Whole psyllium husks are almost 100% fibre, with no calories or carbs. When mixed with water, psyllium husks form a gel-like suspension that is very high in fibre, yet moist and drinkable. This food is great for people who have digestive problems, such as irregular bowel movements, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or intestinal discomfort.
Who should use psyllium husks?
Psyllium husks are a useful source of fibre for anybody who has the following types of conditions:
Intestinal irregularity or discomfort - fibre can help to gently bulk out the contents of the intestine, allowing peristalsis (the process of natural movement through the gut) to take place naturally.
Infrequent bowel movements - fibre helps to get your digestion moving, if it is too slow.
Too-frequent bowel movements. Contrary to what one might think, soluble fibre can generally help to regulate bowel movements, so if you are too frequent or have over-loose stools, psyllium husks can help in that case too.
Psyllium husks are suitable for vegans, and are wheat-free and gluten-free. They are also phytate free, dairy-free, calorie-free and carb-free.
They are almost 100% fibre, so each 5g teaspoon will give you 4.9g of fibre. Each person's ideal fibre intake is different, but it is thought to be about 25g daily - so two 10g servings per day will be enough (you'll almost certainly get at least 5g from your other food).
Psyllium husks are also known as ispaghula husks.
Use around 30 minutes before a meal. Use before every meal if necessary.
Mix one or two teaspoons of husks (5-10 grams) with enough water to dilute. Psyllium husks will absorb around 20 times their own weight in water to form a gel. Drink.
You can also use fruit juice instead of water.
Children should start with only one teaspoonful. You can add psyllium husks to yoghurt, muesli etc to "hide" it, though it actually tastes fine.
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