Many people who are thinking of starting a good weight loss plan want to take a supplement that’s not only safe for their bodies but that will provide plenty of health benefits too. Psyllium husks or psyllium is one natural product sourced from plants. It may also be called ispaghula.
Psyllium husks are a type of soluble fibre that passes naturally through your digestive system without breaking down or being absorbed by the body. As it moves through your tract it absorbs water.
Psyllium husks are similar to fibre and are beneficial for keeping the digestive tract functioning and regular. But this supplement also has benefits for the heart and pancreas too. It’s even an effective weight loss supplement for people who have decided to start a weight loss plan.
What Are Psyllium Husks?
Psyllium husks are a type of fibre that is sourced from a plant called Plantago ovata. This is a type of herb that’s grown mainly in India. The husks are removed from the seeds and made into powder form.
The husk granules are turned into powder, which are placed into capsules. The powder can be purchased in containers and then used in drinks or sprinkled over food.
Psyllium can absorb water that becomes a thick viscous compound as it travels through your digestive system. It resists digestion in your small intestine and is naturally expelled as waste from your body.
Psyllium husks are often an ingredient of laxatives, fortified breakfast cereals and baked goods. It’s commonly found in Metamucil, a supplement to naturally help constipation.
You can purchase the psyllium husks in a powdered form in large jars or containers. You can also buy it in capsule form in bottles and swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water.
Psyllium husks have a somewhat bland taste, perhaps a mix between sand and bran. If the taste bothers you, the capsule form rather than powdered form, may be the best way to take it.
Psyllium husks are well-tolerated by most people’s digestion systems. It can be a simpler and gentler way to treat digestive disorders, as often store-bought laxatives or thickeners can cause more issues than they solve.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Psyllium Husks?
There are many benefits to taking psyllium husks. This natural supplement is particularly beneficial to the digestion system, but its high fibre content is good for cardiac and pancreatic health too. Here are just a few of the main benefits to taking psyllium husks to better manage your health.
1. Effective constipation relief.
Many people eat too much fat in their diets and not enough fruits and vegetables. Since psyllium is sourced from plants, and contains the husks of the seeds of this plant, it contains a high amount of fibre. This fibre is essential in keeping your digestion functioning regularly. The fibre is good for your intestinal tract and bowels. It will help keep your digestive tract feeling healthy, rather than plugged up and bloated with constipation.
The psyllium husks work by soaking up the water in the gut and encouraging better bowel movements with softer stools. The psyllium husks are a natural way to improve digestion without being gassy, such as if you ate more beans for their fibre content. Psyllium husks are also a gentler way to manage this condition. Most people who’ve taken store-bought laxatives discover that this solution is painful and uncomfortable. This is why psyllium husks are a better solution to manage these conditions.
2. Effective for people suffering IBS or Crohn’s Disease.
Psyllium husks may provide some relief for people who suffer irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. These diseases can cause repeated constipation and diarrhea. The psyllium husks can help to regulate your lower intestinal tract so that you experience fewer irregularities. This gives your body a better chance to heal and repair itself. It does this by absorbing excess water in your intestinal tract, then expelling as large thick stools.
Psyllium husks have been studied in people who are undergoing radiation therapy. It was discovered that when they took psyllium before radiation therapy that they experienced less diarrhea.
Psyllium husks can also be effective for people who suffer lactose intolerance. In one study it showed that people who drank milk experienced fewer bowel issues when taking psyllium husks as a supplement.
3. Works effectively as a prebiotic.
A prebiotic works together with healthy colonies of probiotics to help the beneficial bacteria to grow in your gut. It’s a food ingredient that helps to induce the growth of good microorganisms in your body. Usually it’s prebiotic fibre, such as in psyllium husks. But it can also be the non-digestible part of foods, such as from onion, bananas, garlic, beans, etc.
This fibre travels through the body in its whole and undigested form, grabbing fats and bad substances, then expelling them out through the bowels. When this population is unbalanced, people can experience gas, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Psyllium husks are an effective prebiotic to encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
4. Promotes healthy immune function.
Since psyllium husks works so well for your digestive tract it also plays a part in healthy immune function. This will better allow your body to help fight off infections. Your body will also work better at fighting inflammation that leads to certain diseases, such as eczema or arthritis. The nutrients in psyllium will also work at maintaining healthy tissue and cells.
5. Will prevent hemorrhoids & anal fissures.
People who suffer regular constipation may eventually get painful hemorrhoids or anal fissures that can lead to further pain and inflammation. Anal fissures can actually lead to further complications as food gets stuck there and can cause infections. Taking psyllium husks can help to correct these digestive issues and help your intestinal tract to heal up.
