Why You Should Add This Ingredient to Your Diet
Why to take psyllium husk
Let's talk fiber.
We all need fiber and whether you realize it or not, we consume it on daily basis in form of whole grains, veggies, fruit or nuts etc. Fiber is more than just that thing that keeps us 'regular'- it delivers needed nutrients, helps with blood sugar or cholesterol levels and promotes a healthy gut environment. If you want to (or need to) increase your fiber intake, the best way to go is via diet - in form of natural ingredients.
Psyllium husk is a pure nature. It is a plant made out of complex carbohydrates, a soluble fiber and prebiotic (i.e. feeds the good bacteria). It is often seen as a natural laxative with 'bulking' properties, as it expands in our tummies by attracting water from the colon. When passing through the colon and intestines it takes with it any waste and toxins, which helps with cleanse and healthy elimination. It is all done in a gentle way.
Benefits of psyllium husk
can be (and best) consumed in pure, natural form
helps with constipation
helps with weight management
regulates blood sugar levels
helps to keep healthy heart and stable blood pressure.
How to take it
Psyllium husk ain't very tasty. But, it also isn't nasty! It has neutral powdery-like taste, which can be compared to eating milled flaxseed. The best way to consume it is on empty stomach or before a meal (it is advised to wait 1-2h before eating). One thing to remember is that it needs to be consumed with lots of water or other liquid, as it bulks up in your stomach and needs plenty of fluid to travel down your intestine.
The serving of psyllium husk powder* for adults is usually around 1-2 teaspoons. You mix it with a liquid of your choice and take it 1-3 times daily. (I always take it just once a day, but it will depend on your needs). The powder very quickly thickens up into a gel-like consistency (similar to chia seeds or flax-meal) and should be taken immediately. I usually mix 2 teaspoons with half a glass of water and then drink another glass of water right after. It doesn’t really taste of anything, very neutral flavor. A serving of the psyllium husk powder provides around 5-7g of fiber. Pretty good start to the day!
I typically take psyllium husk around 3 times per week or when I feel I need extra fiber (I use this one). I wake up, have around 0.5 L of water, drink the powder mixture and then some more water (I like to make it warm and add some lemon too). Then I go about my morning. I'd usually eat breakfast around 1-2 hours after that (which is fairly easy with kids and the current morning routine!).
*there is also psyllium husk available in whole form, but I prefer milled version (powder).
More uses of psyllium powder
Psyllium is a great binder, as when combined with water it makes a gel like consistency. It’s a fantastic substitute for eggs in vegan and gluten free recipes. I used it in some vegan bread recipes and it seems great!
To replace 1 egg: mix 1/2 tsp of psyllium powder with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water.
Can I take psyllium husk during pregnancy?
You’re most likely familiar with it- irregular or painful bowel movements are bound to happen during pregnancy. They just come with the experience! Hormones, growing belly, water retention, squished stomach all make our digestive system work a little differently during those charming 9 months. Adding some extra soluble fiber like psyllium husk, might help with constipation and staying regular. It certainly helped me :-) Also, soluble fiber helps with softening stools, so it may add comfort especially if you experience hemorrhoids (yes, yes, it happens).
If you're pregnant - as with any supplements, natural or not- I do encourage you to discuss the safety of psyllium husk with a doctor or functional medicine professional before taking it.