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11 Substitutes For Psyllium Husk Powder

If you struggle with digestion or gluten issues or want a bomb food thickener, psyllium husk sounds like pure bliss! Rich in fiber, it’s the ideal solution for bowel health on paper and a fantastic food thickener and binder. However, you’re probably running into a couple of issues.

For one, it’s not the most available food item. While food hunting is okay occasionally, sometimes, you want a quick fix. Also, its taste can be a little too strong for some tastebuds. 

Now, are there other equally good, easier options? 

Nutritional Value Table

SubstitutesCalories Per 100gProtein
Chia Seeds52421.2 g
Flax Seeds53418 g
Xanthan Gum420 g
Corn Starch3810.3 g
Almond Flour1636.1 g
Coconut Flour25828 g
White Rice Flour3666 g
Guar Gum1904.25 g
Potato Starch3377 g
Tapioca Starch1300.2 g
Hemp Flour16614 g

Substitutes For Psyllium Husk

1. Chia Seeds

Drumroll for one of the healthiest options around – chia seeds! Besides a whopping amount of fiber, these poppy-like seeds contain loads of healthy goodies, including antioxidants, minerals, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Moreover, they’re a great option to explore if you want to shed some weight and keep your blood sugar or cholesterol in check.

Not to mention, the versatility of these seeds is nothing short of incredible. You can use them in the most surprising recipes, from baked dishes to smoothies and salads. 

Worried about their taste? Well, chia seeds taste mild, so go as hard as you want with them in your dishes. However, be sure to drink lots of water to avoid any uncomfortable digestive side effects. 

How To Substitute

To substitute psyllium husk with chia seeds, grind the seeds into a fine powder. A slightly equivalent amount compared to the psyllium husk will usually suffice. For example, use a cup of ground flax seeds instead of a cup of psyllium husk powder.

Alternatively, you can use the seeds as they are without grinding if you prefer.

2. Flax Seeds

psyllium husk substitutes Flax Seeds

Another seed makes the cut – the seeds of the flax plant. Like the previously seen chia seeds, flax seeds are highly nutritious, chock-full of protein, and healthy omega-3 fats. What’s more, they contain all the dietary fiber you need, about 27g per 100g of these seeds.

The fiber content makes flax seeds a superb substitute for psyllium husk, so no more constipation or indigestion. Besides, they’re known to have incredible health benefits for problems like diabetes and high cholesterol. 

As a bonus point, these seeds are beautiful to behold; their golden color is nothing short of drool-worthy. Also, although their taste is more distinct than chia seeds, the nutty, warm flavor pairs well with most dishes.

Although you can eat them raw, avoid this, especially if you have digestion issues. 

How To Substitute

Like chia seeds, an equivalent amount of flax seed powder makes an excellent psyllium husk substitute. Optionally, throw a dash of toasted flaxseeds over your meals, and you’re good to go.

3. Xanthan Gum

Don’t let the name fool you; this doesn’t even remotely resemble gum. In fact, it’s the very opposite, a powder. 

This substance is on the fence for many; it connects to some respiratory and digestive problems. However, the FDA confirms that it’s perfectly safe for you to add to your food. 

With the skepticism around it, why’s it still a winner? Easy – it’s a brilliant thickener and stabilizer.

Considering that it’s used in desserts like ice cream, you can tell it has a sweet taste. Try not to use too much; you’re better safe than sorry.

How To Substitute

Compared to psyllium husk, you need a smaller quantity of xanthan gum. So, use half as much xantham gum for one part of psyllium husk.

4. Corn Starch

We’ve looked at seeds; now let’s see food starches. On days when a grocery hunt seems impossible, this will be a lifesaver; it’s right in your kitchen.

Also, if psyllium husk’s taste is a big deal for you, cornstarch will leave you overjoyed; it’s so bland that it’s practically tasteless. As a result, it takes on the taste of whatever dish it’s used in.

Unfortunately, corn starch sacrifices fiber and nutrients for availability and convenience. What does this mean?

Although readily available, cornstarch isn’t full of fiber or other nutrients. With about 0.9g per 100g, its fiber content is pretty low. Still, it works as a thickener, especially when incorporating it into a boiling pot of liquid food. 

Hence, you’re on the right track if you substitute psyllium husk with corn starch as a thickening agent. But unfortunately, for fiber, it’s a solid no.

How To Substitute

Cornstarch is milder than psyllium husk and, consequently, easier to use. Replace the psyllium husk in your recipe with half its amount in cornstarch, and you’re ready to roll.

5. Almond Flour

Almond Flour

You’ll be surprised to learn that flour can replace psyllium husk, especially healthier flours like almond. The benefits of using almond flour in your meals are truly immeasurable; it’s gluten-free, keto-friendly, and full of vitamin E and antioxidants. Not to mention, its nutty flavor will have you sighing in pleasure.

Conveniently, unlike cornstarch and regular flour, you don’t have to mix almond flour in water before using it as a thickener. However, be careful; a little can go a long way, and you don’t want to end up with overly thick gravy. 

If you like to bake up a storm, this flour will do wonders for you as a healthier alternative to regular flour in the absence of psyllium husk. Plus, it has fiber content, about 3g per 29g of flour.

Sure, it’s a little pricey, but you’ll get your money’s worth.

How To Substitute

The exact amount of flour will work here, so get the equivalent amount you’d have used with psyllium husk. For example, instead of 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk, use 1 teaspoon of almond flour.

6. Coconut Flour

Similarly, coconut flour works excellently as a substitute for psyllium husk in cooking and as a thickener. 

No need to give up your favorite carbs anymore; with coconut flour, you can have the best of both worlds. Packed with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and iron, your body (and tastebuds) are in for a real treat.

