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Psyllium husk is a type of soluble fiber which is sometimes used in laxatives and for treating high blood sugar, constipation, diarrhea, and high cholesterol. It grows around the world but is most commonly found in India, which remains the largest producer of psyllium husk even today. In India and its adjoining nations, it is known as Isabghol or Ispaghol and has a wide range of health benefits.
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Benefits of Psyllium Husk in Weight Loss
1. Improves digestion
Psyllium husk is a rich source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Dietary fiber is one of the most important macro-nutrients that is essential for the human body to digest food properly. It reduces the water retention tendency of cells and absorbs water from them as it passes through the digestive tract, thereby reducing the body weight.
2. Suppresses appetite
Consuming psyllium husk on a daily basis decreases appetite and cuts down the food intake. The fibers present in the husk swell inside the body making you feel full without eating a lot of calories. It also results in delayed stomach emptying which decreases the appetite.
3. Treats gastrointestinal disorders
Colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and bloating stomach can all be treated with psyllium husk. This natural remedy stimulates the intestines and helps stool move through the digestive tract smoothly. It also softens the stool by increasing the amount of water that it holds. Constant bowel movement boosts metabolism and burns up stored-up fat deposits.
4. Reduces body toxins
A highly effective digestive system cleanser, Psyllium Husk gently clears away trapped waste products and toxic compounds present in the body. Usually, the harmful chemicals that are consumed with food or water are absorbed into the bloodstream and end up all over the body causing endless troubles. Psyllium husk absorbs the toxins and eliminates them from the system leading to a more toned appearance.
5. Lowers LDL cholesterol
Bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol is one of the reasons that result in unhealthy weight gain. Daily consumption of psyllium husk lowers LDL cholesterol and promotes HDL cholesterol aka good cholesterol in the human body.
6. Manages blood sugar levels
Psyllium husk is recommended for people who are diabetic or prone to diabetes. As the blood sugar in the body increases, the body tends to gain weight. Consumption of psyllium husk in recommended dosage regularly keeps blood sugar levels in check, thus reducing the chances of detrimental weight gain.
Ways to consume psyllium husk
You can blend a tablespoon of psyllium husk to the smoothie of your choice. The nutritional content remains the same but the benefits increase manifold.
2. Along with water:
Add a tablespoon of psyllium husk in with water and consume this drink on an empty stomach in the morning or half an hour before a meal.
3. Oatmeal delight:
Mix one tablespoon of psyllium husk and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 1 cup of oatmeal to start your day on a high note.
In a recent study published in Appetite in 2016, the Satiety effects of psyllium husk were listed. It was observed that psyllium resulted in fullness as compared to placebo (a substance or treatment of no therapeutic value).
- Psyllium husk, if consumed in large quantities can cause diarrhea, gas and/or bloating.
- Allergy to psyllium husk is uncommon, but possible.
- It is not advisable to consume psyllium husk during pregnancy as pregnancy risks are unknown.
- It is not advisable to consume psyllium husk if you have any of the following: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and intestinal pseudo-obstruction.
Tip: It is advisable to consult your physician about the consumption of psyllium husk if already on medication.