What Are the Health Benefits of Psyllium?

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Health

According to information from the Integrated Benefits Institute, poor health costs the American economy $576 billion annually. Put another way, the cumulative poor health of the population causes the country to lose an equivalent of 39% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Staying healthy is now at the forefront of many peoples’ concerns, and as such, you need to find a strategy that can work for you on a regular basis. One of the core needs of a healthy diet is fibre, and psyllium helps you incorporate it into your diet.

Here is a rundown of the benefits of psyllium and the right way to take it for better health.

What Is Psyllium?

Psyllium is a kind of soluble fibre from the seeds of a herb known as Plantago ovata.

Psyllium, also known as ispaghula, is native to India but also grows wildly in various parts of the globe, including the South-western United States.

The value of psyllium comes from the seed coat, where around 25% of it goes into making a gelatinous mucilage, which is the most common form that people take psyllium. The remaining 75% will typically end up in manufacturing livestock feed.

While psyllium is famous for being a laxative, it also functions as dietary fibre.

Essential Benefits of Psyllium

You can find psyllium in various forms, and due to this versatility, it can help you stay healthy in multiple ways. Here are some advantages to taking psyllium.

1. It Helps Relieve Constipation

Fibre is a critical part of healthy eating, and as such, you need to consume it regularly. There are two types of fibre, i.e., soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibre will attract and bind with water to form a gel that slows down digestion. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, tends to add bulk to the food so that it can pass through the stomach quickly.

When you take psyllium, it initially binds with the food that is partially digested and passing to the small intestine from the stomach. As it travels along, it will absorb water, increasing the moisture and size of your stool. As a result, you can pass stool that is larger and more passable.

Psyllium not only helps you to stop constipation, but it also encourages your body to develop regularity in passing stool, which promotes your digestive health.

2. It Helps Manage Cholesterol

Since psyllium contains soluble fibre, it can help you lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The soluble fibre in psyllium binds to fat and bile, interfering with their uptake in the small intestines. Due to this, the body will need to expel the bile acids via your stool.

As your body seeks to replace these bile acids, the liver will utilize cholesterol as part of that procedure. In the process, the level of LDL, which is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol, goes down as well.

While LDL gets reduced, the HDL (what is referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol) in your body does not go down. Additionally, this process promotes the production of more bile, which then utilizes more cholesterol to keep the virtuous circle going.

3. Weight Loss Management

One of the most enormous benefits of dietary fibre is that it makes you feel full after eating. That’s because the viscous compound it forms helps to delay the emptying of your stomach three hours after your meal. 

If you are looking to lose some weight, a satiated feeling is valuable in regulating the calories you take.

To leverage this, consider taking psyllium supplements to help you avoid snacking in between meals, which contributes a lot to weight gain.

4. It Has a Prebiotic Effect

Prebiotics are compounds that can’t be broken down by the body and which nourish intestinal bacteria to help them grow.

Despite the fact that psyllium resists fermentation, it is still possible to digest a small number of psyllium fibres using intestinal bacteria. That process of fermentation produces short-chain fatty acids.

These short-chain fatty acids help you feel fuller after eating and enhance mineral absorption, among other things that boost your health.

Psyllium Dosage

Most people tend to tolerate psyllium well. However, the exact dose you should take will depend on the particular product you are using.

Psyllium comes in several forms that include granules, powder, capsule, liquid, and wafer. All these varying forms can be ingested by mouth, and the average dose is usually between one to three times per day.

When you are taking psyllium, you must use it in the recommended amount. Furthermore, you will need to mix it with water or other liquid. If you don’t, you may end up constipated and even potentially cause a small bowel obstruction.

The recommended amount of water that you should mix with psyllium is eight ounces.

At the start of the dose, you should take no more than five grams the very first time. With every subsequent instance that you take the psyllium, you should increase the quantity by not more than five grams per day each week.

Spacing your intake like that helps your digestive system adjust to the increasing amount of fibre passing through it.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the right amount of psyllium you should take per day is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men (for adults between the ages of 21 and 50 years). Children should not take psyllium.

If you are 50 years and over, your body tends to consume a lesser number of calories. Therefore, you should plan to take 21 grams per day if you are a woman and 30 grams if you are a man.

For anyone looking to use psyllium for its laxative effect, do not use it for more than seven days. You can only use psyllium for a longer-term if you are taking it as a fibre supplement.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Health?

In today’s world, living healthy is vital for high productivity, and it starts with a diet that gives your body the right nutrients. 

Dietary fibre is critical to help your digestive and cardiovascular health, among others. Thus, many people have turned to psyllium due to the various ways it can help you improve your health. Before you start taking it, find out the correct dosage for you to tap into all the benefits of psyllium hassle-free.

OnVive Organics is driven by the desire to offer uncompromising integrity on ingredients for high-quality natural supplements that can help you live healthier. Talk to us today for trusted products that support quality living.