Psyllium Husk: Uses & Benefits
Psyllium is a kind of fiber that is gentle in nature but is a bulk-forming laxative. Psyllium, just like other soluble fibers, moves through the small intestine without getting completely absorbed.
It gets absorbed into water and turns into a viscous beneficial compound that offers benefits in conditions such as cholesterol, diarrhea, weight loss, blood pressure, constipation, and blood sugar levels.
Psyllium is a soluble fiber with its origin from the seeds of a plant found in India called Plantago ovate.
Psyllium is used as a dietary supplement. It comes in many forms, such as powder, granules, capsules, and husk.
Psyllium is also added to baked items and breakfast cereals by many manufacturers. Metaucil is another dietary supplement used for constipation also contains Psyllium husk as the main ingredient.
It is highly water-soluble; hence, it absorbs water and turns into a thick and viscous compound which plays a role in resisting digestion in the small intestine.
Psyllium Husk Uses and Benefits
Psyllium comes in different forms and offers a variety of health benefits.
1. Isabgol relieves constipation
As stated earlier that Psyllium is a bulk creating laxative. It helps in enlarging stool size and in relieving constipation.
Firstly, it gets attached to the digested food travelling from the stomach to the small intestine.
Then further, it aids in the absorption of water which in turn enlarges the size and moisture level of stools. The resulting product is easier to pass stools.
2. Psyllium Husk powder for treating diarrhea
Studies have indicated that psyllium can help in relieving diarrhea. It acts as a water-absorbing agent. It also increases stool thickness and further slows down its way towards the colon.
3. Isabgol for lowering blood sugar levels
Fiber supplements are beneficial in controlling the glycemic response of the body towards a meal.
These supplements reduce blood sugar levels and insulin in the body. Talking of psyllium, it is the best water-soluble fiber for this cause.
Psyllium works best for this mechanism more than any other fibers like bran. The gel-forming fibers found in psyllium make the digestion slow, which further controls blood sugar levels.
4. Psyllium seed for boosting satiety and helping in weight loss
As psyllium is a fiber that forms viscous compounds, it is quite helpful in controlling appetite and promoting weight loss.
Psyllium works by slowing down the stomach emptiness and decrease appetite resultantly. Lesser appetite and lesser calorie intake aids in weight loss.
5. Lower cholesterol levels
Psyllium gets attached to bile acids and fat to help in their excretion from the body. The liver utilizes cholesterol to produce more bile acids so that they could be replaced with lost ones. Resultantly, blood cholesterol levels reduce.
6. Psyllium whole Husk is good for heart health.
Fiber supplements are known to be good for heart health. The dietary fibers can enhance cholesterol and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and stroke, as stated by The American Heart Association (AHA).
Psyllium being a water-soluble fiber may also help in reducing the risk of heart diseases. It can also aid in lowering blood pressure and blood triglycerides levels.
7. Fiber psyllium has Prebiotic effects.
Prebiotics are indigestible compounds that aid in promoting the growth of intestinal bacteria. Studies have indicated that psyllium possesses prebiotic properties.
Psyllium is fermentation-resistant to some extent, but still, intestinal bacteria are able to ferment a small part of psyllium fibers.
This fermentation results in producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which also include butyrate. Studies have shown various health benefits of these short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).