What are psyllium husk weight loss benefits?
Psyllium husk is a plant that mostly grows in India and has excellent health and weight loss benefits.
Best of all, psyllium husk is a great fiber supplement.
“Eat more fiber. It is good for you. You are not eating enough of it.” You probably heard that a thousand times. Is it really that important? It turn out it is that important, and unfortunately most of us don’t eat enough fiber.
Fiber not only promotes your health, but also helps in losing weight without any change to your diet. So what is it, and how does it help you to lose weight?
Fiber is a substance in fruits, vegetables and grains that you can eat, but that your body can’t digest. There are two forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion in general and the absorption of sugar. This is excellent for weight loss since your blood sugar doesn’t spike up, which often leads to fat storage. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease.
- Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool. In other words, it helps promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation, which is essential in order to achieve weight loss.
The great thing about psyllium husk is that it is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. In 2 tablespoons, it delivers about 8 grams of fiber. Typically 25 grams of fiber per day is recommended for women and 38 grams per day of fiber is recommended for men.
Fiber is also known to promote healthy bacteria in your gut, as their food source.
Taking psyllium husk on a daily basis is one great way to ensure you are getting enough fiber.
Psyllium husk swells up to 10 to 20 times its original size when mixed with water. By filling up your stomach it reduces the amount of hunger that you feel and thus aids in your weight loss.
If taken before a meal, it creates a feeling of fullness or at least reduces the amount of hunger that you feel, which results in you eating less (thus the weight loss). It is recommended that you take psyllium husk about 20 to 30 minutes prior to your meal, and drink lots of water. This will give the psyllium some time to travel to your stomach and expand.
Another powerful benefit of psyllium husk is that it is a good colon cleanser and supports your gastrointestinal health. Having a clean and healthy colon is essential for building a strong immune system, all of which are essential for effective weight loss.
Especially if you have IBS or other digestive issues, you should try psyllium husk as a way of cleansing your colon.
Low in Calories
Psyllium husk is so low in calories that you can just simply ignore them. It has about 32 calories per 2 tablespoons. The calories are even lower than chia seeds, which are also a great fiber supplement, making it an ideal choice as a daily fiber supplement.
There has also been research that indicates that regularly taking psyllium husk reduces your risk of heart disease and reduces your cholesterol.
How to Take Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk usually comes in 2 forms, either as tablets (easy to take) or as powder which you need to mix with water and drink. The powder takes a little experience, as the psyllium expands fairly quickly once mixed with water.
Make sure to drink plenty of water with your psyllium husk! Psyllium husk powder when mixed with water quickly (after about 10 seconds) becomes a gel so you need to drink it immediately.
One good way to take the psyllium husk powder is to fill half your small cup with water, mix in a tablespoon of psyllium husk powder, whisk it quickly and drink immediately. Repeat with another tablespoon. Then afterwards, drink at least 1 big glass of water. Make sure to rinse your glass and utensil immediately, otherwise the husk powder will harden and sick to your glass and utensil. You may wish to just use plastic cups/spoons for this purpose.
You can start with ½ tablespoon, but it is recommended that you work your way up to at least 2 tablespoons per day. Especially if you don’t eat much vegetables and fruits, or if you have a day when you know you can’t, make sure to get your fiber from fiber supplements such as psyllium husk!
- Harvard Medical School – 11 foods that lower cholesterol
- Dr. Weil – Psyllium seed
- Mayo Clinic – Fiber
- WebMD – Types of Fiber and Their Health Benefits