Psyllium Husk powder (Latin name: Plantago Ovata) is derived from the seeds of a plant commonly found in northern India. Psyllium Husk is high in soluble fiber and has long been used throughout the world to supplement one's fiber intake. Adding psyllium to your diet promotes regularity as well as overall digestive health in a number of ways.
The main reason this high-fiber psyllium powder is so useful as a dietary supplement is because it absorbs liquids and binds with partially digested foods to help them pass through the intestines and facilitate the digestion process. This helps relieve constipation, and at the same time this fluid absorption also reduces diarrhea, effectively balancing out the digestive system.
Psyllium's fluid-absorbing properties also help create a feeling of fullness faster, which can help individuals lose weight by consuming less food, and thus fewer calories. Psyllium also slows the stomach emptying process, so individuals who consume a few grams of psyllium before or during a meal tend to feel full longer.
Research has also shown that consuming soluble fiber helps such as psyllium powder helps manage cholesterol levels and improve heart health by decreasing blood pressure, improving lipid levels, and helping to strengthen the heart muscle. Consuming a few grams of psyllium daily encourages the excretion of fat and bile acids from the body, which lowers LDL cholesterol, or 'bad' cholesterol while increasing HDL, which is 'good' cholesterol.
Psyllium is considered a very safe supplement with few side effects or cases of allergies, although it is important to note it should always be taken with a good amount of liquid to avoid any potential choking hazard. As psyllium goes in the throat it begins to expand in size, so liquids help dilute and pass it down to the stomach. As with all supplements, check with your doctor before taking psyllium if you are on any medications.
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