You may have heard about Psyllium Husk, but what is it and how can you incorporate it into your daily Keto diet routine?
We answer all your questions in this quick 101 guide.
So what Is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium husk comes from the Plantago Ovato plant. The husk surrounding the Psyllium seed is a rich source of soluble fiber. When you add this type of fiber to water, it absorbs the water to form a gel. Additionally, for keto eaters avoiding carbohydrates, there are virtually no net carbs as it’s all fiber!
Whole psyllium husk is often ground into powdered form to make it easier for use in cooking. Two tablespoons of whole psyllium husk are the equivalent to 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk powder.
One tablespoon of psyllium husk powder has just 25 calories, but it contains 5 grams of fiber. That’s almost 20% of the average daily recommended allowance!
What are the health benefits of Psyllium Husk?
It’s for this reason that one of the primary uses and health benefits of psyllium husk is as a fiber boost. Therefore, psyllium husk is the active ingredient in the branded stool softeners Fybogel and Metamucil.
But there are also several other potential health benefits to consuming psyllium husk.
Health benefits to taking psyllium husk in doses between 5 and 20 grams a day have been noted during various studies.
Research has demonstrated that psyllium husk helps to control blood sugar levels, probably because the gel prevents the rapid absorption of glucose. In an extensive study, psyllium was found to significantly lower fasting blood sugar in both people with prediabetes and diabetes. However, this benefit is probably only going to be noticeable in those eating large amounts of carbohydrates, so not keto-eaters.
Moreover, the gel binds to bile acids and can aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Psyllium husk has also been shown to increase good HDL cholesterol levels.
As we discussed earlier psyllium husk’s primary use is in bowel function and has been used as a treatment for constipation for many years. The husk absorbs and holds water, and thus it soaks up water in the gut. Therefore, stools get softer and more comfortable to pass. It can also aid in diarrhea.
Psyllium husk can be used by those with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, but not all find their condition improves. It’s also used by many to keep bowel movements regular and to avoid hard or painful stools. It is of particular help for people who may suffer from hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
Watching your weight
Aside from all these benefits psyllium is also of use for weight management. A typical way to take psyllium husk is to stir one to two teaspoons of the powder into an eight-ounce serving of water or juice. It’s best to drink straight away before it forms a gel. You may need to add more water. This promotes a feeling of fullness as a gel forms. You can take psyllium before a meal to prevent overeating.
What about the side effects of Psyllium Husk?
The good thing about psyllium husk is that digestive issues are uncommon as it’s not fermented. However, it’s best to stick to no more than 15 grams of psyllium husk per day. If you consume more than this, there’s a risk of gas, bloating and discomfort.
You should also make sure you consume enough fluids when taking psyllium as it may lead to constipation. In rare cases even a blockage. It’s also important to take psyllium with enough liquid; otherwise, the gel could become a choking hazard.
However, if you introduce psyllium gradually into your diet with plenty of fluids you’re unlikely to encounter any side effects.
The benefits of using Psyllium Husk for keto eaters
Aside from the benefits psyllium has, it is also an extremely useful ingredient in keto cooking and baking.
Many keto eaters find it difficult giving up high carb baked foods in the beginning. If you’re longing for bagels, pizza, and bread, then psyllium can be used in many adapted recipes.
Especially in yeast recipes such as keto bread, psyllium can help to achieve the desired airy consistency. You’ll also find that using psyllium in recipes gives dough more elasticity. Therefore, it is easier to shape, roll and handle.
Where to buy Psyllium Husk
You can get hold of psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder in larger grocery stores, in the specialist baking section. Otherwise, you should find it in well-stocked health food stores. Because psyllium husk is a laxative, you can also pick it up in pharmacies.
You can also pick up psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder online. Head to places like Amazon where you can pick up one pound of psyllium husk powder for around 12 dollars.
Also make sure you are clear about what you are buying, either whole psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder. If you’re baking with psyllium most recipes will call for the powder.
Start Keto Baking with Psyllium Husk
We’ve provided you with some quick tried-and-tested recipes that incorporate psyllium to create delicious results. With these recipes, you won’t crave for anything you love.
The addition of psyllium husk powder makes keto bread easy to handle and delicious. The bread is soft and airy in the middle and with a delicious golden crispy crust. The bread is perfect served straight from the oven. You can also toast it and freeze it with excellent results.
- 1¼ cups almond flour
- 5 tablespoon of psyllium husk powder
- 2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2 teaspoon of cider vinegar
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/ Gas 4.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- First, mix the vinegar and egg whites into the dry ingredients.
- Now add the boiling water and beat the dough with a mixer for around one minute until you have a workable dough.
- Use a little olive oil to prevent sticking while you shape the dough into 6 rolls.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake on the lower rack in the oven for 50–60 minutes. Test the rolls to see if they are done by tapping the bottom of the rolls. A hollow sound indicates the rolls are cooked through.
- Serve warm or cold with butter.
Keto nutrition stats per serving
Net carbs: 4 % (2 g)
Fiber: 6 g
Fat: 79 % (13 g)
Protein: 17 % (7 g)
These delicious keto pancakes have virtually no net carbs! Serve for a weekend breakfast when you have time to savor them.
- 4 eggs
- 7 oz. cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk powder
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup fresh berries such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
- 1 cup whipped cream.
- Mix the eggs, cottage cheese, and psyllium husk together in a bowl.
- Leave the mixture to sit and fluff up for 10 minutes.
- Melt some of the butter in a non-stick skillet.
- The recipe makes 4 pancakes; using a ladle, drop approximately ¼ of the mixture into the hot pan.
- Maintain a medium-low heat and cook the pancake for 3–4 minutes before flipping. Cook for 3-4 minutes on both sides.
- Remove the pancakes from the pan and place on a plate.
- Serve with lightly whipped cream and berries of your choice.
Keto nutrition stats per serving
Net carbs: 4 % (5 g)
Fiber: 3 g
Fat: 83 % (39 g)
Protein: 12 % (13 g)
Keto Chocolate Roll
With some seriously clever tricks and substitutions, we’ve created this dessert which chocolate cake lovers will adore. It’s also super easy to make.
- For the chocolate roll
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup psyllium husk powder
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup erythritol
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup sour milk or sour cream
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- The cream cheese filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 Tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ tsp. stevia extract (optional)
- ¼ cup erythritol
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Spread the dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12- 15 minutes.
- Combine the cream cheese ingredients in a small bowl.
- Spread the filling over the cooled cake and roll together tightly.
Keto nutrition stats per serving
Net carbs: 5 % ( 3.4g)
Fiber: 4 g
Fat: 87.3% ( 26.1g)
Protein: 7.7.% (5.4 g)
Psyllium can give a fiber boost, so it’s worth considering incorporating it into your keto diet. It’s a great way to maintain good bowel health. It’s also a handy natural way to achieve a feeling of fullness for weight loss or management.
In addition to all that, psyllium makes a great ingredient to create many delicious low carb keto treats! We’d love you to try the recipes and leave any comments and advice about psyllium below. Thanks!