A lot of people ask me where I stand on psyllium husk. It’s a type of soluble fiber made from seed coverings that you can take as a supplement or use in low-carb cooking.
Good news: I’m actually a huge fan of psyllium husk. Only about five percent of the population gets enough fiber[*], and psyllium husk is one of the easiest ways to change that. It has a lot of research behind it, it’s affordable, and it comes with a few different benefits. It’s an especially good way to upgrade your gut.
Here’s why psyllium husk is a worthwhile supplement, and how you can use it to build a stronger gut biome, lose weight, and more.
What Is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium husk (also known as isabgol or psyllium fiber), is a type of soluble fiber that comes from the seed coverings of a plant called Plantago ovata.
- ovata is native to India, although you can now find it across much of the world. Each plant produces about 15,000 tiny seeds, which you can crush into a powder that’s almost 100% fiber.
Psyllium husk has been a part of traditional medicine for centuries, and modern research confirms that it’s a pretty badass source of fiber. It’s also a surprisingly good ingredient in low-carb baked goods.
Benefits of Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk comes with a few different benefits, ranging from increased gut integrity to weight loss.
Psyllium Husk Builds a Stronger Gut Biome
Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that expands and becomes a thick gel when you mix it with water.
As psyllium husk travels through your digestive tract, its gel -like properties allow it to absorb water and loose materials, improving your gut health and promoting regularity. It’s like a broom that sweeps debris out of your colon and keeps things moving smoothly and efficiently.
Psyllium husk is also a prebiotic, which means it acts as food for friendly gut bacteria that make you stronger. It also discourages the harmful ones that screw with your digestion and cause brain fog.
I made prebiotic fiber a major part of the Bulletproof Diet because it keeps your gut bacteria happy. The good guys in your gut influence your mental focus, fat loss, hormones, and much more, and it’s worth your time to make sure they’re strong.
That means getting lots of prebiotic fiber, and psyllium husk is one of the most biohacker-friendly ways to eat more of it.
Psyllium Husk for Weight Loss
You don’t have the right enzymes to digest soluble fiber, which means it’s calorie-free and moves through your system more-or-less intact.
However, the right kinds of fiber can still make you feel full. Psyllium is one of them—it forms a gel that covers the walls of your stomach, which turns on your satiety hormones and convinces your brain that you’re full[*].
Eating lots of fiber is a good way to stay full on less food. It helps you burn fat without feeling hungry—which, again, is why beneficial fibers like psyllium husk are such a big part of the Bulletproof Diet.
Psyllium Husk for Chewy Low-Carb Baked Goods
Psyllium husk is also great for baking.
Because it gels with water, psyllium mimics the chewiness of gluten and binding abilities of gluten, without the carbs and toxins that sap your energy and make you weak.
You can bake low-carb bread, chips, tortillas, and more with psyllium husk, or you can just buy them online. My favorite low-carb bread is from Uprising Food—it has the taste and texture of sourdough and uses biohacker-friendly ingredients, including psyllium. Their low-carb chips are good too (my kids love eating them with guacamole).
Psyllium husk is a great way to get more prebiotic fiber, boost your gut health, and burn fat without feeling hungry. It helps with digestion, too.
You can take psyllium husk directly as a supplement, or you can get it from low-carb foods and baked goods. However you choose to get it, it’s worth adding psyllium husk to your diet. It’s a good tool to have in your pantry anytime you want to lose a few pounds or level up your gut biome.