Smoothies have long been used to provide a filling snack between meals and prevent overeating. What many people do not know is that adding psyllium fiber to these fruity drinks can actually treat hemorrhoids as well.
Psyllium Fiber: An Overview
Psyllium fiber has long been used for overall bowel health. When used to increase fiber in the diet, psyllium helps prevent constipation and diarrhea, two well-known causes of hemroids. Psyllium adds bulk to stools, making them softer and easier to pass, thus preventing the straining during bowel movements that is another leading cause of hemorrhoids. Furthermore, softer stools are less likely to irritate and further exacerbate existing hemroids.
Psyllium fiber is also beneficial to the symbiotic bacteria that are found in the colon which aid digestion. Feeding on the psyllium fiber causes the bacteria to increase and produce more vitamin K, which prevents constipation and by extension hemroids.
Psyllium smoothies can also help control your appetite. Since psyllium makes the smoothies a bulker food, you feel fuller quicker and are not likely to overeat. This is yet another way in which psyllium fiber in smoothies can help prevent hemorrhoids, as carrying too much weight, especially in the abdominal area, is yet another major cause of hemroids.
Studies have shown that the viscosity of foods is detected by sensors in your digestive tract, which then signal to the hormone that controls appetite. When a psyllium smoothie hits your digestive system, the sensors in your stomach and intestines immediately detect a thick, viscous food and signal to decrease appetite.
The hormone that controls appetite is called ghrelin. Low levels of this hormone signal to your brain that you are full, while higher levels make you want to eat more. Smoothies, especially those containing psyllium fiber, tell your digestive sensors to decrease ghrelin and prevent you from wanting to overeat. Avoiding overeating and obesity is good for your overall health, as well as being a preventative for hemorrhoids.
Adding Psyllium to Smoothies
Some studies have indicated that psyllium fiber in powder form has maximum efficacy over that in pill form, so adding psyllium powder to smoothies helps you achieve the most hemroids benefits from the supplement. It is always important when taking any psyllium supplements to ensure adequate liquid is also taken. A good rule of thumb is to take 8 ounces of water for every 2 grams of psyllium fiber in powder form, and at least 4 ounces of water for every 1 psyllium fiber capsule. Inadequate liquid intake while you are taking psyllium fiber can actually have the opposite of the desire effect of softening the stools and can instead cause stools to become hard and difficult to pass. This can actually cause hemorrhoids instead of preventing them.
When adding psyllium fiber to your smoothies as a hemorrhoids treatment, be sure to blend the powder thoroughly into the liquid, and do not add too much powder. About a teaspoon of psyllium fiber is sufficient for a smoothie. This will give you all the fiber you need in order to prevent constipation and hemroids.