Top 5 Reasons Psyllium Husks Are The Friendliest Fiber
PSYLLIUM HUSKS are derived from the seeds of an herb called Plantaago Ovata. They are composed almost entirely of fiber, make an excellent binding-agent for gluten-free baking, and may be just the extra boost your diet needs to get your health into tip-top shape. And while I admit its name is a bit strange, it’s still better than its other name – ispaghula. But hey, not every seed can be as phonemically friendly as chia.
1. Cuts Through the Crap
Psyllium husks are a natural bulk-forming laxative. That means once you begin taking psyllium husks, they soak up liquid in your body, leading to softer stool in the case of constipation, or firmer stool if you suffer from diarrhea. That’s right, no matter what your bathroom woes are, psyllium husks have got your backside.
Unlike pharmaceutical laxatives which can be rough on the colon and contain nasty additives, psyllium is gentle and helps keep you regular without increasing the regularity of your flatulence. Psyllium is preferred over other laxatives such as docusate sodium and magnesium-based laxatives which are not as effective and can be potentially toxic.
2. Knows Your Heart
The soluble fiber in psyllium husks has been shown to lower cholesterol levels with little to no side effects. In one double-blind study in which subjects maintained their normal diet but were treated with psyllium husks over a period of eight weeks, it was reported that total cholesterol levels were lowered by 14.8% with a progressively greater reduction over time. This pattern continued even after the eight week.
It is well researched that fiber, like that of psyllium husks, can lower risk of heart disease. Psyllium is a great natural treatment for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and strength-training your worn out heart-muscles.
3. Lightens Things Up
Whether you’re just trying to kick off a few pounds to stop that old jogger from tightening up in all the wrong places, or you’re concerned about the serious health issues that obesity can lead to – like heart disease and diabetes – the fiber of psyllium husks can help you control your weight. If eaten before meals, the fantastic liquid-absorbing powers of psyllium husks can help you feel full and control your calorie intake. One 2007 study demonstrated that supplementation with psyllium for six months produced a decrease in body mass index (BMI).
Psyllium can boast such stats because it’s one of the highest foods in fiber, but is also one of the lowest in carbs and contains no fat or sugar. Don’t be husky, be psyllium husky.
4. Sweet, But Not Too Sweet
Anyone with diabetes knows just how difficult the balancing act of insulin and blood sugar (glucose) can be. Whether you’re currently watching your diet to keep this balance in check, or you want to prevent diabetes down the line, psyllium husks can help you maintain a healthy glycemic index.
In one clinical study, patients with type II diabetes who took 5 grams of psyllium twice a day were able to control their blood sugar without negative side effects. Other studies showed similar results, but noting that therapeutic use of psyllium should be tailored to each patient.
5. That Gut Feeling
Like the colon, gut health is a cornerstone of good health. An overabundance of bad bacteria in the gut is strongly linked with susceptibility to infection and numerous diseases. While probiotics are the all-star in maintaining healthy gut flora, their close relative prebiotics, are another essential player in the gut flora game.
Psyllium husks are a kind of prebiotic essential for healthy colonies of good bacteria to grow. Supplementing with psyllium husks in addition to a high-quality probiotic may be the extra push you need to get your gut health in order, thereby reducing inflammation, and maintaining healthy immune function.