The Benefits of Psyllium

Psyllium has been showing up as an ingredient in high-fiber breakfast cereals. It has been claimed to be effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels in those who consume it.  “Several studies point to a cholesterol reduction attributed to a diet that includes dietary fiber such as psyllium,” says Wikipedia.  Sometimes all I have to do is read a sentence and it convinces me I have to try it in something other than what I find it in on the grocery shelf.  This one screams “Put me in a smoothie, please!”

This is about the benefit of using powdered psyllium that you can certainly find in stores or at the bulk department in your local health food store.  Metamucil?  What’s that?  I’d rather have a fresh drink made right in my own kitchen with all the benefits.  You don’t want to ever take psyllium fiber without fluid.  Follow directions on the label, or with a teaspoon of psyllium, take at least 8 oz of liquid.  More is not better here.  Putting just a little of this potent ground husk is enough to make your smoothie great and to regulate your digestive system.  Be sure to thoroughly blend your powder in your favorite blender.  If you do take psyllium capsules, read and follow the directions on the label carefully.

Psyllium is good for constipation or food cravings and ground psyllium is well-known to benefit irregularity but it can also regulate your appetite and fat absorption and that can turn your smoothies into diet food.  Studies have also shown that psyllium is effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.  Other studies have revealed positive benefits of psyllium to be effective in helping with Crohn’s Disease by acting as a prebiotic.  This will aid the healing of the inner lining of the inflamed intestines.

The fibers in psyllium will absorb water and add bulk to stool.  In my reading I’ve found that some doctors may tell you it takes a few months for psyllium to work.  That is misleading.  If you are consistently constipated, you may need to replenish the beneficial bacteria in your belly.  This is what may take a few months.  It will take that much time to build up the healthy bacteria that use fiber as their food.  Then the healthy bacteria feed, fill up your colon and then become easier to eliminate.  Psyllium husk powder is a soluble fiber.  It will relieve constipation and diarrhea and the bloating and gas that is common in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).   High consumption of psyllium can lower the mortality rate from colon cancer.

The bulkiness of psyllium fiber is beneficial to satisfy your appetite.  Adding psyllium husk powder to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner smoothie will fill you up and reduce your cravings.  This fiber will make for a thicker smoothie.  In an hour after drinking your smoothie, your body senses the thicker consistency and your stomach and small intestine register the changes in viscosity, literally “filling” you up.  Not only does psyllium fiber speed the movement of digested food, it will enable you to absorb less fat from your food.  This fabulous fiber also regulates two different hormones that keep you from getting hungry.

Here are a couple of warnings about psyllium: Prescription drugs should be taken one hour before or two hours after psyllium.  The reason being that the absorption and effectiveness of many drugs may be reduced.  Second, always read the label regarding the amount of liquid you should ingest with this fiber.

What’s stopping you from adding this easy ingredient to your smoothies?  Oh you need some recipes for smoothies?  Try these past health blogs

Enjoy the consumption and absorption and assimilation and elimination!

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