Fibre. It is the essential ingredient which keeps you and your digestive system healthy and regular. Not only that, studies have shown that soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol, and also helps regulate sugar levels for people with diabetes.
I know that not everyone is a vegetarian, has easy access to, or likes the taste of, fresh fruit and vegies; but to keep a body happy and healthy the Victorian government suggests that an adult should get 25-30 grams of fibre in their diets every day.
So, what to do if, unlike me, you don't have a salad with your lunch and dinner or some fresh fruit to snack on? Psyllium husk in orange juice may be your answer - two teaspoons in fresh juice (not apple juice as it doesnít mix well) first thing in the morning may be what you need.
One teaspoon of psyllium husk gives you 8 grams of fibre, have two teaspoons in the morning and you are more than half way to meeting your daily dietary fibre needs.
Psyllium husk is the prime ingredient in the commercial products out there like Metamucil, and is more cost effective (it costs AU$10 for a 500g bag compared to AU$20.00 for 500g of Metamucil).
Being unflavoured, psyllium husk is even better because you not only get to have it with juice or your breakfast smoothie, you can add it to anything - lasagne, sausage roll or shepherds pie, probably not soup as it might thicken it up too much, but it's up to you how you add it to your diet.
Psyllium Husk courtesy of Wikimedia.org
So, what is psyllium husk? Itís the husk of the seed of the Plantago ovate plant which grows in parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Itís most commonly known as a laxative as it absorbs water and becomes a gelatinous bulk (see picture below). Itís readily available in your supermarket health food aisle or your local health food store. To store it all you need to do is place it in an air tight container and place it in a dry spot in your pantry.
Psyllium husk is a great way to help you increase your daily fibre intake, itís also cheaper than the commercial products available out there and much more versatile. If you are having trouble getting your daily fibre needs, talk to a health professional about supplementing your diet with psyllium husk.