Psyllium husk is a plant native to India which, when combined with water in a similar fashion to basil or sabja seeds, forms into a gelatinous gel. It also goes by the names isobgol or ispaghula, and is used in alternative medicine as a weight loss hack, and as a replacement for guar gum.
Is psyllium husk gluten free? Yes! If you are gluten intolerant, then psyllium husk can be a great super food for you to enjoy. Psyllium husk powder can be injested via water, allowing you to enjoy a quality source of insoluble fibre and soluble fibre.
Since psyllium husk powder is, as the name suggest, a powder, it can be easily incorprated into a number of cooking methods. In gluten free baking, the powder is a brilliant gluten replacer, helping your biscuits and bread to be stick together and hold their form better than guar gum.
Preparing food yourself using psyllium is also a good way to ensure you avoid gluten cross contamination, a very real threat to dieters and celiacs everywhere when they go to the supermarket or want to enjoy a meal out in a nice restaurant.
What is a Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium is an Indian plant, and it makes a great substitute for gluten. Most gluten free diets are trying to avoid the gluten protein itself, so a plant that is naturally gluten free makes an equally natural gluten replacer. Whether this is for your gluten in bread, or even in ice cream!
Gluten free baking has never been as easy as it is with psyllium. This wonder plant lets you enjoy your favorite gluten products, with none of the belly aches and less of the weight gain. Used as a binding agent in gluten free products, it gives texture to gluten free foods like no other substitute (i.e. guar gum).
Health Benefits of Psyllium Husk
Psyllium promotes good heart health, thanks to its uncanny ability to control blood sugar levels. This also makes it ideal for diabetics, and others who have issues with blood sugar. Being a common side effect of obesity, psyllium and a gluten free diet can get your life back on track.
Obesity leads to a risk of heart disease, and coronary heart disease obviously leads to death. While psyllium products won’t totally remove the risk of heart disease, they can be a vital step on the journey instead of guar gum or wheat flour in your gluten free recipes.
Health food shops and multicultural food shops sells psyllium as the natural plant can lower cholesterol levels. Psyllium is a plant rich in goodness, and can reduce LDL cholesterol (a particularly bad cholesterol) significantly. Although there are many types of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and their cholesterol levels are a serious factor in heart disease.
Avoiding Psyllium Husk
While psyllium is ideal if you have a doctor diagnosed wheat allergy, those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome should avoid it in their daily diet. Stick to guar gum and other binding agents if you lack experience with gluten free recipes.
Side Effects of Psyllium Husk
Natural fibre levels in the form of psyllium husk can act as a natural laxative. In gluten free recipes, psyllium husk seeds can be added without issue. However, add water to psyllium husk if ingested directly to avoid a choking hazard. Even a tablespoon of psyllium husk can be a choking risk.
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