Although it’s an excellent low-carb, keto-friendly substitute for psyllium husk, not to mention delicious, avoid this flour if you’re allergic to nuts. However, if you enjoy coconuts, use this flour as a thickener in sauces and for baking your muffins and pastries.

Like psyllium husk, this flour is highly rich in fiber, making it great for maintaining blood sugar levels and digestive health. However, note that it can be too drying for your baked goods, especially bread. 

How To Substitute

You’ll need an equal amount of coconut flour in your recipe to replace psyllium husk. When using it as a thickener, add in small quantities till you achieve your dream consistency.

7. White Rice Flour

Health junkies usually run away from white rice because of its high carb and starch content, and the flour is no different. However, its high starch content makes it ideal for thickening sauces and an excellent choice for gluten-free baking.

Making this flour is as simple as grinding white rice grains into a fine powder, and it proves to be cheaper than almond or coconut flour. Also, you may want to consider other psyllium husk substitutes for digestive issues; 0.2g of fiber in one tablespoon probably won’t serve you. 

Rice flour does have a significant amount of calories, about 360 per 100g, so take note of that if you’re watching your calorie intake. Although you won’t need a lot while thickening your sauce, baking will usually require flour.

How To Substitute

To thicken your sauces while cooking, use twice the amount of psyllium husk the recipe requires. Although it’s a suitable substitute for psyllium husk, it’s not as strong, so you’ll need to increase the amounts you use in your recipes.

8. Guar Gum

Of all the substitutes on the list, it’s unlikely that you’ve heard of this one. But check the ingredients in your favorite food items; you’ll be surprised to find guar gum on several lists.

Guar gum is a popular industry go-to for binding and thickening. Also, its ability to maintain the texture of your baked goods and keep them fluffy and moist is an added bonus. These qualities make it a good choice for substituting psyllium husk, although it can be equally difficult to source.

But where does this mystery substance come from? You’ll never guess the answer – your typical legumes! These legumes are dried and ground to a fine powder (not gum).

While this industry favorite has loads of fiber, about 13.5g per tablespoon, it also contains more calories than psyllium husk.

How To Substitute

Like xanthan gum, guar gum is quite potent, so use a smaller quantity than you usually would. For example, for one part of psyllium husk, use half the amount in guar gum.

9. Potato Starch

Potatoes feature in many recipes, so it’s no surprise the flour comes in handy here too. Versatile and tasty, potato starch is one of the most effortless psyllium husk substitutes out there. 

In addition to its ease and availability, potato starch has numerous health benefits, ranging from a higher metabolism to better insulin levels. Moreover, potato starch is a star ingredient for gut health, immunity, and of course, colon health with its rich fiber content.

Remember that though it’s nutritious, highly fibrous, and gluten-free, it contains high carbs. Also, following the behavior of all starches, it betters the texture and consistency of meals only when heat is applied.

How To Substitute

You’ll need an equal amount of coconut flour in your recipe to replace psyllium husk. When using it as a thickener, add in small quantities till you achieve your dream consistency.

10. Tapioca Starch

Weight loss is all the rage in today’s society; hence no one seems to talk about food items to help you pack some healthy weight. Here’s something that’ll help you achieve this goal while lending your body some much-needed fiber, and your food, the desired texture.

This starch from cassava pulp contains minerals like iron and remains easily digestible.

Considering that it’s a goldmine for healthy weight gain, it’s not the best option for dieting and shedding weight. But, if these aren’t your concerns, try out this fantastic psyllium husk substitute.

How To Substitute

Add the same quantity of tapioca starch in place of psyllium husk in any dish.

11. Hemp Flour

Of course, this one’s a total shell-shocker, hemp in your meal? Yes, and don’t worry, it’s not illegal.  

Hemp flour is soaring in popularity because of its touted health benefits, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and multiple vitamins and minerals. It’s also free from gluten and other food allergens, so no matter your preferences, you can incorporate it into your meals.

Now, for the real question. It’s made from hemp, so will eating this flour leave you with blurry red eyes and a wobbly head? 

Short Answer – No

THC, the compound in marijuana responsible for intoxication, is very small in this flour, too small to do any damage. 

How To Substitute

This flour is used chiefly in baking and not thickening food. However, due to its density, mix it with another flour for the best texture when baking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Psyllium Husk?

Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber made from the seeds of the Plantago Ovata (psyllium) plant, specifically the husks. These husks are then ground into a fine powder and used as a laxative or food thickener. 

As a laxative, it swells and forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water, thus assisting with bowel movement and digestion.

Why Should I Use Psyllium Husk? 

Psyllium husk is an excellent source of fiber, so if you struggle with constipation or digestion issues, consider adding it to your meals. 

In gluten-free baking, you’ll need a binding agent to retain moisture and keep your baked goods from falling apart. Psyllium husk (or its substitutes) plays this role perfectly. 

How Often Should I Use Psyllium Husk Or Its Substitutes?

Currently, there’s no evidence to suggest that you can’t use these powerful superfoods as often as possible. So, use them in your meals daily, or if they overwhelm you, pick a frequency that you find convenient. 

Ensure you’re keeping fit and using these fibers responsibly to avoid issues like bloating and general discomfort.

11 Best Psyllium Husk Substitutes 

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 
Total time

1

hour 

15

minutes

If you’re looking for a gluten-free ingredient. Explore the best psyllium husk substitutes below.

Ingredients

  • Chia Seeds

  • Flax Seed

  • Xanthan Gum

  • Corn Starch

  • Almond Flour

  • Coconut Flour

  • White Rice Flour

  • Guar Gum

  • Potato Starch

  • Tapioca Starch

  • Hemp Flour

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith