What is Psyllium? The Ultimate Guide to Psyllium Husk
Did you know that only 10% of Americans get enough daily fiber?1 The daily recommended fiber intake is 28 grams2—which sounds like a lot! That’s where fiber supplements can help, and some can provide even more benefits than just increasing your daily fiber. The psyllium fiber in Metamucil not only offers a solution to help bridge this fiber gap, but it also provides multi-health benefits when taken daily.
What Is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium husk – or psyllium fiber – is a water-loving substance within it is the outer layer of the psyllium seeds from the psyllium plant, Plantago ovata, and is considered a valuable source of fiber.3 It is made of what is referred to as mucilage and is obtained through mechanical milling or grinding to remove the seed’s outer layer, where the fiber is highly concentrated. This psyllium fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that can provide several health-related benefits.
Psyllium is best known for its uses in digestive health but can also help provide health benefits such as helping lower cholesterol† and helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels*. Psyllium fiber is made up of both soluble and insoluble types of fiber though the majority is soluble.
Where Can You Find Psyllium Husk?
For centuries, psyllium husk has been used in the ancient traditional medicine of Ayurveda to promote the body’s overall health and well-being. This ancient knowledge has now been proven out by modern science, and today, psyllium is known as one of the most effective fibers for maintaining regular digestive health*.
Where Does Psyllium Husk Come From?
Psyllium comes from the Plantago Ovata plant which is grown in the rolling fields of the Gujarat and Rajasthan regions of India. The name psyllium comes from the Greek word “psulla”, which means flea, because seeds on the plant resemble clustered fleas. Each plant produces about 15,000 tiny seeds!4
How is Psyllium Fiber Made?
Once a year, the psyllium seeds are gathered and are stone ground to harvest the husk, which is then made into the powder that powers Metamucil powders. Metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement brand that contains psyllium and can provide all the benefits psyllium fiber has to offer.
4 Health Benefits You Can Get from Adding Psyllium to Your Daily Diet
When taken daily, the psyllium fiber in Metamucil can provide four main benefits. Research has demonstrated 4 key ways that psyllium can benefit your health. Psyllium can help…
1. Promote digestive health*
Psyllium husk is used to help support digestive health.* Because it regulates digestion, psyllium fiber forms a gel that moves through the digestive tract helping trap and remove the waste.*
2. Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels*
When taken with meals, psyllium husk has been shown to help maintain healthy glucose or blood sugar levels.*
3. Support heart health by lowering cholesterol†
Taking psyllium husk with meals is associated with favorable changes in cholesterol levels which helps promote heart health.† Importantly, the cholesterol benefits of psyllium fiber supplementation are observed by lowering of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) without reducing HDL (the “good” cholesterol)7 Both men and women with heart health concerns have been shown to experienced LDL-cholesterol reductions when using psyllium husk daily to promote heart health. †
4. Reduce hunger between meals*
Consuming psyllium husk with meals has been shown to increase satiety or the feeling of fullness you get from your meal.*
How Does Psyllium Husk Work?
Much of the power of psyllium fiber comes from its resistance to absorption by the small intestine, which enables it to work with the body to provide its benefits throughout the digestive tract.5 Psyllium fiber can resist absorption because the human body cannot break it down. When it mixes with water it forms a gel in the body, increasing its volume by about 20 times that of the dry powder.6,8 Let’s break down how the psyllium fiber in Metamucil helps your body to provide its four main benefits:
Supporting digestive health**
Once in its gel form, psyllium achieves its laxative effects (these effects are not felt immediately) by retaining water in the intestines which helps soften stool.6,9–11 The increase in stool water changes the environment in the colon and makes it easier for your body to move waste through the digestive track to maintain regularity.6,12 Through this process, psyllium helps trap and remove waste that weighs you down.*
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels**
Psyllium fiber in the gut also can slow the entry of glucose into the blood following meals. As the sugars and carbohydrates from your food mix with the psyllium gel it slows their absorption, helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*
Support heart health by lowering cholesterol†
Psyllium fiber gel in the gut also helps to trap bile and the cholesterol it contains inside the digestive tract, preventing it from being reabsorbed.14 Because this cholesterol stays within the digestive system, it’s removed from the body as waste, rather than being reabsorbed, helping lower cholesterol levels to promote heart health.†
Support appetite control**
By holding water and forming the gel in the digestive tract the psyllium fiber from Metamucil powders influences the time it takes for food to travel through the digestive system. This also enhances the feeling of fullness from the meals you eat, keeping us feeling fuller longer.13
How to Add Psyllium Fiber to Your Diet
Metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement brand that contains psyllium fiber. Metamucil’s psyllium fiber products come in powders , capsules , and thins. You can select the way to incorporate psyllium fiber into your diet that makes sense for you and your health goals. For example, powders can be mixed into drinks, while capsules & packets are perfect on the go. Fiber thins can be eaten as a delicious snack. The powders can also be incorporated into tasty fiber-rich recipes like smoothies, muffins and more. Depending on which benefits you’re looking for will determine which forms of Metamucil are your best option and how often to take it.
Incorporate psyllium fiber supplements into your diet slowly so that you can monitor how the supplements affect you and to give your body time to adjust the fiber. You may experience minor bloating as your body adjusts to more fiber. This is normal and should go away within a few days of starting as your body gets used to the increased fiber.
We recommend you try taking Metamucil’s psyllium fiber daily for two full weeks to make it a daily habit and start feeling lighter and more regular*. You can sign up for the Two-Week Challenge to receive tips, tricks, and reminders to keep you going strong.