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Psyllium fiber comes from the outer coating, or “husk”, of the psyllium plant’s seeds. The psyllium husk is a naturally occurring source of soluble fiber.
Psyllium fiber is a source of soluble fiber and has multiple health benefits. Psyllium fiber forms a sticky gel that acts like a sponge to absorb some toxins, sugars and carbohydrates in the gut.
Psyllium fiber is not digested but thickens and forms a gel in your stomach. This gel traps some sugars and carbohydrates and moves down to the intestine where the trapped sugars are slowly released and absorbed into the body.
Psyllium is commonly found in cereals, dietary supplements, and is also added to some foods including baked products such as breads, cereal bars, and rice/grain cakes. Look for the ingredients psyllium, psyllium seed, or psyllium husk on the ingredient panel.
“Of the under-consumed nutrients, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D are considered nutrients of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns.” – Dietary Guidelines for American 2015-2020 (8th edition).
In the United States, the recommended dietary fiber intake is 14g/1,000 kcal. For an average adult, this means a daily intake of 25g (female) or 38g (male). Most Americans only consume about half of the recommended intake (13.5 and 18g, respectively). This shortage in our diet is called the fiber gap.
To reach the recommended fiber intake without fiber-enriched foods, most Americans would need to increase their calorie intake by more than 500 calories per day. But meeting fiber requirements doesn’t have to mean adding calories if fiber enriched foods are consumed.
Fiber-enriched foods help bridge the fiber gap while delivering excellent taste and additional metabolic benefits. The overall diet should have a mix of various fiber types.
Although most fibers will have more than one health-related effect, no one fiber can produce every potential health benefit. To maximize the health benefits of fiber, it is important to consume a variety of fibers.
Fibers can be found in many different foods. The amount of fiber per serving can easily be found by looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel for the Dietary Fiber line.