Psyllium: The Rolls Royce of Fibers

15 12 2008

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With the expanding range of benefits attributed to high-fiber intake, we are learning to increase our consumption of wheat breads, whole grains and beans in addition to fruits and vegetables which are the most popular sources of fiber.  The National Cancer Institute recommends 35 grams of fiber intake daily.

Now let’s calculate… 

Food Amount Grams of Fiber
Apple (with skin) 1 medium 3.0
Orange 1 medium 3.1
Pear (with skin) 1 medium 4.3
Prunes 3 1.8
Raisins (seedless) 1/4 cup 1.9
Strawberries 1 cup 3.9
Broccoli 1/2 cup 2.0
Brussels sprouts 1/2 cup 3.4
Baked potato w/skin 1 medium 3.6
Spinach 1/2 cup 2.0
Sweet potato 1/2 medium 1.7
Carrots (raw) 1 medium 2.3
Romaine lettuce 1 cup 1.0
Tomato (raw) 1 medium 1.6
Baked beans 1/2 cup 9.8
Kidney beans 1/2 cup 7.3
Peanuts 1/4 cup 2.9
Brown rice (cooked) 1/2 cup 1.7
Whole wheat bread 1 slice 1.9
Spaghetti (cooked) 1/2 cup 1.1
All-Bran 1/3 cup 8.5
Oatmeal (regular) 3/4 cup 1.6
Raisin bran 3/4 cup 4.8

Health experts generally recommend that we get our fiber from food, not supplements, because food contains nutrients that supplements don’t.   However, more often than not, we can’t and don’t consume the daily requirement.  That’s where a good fiber supplement may help, one that contains a high level of water soluble fiber like psyllium.  Personally, I take the C-lium Fibre which is gluten-free, with no preservatives, no additives, no sweeteners and no artificial flavors. Psyllium is described as the Rolls Royce of all fibers.  The amount of soluble fiber in psyllium is much higher than oat bran.  Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber.  Recently the United States Food and Drug Administration acknowledged psyllium´s role in lowering blood cholesterol levels by allowing health claims to be made for products containing psyllium fiber.  However it was recognized that psyllium is only one factor that can influence cholesterol levels and so the claim for psyllium is combined with a low fat diet that is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  It regulates bowel movement, stabilizes blood sugar levels, promotes weight loss by curbing appetite, reduces and/or absorbs cancer-causing toxins, among others.

C-lium and other psyllium brands are available in capsules and powder form which are equally effective although capsules are more expensive.  I had tried both but I hadn’t finished my first bottle of 400 capsules yet.  You see, if you’re taking the capsule form, you have to take at least ten (10) and that’s a lot!  Lately, I have been taking the powder form in sachets once a day.  Why don’t you try it, too?

C-lium is available in all Watsons and Mercury Drug Stores.  GNC has a wide variety of fiber supplements such as Preventive Nutrition Colon Care Formula and Natural Brand Colon CureHealthy Options also has several brands to try.

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