(NaturalNews) As the New Year begins, most people are searching for ways to rejuvenate their health. Two keys are to satisfy your appetite and to regulate your digestive system. Psyllium supplements are a well-known remedy for irregularity of the bowels. But ground psyllium husks added to smoothies do more than just provide fiber. They also regulate appetite and fat absorption in ways that make smoothies diet food.
Satisfy Your Appetite
The most interesting benefit of supplemental psyllium, due to its bulkiness, may be its ability to satisfy your appetite. We all know, for instance, that a blackberry smoothie is a great source of antioxidants. But it usually doesn`t satisfy for long periods of time. If you add psyllium to your smoothie, you will be satisfied longer.
The soluble fibers in psyllium make smoothies "thicker." Sensors lining the stomach and small intestine register the changes in viscosity of the beverage after the addition of psyllium. A "thicker smoothie" has this effect on the whole body within an hour of consumption.
A decrease in ghrelin occurs after you eat your meal. Higher levels of this hormone signal the brain that the stomach has not yet received enough food. Lower levels of this hormone signal the brain that the stomach is full. This effect results when the stomach senses the consistency of the smoothie. So when taking psyllium supplements in capsules, you may not have the same effect.
Regulate Your Digestive System
The usual situation is that the colon is deficient in helpful, or symbiotic, bacteria. It takes 2 or 3 months for them to accumulate to numbers great enough to start using fiber as their food. When bacteria feed on fiber, the bacteria themselves start to fill up the colon and bacteria are easy to expel. These symbiotic bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, they make vitamin K and they treat constipation.
Psyllium supplements have many other colon-friendly applications:
The soluble fibers in psyllium relieve the alternating constipation and diarrhea, as well as bloating and gas, common in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The insoluble fibers in bran often make IBS worse, especially at the beginning of treatment.
Regular consumption of psyllium supplements slightly reduces bloodstream concentrations of a clotting factor known as fibrinogen. Fibrinogen, as it name suggests, turns proteins into fibers. These fibers become a net that "catches" clots that then clog arteries. In obese individuals, modest reductions of clotting factors may reduce risk of heart attacks and stroke while creating danger of spontaneous or excessive bleeding.
Tips for Using Psyllium in Smoothies
And it`s also important to understand that the psyllium you use must be thoroughly blended into the smoothie. You should never take psyllium supplements without fluid, at least 8 oz (240 ml) for every scant teaspoon (2 g) of the psyllium husks. (You also need to drink water if you take psyllium capsules, at least 1/2 cup or 120 ml of water for each 1 g capsule.)
If you are using the psyllium in a smoothie, of course, you don`t need additional fluid - as long as you limit the amount of psyllium in your smoothie to a single, level or scant teaspoon. More is not better. Just a little psyllium is enough to make the smoothie more filling and also to help your regularity.
Bijkerk CJ, de Wit NJ, Muris JW, Whorwell PJ, Knottnerus JA, Hoes AW. Soluble or insoluble fibre in irritable bowel syndrome in primary care? Randomised placebo controlled trial. BMJ. 2009 Aug 27;339:b3154. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b3154.
Juvonen KR, Purhonen AK, Salmenkallio-Marttila M, L, Laaksonen DE, Herzig KH, Uusitupa MI, Poutanen KS, Karhunen LJ. Viscosity of fiber-enriched beverages influences gastrointestinal hormonal responses in healthy humans. J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):461-6. Epub 2009 Jan 28.
King DE, Mainous AG 3rd, Egan BM, Woolson RF, Geesey ME. Effect of psyllium fiber supplementation on C-reactive protein: the trial to reduce inflammatory markers (TRIM). Ann Fam Med. 2008 Mar-Apr;6(2):100-6.
JC, Villanueva R, Mart D, Albaladejo R, Regidor E, Calle ME.Plantago ovata consumption and colorectal mortality in Spain, 1995-2000. J Epidemiol. 2009;19(4):206-11. Epub 2009 Jun 27.
Johanson JF. Review of the treatment options for chronic constipation. MedGenMed. 2007 May 2;9(2):25.
About the author
DaNae desires for you to absorb accurate information on how to easily take care of your family's nutritional needs. As a mother of two young boys, she knows how important it is to incorporate nutrition into a busy schedule.
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