Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula.
It’s most commonly known as a laxative. However, research shows that taking psyllium is beneficial to many parts of the human body, including the heart and the pancreas.
Health benefits of psyllium includes:
As is the case for other types of dietary fiber, psyllium can significantly affect the health of the heart by lowering cholesterol. Excess dietary fiber works to decreases the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food, preventing it from sticking in the arteries and blood vessels. This helps to reduce the chances of atherosclerosis and the consequent heart issues that can arise.
The main function of psyllium is to improve the functionality and efficiency of the digestive system, namely by binding with water in the gut. If you are suffering from diarrhea, psyllium can help to bulk up your stool and normalize your bowel movements. If you struggle with constipation issues, it can also help reduce that discomfort, as it can stimulate peristaltic motion and keep your bowels moving smoothly. It can also help reduce straining and inflammation, which can help eliminate hemorrhoids and gastric ulcers.
Psyllium also has a proven effect on blood sugar levels, which is important for everyone, whether or not your suffer from diabetes. By regulating the release of insulin into the bloodstream, and keeping blood sugar levels steady, it can help prevent the onset of diabetes, as it reduces the chances of major spikes and plunges. For people who are living with diabetes, adding psyllium to your diet can help keep you healthy.
One of the best things about dietary fiber is that it creates the feeling of fullness, and that sense of satiety is very important for people looking to cut down on their weight. By preventing between-meal snacking, psyllium supplements can keep your energy levels up without adding on the pounds. Oat bran often contains psyllium, and is a popular choice as a healthy snack.
In various studies of dietary fibers, associations between blood pressure and fiber have been suggested, but psyllium is one of the few compounds that is consistently shown to reduce blood pressure in those who regularly consume it. Although you can’t call it a vasodilator, necessarily, psyllium can certainly ease the tension on blood vessels and arteries of the heart.
There are several studies that have shown the mucilage of psyllium to reduce inflammation in the gut and colon. This is due to the fibrous activity found in this unique mucilage, as it can ease the stress and strain on the colon.