Isabgol, also known as Psyllium Husk, is derived from the seeds of the Plantago ovata plant. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its remarkable health benefits.
What is Isabgol?
Isabgol is a soluble, dietary fiber primarily found in India and certain Mediterranean regions. The husk of these seeds is collected and used to create Isabgol. Its defining feature is its ability to absorb water and form a gel-like substance when mixed with liquid, making it a gentle yet effective remedy for various digestive issues.
Isabgol Seeds vs Isabgol Husk
Isabgol husk is the outermost layer of the seeds of plant Plantago ovata. It is processed and ground into fine powder, creating a soluble fibre supplement. Isabgol husk is rich in soluble fibre called mucilage which when mixed with water forms a gel- like substance that can absorb water and swell upto 40 times.
Isabgol seeds are tiny and brown in color and are obtained from the flower that has a similar structure to that of a wheat plant. The seeds can be used in the whole form. The seeds also contain a soluble fibre that has the similar mucilaginous properties as that of husk.
Both forms have the same properties and can be used as per personal preferences.
6 Health Benefits of Isabgol
- Constipation Relief: Isabgol is perhaps most renowned for its role in alleviating constipation. When consumed with ample water, it softens the stool and adds bulk, promoting regular and comfortable bowel movements.
- Diarrhoea Management: Surprisingly, Isabgol can also help with diarrhea. Its soluble fiber can absorb excess water in the digestive tract, firming up loose stools and reducing the frequency of bowel movements.
- Weight Management: Isabgol aids in weight management by creating a sense of fullness when ingested. This can help control overeating and support weight loss efforts.
- Heart Health: The soluble fiber in Isabgol can help with disease management and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. By binding to cholesterol molecules, it prevents their absorption into the bloodstream, contributing to heart health.
- Blood Sugar Control: Isabol can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract, preventing spikes in blood sugar after meals.
- Haemorrhoids: Regular use of Isabgol promotes regular bowel movements, reducing the risk of colon-related issues like hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer.
Recommended Dosage of Isabgol
Isabgol Powder – 1-2 teaspoons once or twice a day.
How to use Isabgol?
Now that you understand the numerous health benefits of Isabgol, let’s explore some creative ways to incorporate it into your daily diet:
- Isabgol Smoothie: Blend a teaspoon of Isabgol with your favorite fruits, yogurt, and a touch of honey for a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
- Isabgol Parfait: Layer Isabgol-soaked chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and fresh berries to create a nutritious and filling parfait.
- Isabgol Energy Balls: Combine Isabgol with nuts, dates, and a dash of cocoa powder to make energy-boosting and fiber-rich snack balls.
- Isabgol Pancakes: Add a spoonful of Isabgol to your pancake batter for an extra fiber boost.
- Isabgol Soup: Mix Isabgol into soups and stews to thicken them naturally and increase their fiber content.
How to use isabgol for constipation?
Isabgol is a trusted remedy for constipation. To use it effectively:
- Have 1 teaspoon of Isabgol with lukewarm water.
- Consume it before bedtime or in the morning for best results.
- Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid in its effectiveness.
How to use isabgol for diarrhea?
Surprisingly, Isabgol can also help with diarrhea:
- Mix 1-2 teaspoons of Isabgol with yogurt or buttermilk.
- Consume this mixture as a mid-morning drink.
- This can help firm up loose stools and reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
Important Note from Fitness with Nidhi
While Isabgol offers numerous health benefits, consider the following precautions:
- Stay well-hydrated when using Isabgol, as it absorbs water in the digestive tract. If not drinking enough water, it will lead to poor absorption of minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus. The reason is that isabgol needs water to swell so it will draw the water from anywhere to swell and be pushed out of the digestive tract.
- Follow recommended dosage guidelines to avoid overconsumption, which can lead to digestive discomfort.
- If you have allergies or sensitivities to Psyllium, consult a healthcare professional before using Isabgol.
Isabgol, nature’s digestive wonder, is a versatile and effective dietary supplement that can address both constipation and diarrhea, among other digestive issues. By incorporating Isabgol into your daily routine through creative recipes, you can enjoy its benefits while savoring delicious and wholesome meals. Always consume Isabgol responsibly and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is isabgol safe for daily use?
Isabgol is generally safe for most people when used as directed. However, it’s essential to drink plenty of water when consuming Isabgol to prevent dehydration or choking.
Can Isabgol help lose weight?
Isabgol may contribute to weight loss indirectly by promoting a feeling of fullness, which can reduce overall food intake. However, it should not be seen as a standalone weight loss solution.
Does Isabgol have any side effects?
Some people may experience gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort when using Isabgol, especially if they don’t consume enough water with it. Allergic reactions are rare but possible.
Can Isabgol interact with the medications?
Isabgol can interfere with the absorption of certain medications. If you’re taking prescription medications, consult your healthcare provider before using Isabgol regularly.
Is isabgol safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare provider before using Isabgol as a dietary supplement.
Where can I purchase isabgol?
Isabgol is available in most health food stores and online retailers. Ensure you purchase a reputable brand and follow the instructions on the label.
Can I use isabgol as a substitute for a high-fibre diet?
While Isabgol can be a helpful supplement, it’s not a substitute for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s best used as part of a well-rounded approach to nutrition and digestive health.
How often can I consume isabgol?
It can be taken once a week and if the constipation is severe, its recommended to take it for 7 days at a stretch and then discontinue.