goods, you should always use caution when ingesting it. Psyllium is fiber-rich; thus, it can induce side effects such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, bloating, nausea and vomiting.
Furthermore, even though psyllium can be used as a treatment for constipation, it can also induce or exacerbate it if there is not adequate hydration. In addition to this, most professionals do not recommend taking psyllium supplements with medications as they may interact negatively. You may have an allergic reaction to psyllium.
Overall, psyllium husk powder is generally safe for consumption. It is best to incorporate it into your diet in small increments until your body becomes comfortable with it. Additionally, ensure you are drinking a lot of water, especially if you consume psyllium in powder form. Water prevents constipation and intestinal blockages.
Psyllium husk can be obtained in the form of husk, granules, capsules, or powder. Psyllium husk is found in pharmacies, online, or in the supplement aisle of the grocery store. Depending on the reason you are taking psyllium husk powder the dosage can vary.
Most doctors recommend approximately 5 grams of psyllium powder combined with water or juice 1-2 times a day. However, you should still seek counsel from a doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have conditions such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.
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Psyllium husk powder has several health benefits, including stimulating weight loss, regulating digestive health, and improving heart health and diabetes. When consuming psyllium, drink lots of water and check out our psyllium husk flax bread!