What is Gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye which in turn is often found in pasta, bread, cakes, and breakfast cereal.
Whole Grain: Whole grain does not mean wheat or that it contains gluten… In fact, true grains are edible seeds of certain grasses and for a food to be considered “whole grain,” it must contain 100% of the original seed. Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are considered whole grains.
In-soluble Fiber: Wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains help to promote digestion by adding bulk to the stool and help it move quickly through the stomach/intestines.
Soluble Fiber: Oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits/vegetables when digested attract water and turn into a gel-like substance.
Psyllium husk comes from the small seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant. The small shrub-like plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds at a time. The husk is milled from the seed and is a rich soluble fiber, that has many benefits and uses. Since psyllium husk is classified as a seed, it contains no gluten in its natural state.
Gluten-Free and your health
According the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten-free living appeals to about 30 percent of American adults, though it seems to still be widely misunderstood, .4 percent of people have a doctor-diagnosed wheat allergy. When people with celiac disease eat gluten it prompts an immune system attack on the small intestine causing diarrhea and/or bloating. The misconception that gluten-free is healthier has led to avoidance of whole grains which is an important source of fiber, micronutrients, and prebiotics.
As previously stated plain psyllium husk is naturally gluten-free. However some companies will add wheat flour as a binding agent. So the best way to be completely sure that you are getting 100% psyllium husk is to read the ingredients on the product’s Nutrition/Supplement Facts panel.
- This fab fiber is often used in gluten-free baking (Check out this recipe for gluten-free cookies)