Psyllium husk, a soluble fiber, comes from the seeds of a shrub-like herb called Plantago Ovata. Psyllium absorbs water in the intestine, forming a bulky stool. Psyllium is used primarily to treat constipation but may also be used in some instances to treat diarrhea or to lower cholesterol levels by removing cholesterol from the intestine before it’s absorbed. Some foods are fortified with psyllium but no foods naturally contain psyllium.
Several cereals are fortified with psyllium hulk. Nature’s Path makes an organic cereal, Smart Bran, fortified with psyllium hulk One serving of 2/3 cup supplies 13 g of fiber, including 3 g of soluble fiber, the kind of fiber found in psyllium and 52 percent of your daily fiber requirement. However, the nutrition label doesn’t specify how much psyllium is in the cereal. Kellogg’s All Bran Bran Buds cereal, which lists psyllium husk seed as the third ingredient on the nutrition label, claims the cereal supplies 13 g of fiber as well, with 3 g of soluble fiber, and 51 percent of your daily requirement in only 1/3 cup. In this case, the Kellogg’s cereal contains twice as much fiber as the Nature’s Path cereal.
Some processed foods including nutrition bars and high-fiber muffins, contain psyllium, often in addition to other forms of fiber, such as oats or nuts. Trader Joe’s grocery store, which carries a number of health foods, makes high-fiber muffins that contain psyllium husks and supply 13 g of fiber per muffin. However, the nutrition label doesn’t breakdown the amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. High-fiber nutrition bars containing fiber supply between5 and 7 g of fiber per bar, depending on the manufacturer. The Clif Sustained Energy bars all contain psyllium and 5 g of fiber, with 4 g listed as insoluble fiber.
Psyllium can be sprinkled on foods such as cereals, soups or yogurt. You can also make smoothies containing psyllium, but psyllium thickens liquids quickly, so drink the mixture before it has time to thicken to a gelatinous consistency, the University of Maryland suggests.
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