Psyllium is not a new healthy food item for many of us. Majority of health buffs are already familiar with it, as many herbal supplements feature psyllium as one of its key wellness ingredients. It is most commonly found in dietary supplements. But there is so much more to pysllium than being a dietary enhancer. Psyllium is actually a catch-all term for all plants under the Plantago genus. The most useful part of the plant is its seeds. These small herbaceous plants are highly valued in that they can be converted into mucilage- the most common form of psyllium that is being marketed as a dietary supplement.
Psyllium prides itself for having high levels of quality dietary fibers. Aside from its laxative effects, psyllium also has a few other benefits on other parts and fucntions of the human body.
Psyllium is native to different regions in Asia. India is known as the largest producer of psyllium, as they export psyllium husks in the West and even in neighboring Asian countries.
The prized mucilage is sourced from the seed coal. The seed coat contains up to 25% of the ingredients that is utilized to produce gelatinous mucilage. What’s left of the seed is also being used to feed livestock. One unique property of psyllium is that it bonds very well with water. Psyllium mucilage expands ten times its original volume and size once in contact with water. Although psyllium were utilized by our ancestors for hundreds of years, researchers are still looking into the other health benefits of pysllium.
Psyllium mucilage is available in large quantities to pharmaceutical companies. Metamucil is an excellent example of a company that prodcues psyllium supplements with positive health benefits. Listed below are some of the other advantages that psyllium delivers to the body.
1.Reduction in bad cholesterol levels
Psyllium is proven to improve heart health due to its excellent dietary fiber content. Supplementation lowers the bad cholesterol levels as dietary fiber works over time to reduce the amount of unhealthy cholesterol that is absorbed by the body. With reduction in the absorption of cholesterol, these unhealthy substances are prevented from adhering along the arterial and blood vessel walls altogether. A reduction in bad cholesterol results in lower chances of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions. Another good news is that it does not reduce the amount of good cholesterol from the food that we eat, thus promoting a healthy overall cholesterol in the body. Lastly, psyllium facilitates the production of bile- a compound that utilizes and breaks down cholesterol as it passes through the liver.
2.Relieves digestive issues
The most important function of psyllium is that of improving the efficiency as well as the functionality of the digestive system. The psyllium fibers directly bind with water in the gut. Individuals suffering from diarrhea should use psyllium supplements as it bulk up the stool while normalizing bowel movement. For those suffering from constipation, psyllium also reduces discomfort as a result of the efficiency peristalsis once psyllium is taken on a regular basis. Psyllium fibers help in reducing the straining as well as inflammation- symptoms that are quite common among those suffering from gastric ulcers and hemorrhoids.
Psyllium is also helpeful in the management of diabetes mellitus type 2. It has a positive effective on blood sugar levels. This benefit is also beneficial for those who do not have diabetes type 2, but are looking into improving their overall health. The proper regulation in the release of insulin into the bloodstream keeps the blood sugar levels stable throughout the entire day. With this action, psyllium can effectively prevent the development of diabetes as it consistently reduces the major spikes and plunges of
4.Weight Loss Difficulties
One important quality of psyllium which makes it one of the most powerful weight loss supplements is its ability to make one feel full even with just small amounts of food consumed. Its high fiber content makes it the best supplement to use for those trying to cut down their weight. The feeling of satiety that psyllium delivers makes it relatively easy for users to cut down on snacking on unhealthy foods. It also increases energy levels without the worry of adding those unwanted pounds. Oat bran and similar food products contain psyllium, thus making them a healthy snack for obese and overweight individuals.
5.Blood Pressure Regulation
The dietary fiber content of psyllium helps in the regulation of blood pressure. It is one of the very few natural compounds that showed consistently positive results when it comes to lowering blood pressure levels. Those who regularly consume supplements that contain psyllium, their blood pressure goes back to normal as psyllium has been proven to easethe tension that may be present in arteries and blood vessels.
Another beneficial advantage to consuming psyllium is that it reduces the inflammatory processes that may transpire in the colon and gut regions. This is due to the excellent fibrous activity delivered by its unique mucilage, which in turn relieves the stress and tension in the gastric region.
Due to the laxative effects of psyllium’s dietary fiber, it acts as a great detoxifier too. The dietary fibers cleanse the gastrointestinal system- an activity that is guaranteed to improve gastrointestinal health.