6. Good for optimum heart health.
We all know that taking soluble fibre is good for keeping cholesterol levels down, as it helps fat pass through the arteries. This allows the heart to function well and prevents heart attacks and strokes. Taking a good fibre supplement, such as psyllium, will help you to manage your cholesterol.
The psyllium husks will bind to fat and bile acids, which helps them to be expelled from your body rather than sticking in your arteries. Your liver will naturally compensate by producing more bile acids which will help your cholesterol levels to decrease too.
Psyllium is also a better way to manage a condition as it contains fewer side effects than if you took a prescription cholesterol medication. If your doctor has told you that your cholesterol is high, ask about taking a good supplement that contains psyllium husks to help manage your condition. Psyllium husks can also work at helping your body to lower blood pressure, strengthen your heart muscle, and improve lipid levels.
7. Helps diabetic conditions.
The pancreas is responsible for converting sugars into energy so your body can function well. When it starts failing, it can’t adequately regulate the glucose levels in your blood. This can lead to a lack of nutrition, weight gain and other issues. In studies it has been proven that psyllium husks can help to regulate blood sugars in the body.
The psyllium husks help to control the glycemic response in the body after a meal. It will reduce the levels of blood sugar in the body too.
It’s especially helpful for those with Type II diabetes. Psyllium husks are also better than bran in this instance. Psyllium husks have a gel-forming fibre that can slow down the digestion of the food.
Why Psyllium Husks Are Best for Managing Weight Loss
There are nearly endless choices when trying to choose the best supplement for weight loss. While you can take one or two supplements together, you need to choose the ones that are not only safe for your body, but that provide the most benefits. Psyllium offers one of the best ways to help manage your weight loss. Not only does it help to maintain a healthy heart but also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Since psyllium provide all types of benefits to other systems in your body, then it can also help you to lose weight.
Of course you’ll still have to improve your diet and exercise more often, but adding psyllium husks to your diet and weight loss plan will provide additional benefits.
The psyllium husks can help to fill you up, and help to control appetite, without you having to consume a lot of fatty proteins. This will help to regulate the amount of food you’re eating. Eating psyllium husks will also help to delay digestion, so that you’ll feel fuller for longer.
How to Take Psyllium Husks for Health Benefits
Psyllium husks is often a common ingredient of your store-bought laxatives and fibre supplements. But these supplements often have many other ingredients added. Even the laxatives can offer harsh results for a minor constipation problem.
It can be a lot gentler on your system to simply take psyllium husks in their purest form. This provides a natural way to restore your digestive system to regularity.
Take the capsules first thing in the morning, right before you eat breakfast, to promote regularity. You may also wish to take them first thing, so you give the psyllium husks a chance to work through your digestive tract so that you’re near a bathroom. You should also set aside time for your bathroom duties rather than making your body wait.
Whether you’re just adding the powder to your breakfast or taking capsules, it’s recommended that taking 8 to 10 grams of psyllium husks per day is the best way to treat your health conditions and experience its full benefits.
You can sprinkle the psyllium husks over your regular breakfast cereal to make it easier to eat. You can also add it to your healthy fruit smoothie drink blends.
Be certain to drink plenty of water with your psyllium husks as that can also help to provide the nutrition and energy that your body needs to function well.
Do Psyllium Husks Contain Gluten?
Many people with celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, may be seeking ways to help improve their digestive issues without taking wheat or other products containing gluten. The good news is that psyllium husks are 100% safe for people with gluten intolerances and allergies to take. Since the husks comes from the small seeds of the plant, it’s not considered a grain, which commonly has gluten in it.
However, if you’re searching for a good gluten-free psyllium supplement, ensure you read the labels first, just to ensure it doesn’t contain any other gluten sources, such as bran or wheat.
Are There Psyllium Husks Side Effects?
Just like taking other natural supplements there are always a few things that you should be made aware of before adding psyllium husks to your diet plan.
- There may be a slight allergy risk so discontinue use if it upsets your stomach, makes your intestinal condition worse, or gives you a rash.
- Too much soluble fibre can worsen intestinal conditions for some people. Stop taking it if you see no improvement in your condition and visit your doctor.
- If it causes excessive diarrhea then stop taking, or reduce your dosage.
- It’s not recommended that you eat the powder directly from a spoon. Add it to your food or drink to make it easier to swallow.
Final Thoughts on Psyllium Husks for Health
Taking psyllium husks offers a safe and natural way of helping almost every system in your body to function well. The digestive system particularly benefits from psyllium husks. Having a well-functioning digestive system also means that the body is kept free of infections, while the heart and pancreas can effectively perform their jobs too. It’ll also help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Taking psyllium husks in capsule or powder form is a simpler way to help you to not only lose weight, but to help every system in your body to function well.