Is psyllium husk FODMAP friendly? This is a question that’s been asked by a lot of people practicing a FODMAP diet. Luckily, we’re here to give you answers. Let’s have a look at what psyllium husk is and determine whether it’s FODMAP friendly or not.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs refer to the types of carbohydrates found in particular foods such as beans and wheat. According to studies, those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS can significantly benefit from a low-FODMAP diet. A low FODMAP diet can help up to 85% of IBS patients relieve their symptoms.
Here are some of the foods that are highly recommend for people on a low-FODMAP diet:
● All fats and oils
● Nuts and seeds (pine nuts, peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts)
● Meats, fish, and eggs
● Fruits (grapes, lemons, lime, mandarins, strawberries)
● Vegetables (bok choy, bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, kale)
● Grains (tapioca, sorghum, rice, oats, quinoa
● Beverages (tea, coffee, water)
What is psyllium husk?
Psyllium is a type of fiber from the husk of the seeds of Plantago ovata, also known as ispaghula.
This is commonly used as a bulk-forming laxative. This means it absorbs the water in your gut and encourages bowel movements without causing flatulence. You can use it when you have constipation or incorporate it into your daily diet to improve overall digestive health.
Psyllium comes in two forms: husk and hull. The hulls are basically the same as the husks, except that they are finely grounded. Between the two, the hulls are more desirable because the outer husks may contain undesirable tannins and oils.
Is psyllium husk low FODMAP?
Yes, Psyllium is considered to be low FODMAP.
But, is psyllium husk OK for IBS?
Well, the answer is also yes. Psyllium husk can help improve the symptoms of IBS. It also has other health benefits such as improved glycemic control, bodyweight management, and lowered blood cholesterol levels.
How much psyllium should I take for IBS?
The common starting point is 5g for every glass of water 3 times a day. However, people tend to develop tolerance over time which is why it's suggested that it should be gradually increased. But to be safe, it is best to check the brand's recommended serving and consult your physician first.
Can psyllium husk be bad for you?
Just like other supplements, psyllium husk can have its own share of side effects. For example, it can cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and even diarrhea because it bulks up the stool. On top of that, if you take too much without enough water, you may experience bowel blockages.
Can psyllium husk make IBS worse?
In this case, the answer is no. Psyllium husk is an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber that can be beneficial for people with IBS. It is also considered to be safe for long-term usage.
The benefits of psyllium husk outweigh its potential downsides. This is why if you suffer from IBS or other digestive conditions, it is a supplement that is worth considering.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD