We have all heard that fiber is healthy for the heart, the gut, and the entire body. One of the best benefits of plant foods is that certain varieties are loaded with fiber.
Fiber can help you lose weight, prevent cancer, lower blood sugar, and reduce heart disease risk.
Our favorite foods for fiber include avocado, chia seed, artichoke, and almonds. For an occasional treat, eat some heirloom popcorn for a fiber boost.
Sometimes, we need to boost our intake of fiber in the supplement form when our diet is less than perfect. Years of poor eating also contribute to a need for an extra dose of fiber.
My favorite fiber supplement is psyllium seed and I add it to my morning smoothie 3-4 days per week. To me, this is the best source of pre-biotic, nourishing our probiotics.
Don’t run out and get some Metamucil. That would be a horrible idea, given the amount of pesticide sprayed on standard psyllium from India. Not to mention the added artificial flavors and colors in that popular brand.
Before we unveil our choice for best psyllium let’s take a moment to discuss what psyllium IS and what are the health benefits.
Psyllium seed comes from the Plantago species of plants. Historically, they were common to India, and most psyllium still comes from that region.
The seeds are soft and easily ground into a fine powder. Sometimes, psyllium is referred to as husk. It is the husk of the seed that is used as a fiber source.
Psyllium is naturally gluten-free.
It is often said that health begins in the gut. Not surprisingly, this is where ingested psyllium shines.
A recent study found that psyllium improved the gut microbiome, leading to an increase in beneficial bacteria while reducing the numbers of potentially pathogenic bacteria.
In addition, short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) production was boosted with psyllium husk and it is the SCFA’s that nourish the gut epithelial cells. This is very important to health. Source
SCFA’s act as modulators of autophagy in colonocytes; as regulators of cholesterol and glucose; as well as activators of anti-inflammatory effects, tumor suppression and production of the hormone leptin. These are fantastic benefits.
Psyllium is the perfect addition to anyone suffering from constipation or diarrhea. Just remember, drink plenty of water. More on how to use psyllium below.
It is no surprise that psyllium can be helpful to heal a leaky gut (source) and is useful for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Many of the cardiac benefits of psyllium are due to the positive effects on the gut.
Psyllium can bind cholesterol and lipids in the digestive tract, preventing reabsorption, and thus allowing for safe passage out the other side. Cardiologists have used psyllium for many years to lower cholesterol in patients.
Psyllium can lower LDL, lower triglycerides, and raise HDL. Source
The fact that psyllium has been shown to lower blood sugar and can be used in those with diabetes to help lower glucose is undoubtedly heart healthy. Source
Studies on blood pressure and endothelial function have been mixed. Blood pressure reduction from psyllium is likely moderate, at best.
Fiber intake is linked to just about every form of cancer. Trust me on this one. The more fiber you consumer, the lower your risk of every cancer.
An average of 10 pounds in this study.
My favorite source for psyllium is Organic India. The name says it all…organic. I add this to my morning smoothie and as a thickener for soup recipes. Support us on Amazon with a purchase HERE or get a free bottle on our website with a purchase of our Daily Greens.
The standard dose is 1 tablespoon. Remember to drink plenty of water with psyllium. I would say at LEAST 12 oz of water per 1 tablespoon. This can also be done at night. Tastes great with the Daily Greens.
Not many side effects, although gas and bloating are possible.
Get ready for improved bowel movements and a healthier you.
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