Psyllium as food
Psyllium husk for humans: Blond psyllium contains beneficial mucous-forming fibres that swell upon contact with liquid. Since these swelling agents are found in the epidermis of the psyllium husk, the husk is separated from the seed by a special process and only the husk is sold as psyllium husk as a standalone product with up to five times the swelling capacity. Psyllium seeds and husks are usually dissolved in water, mixed into muesli or yoghurt and consumed, or processed in baked goods.
Fibre promotes digestion: Its presence in the gut stimulates movement in several ways. This accelerates the transport of food residues further along the bowel and their elimination. Furthermore, dietary fibre in the intestine slows the absorption of free sugars. The blood sugar level therefore increases more slowly after a meal containing fibre than after a meal without fibre, which is an advantage in regulating hunger and satiety. Bile acids play an important role in fat digestion. Fibre binds bile acids in the intestine, leading to increased elimination. The resulting shortage of bile acids needed for fat digestion stimulates the liver to produce bile acids, and cholesterol is consumed in the process.
Recommended psyllium intake
Due to the powerful water-binding properties of psyllium husk, the products should not be eaten dry. Whole psyllium does not swell quite as much, so it is therefore sufficient if an adequate amount of fluid is taken after eating. But when consuming psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder, the product should be added to a liquid and allowed to swell for 15 to 20 minutes. If the product is ingested dry, the contents of the stomach will expand many times over, which can lead to discomfort.
It is generally recommended to consume psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder as follows:
Stir 1/2-1 teaspoon into water* and allow it to swell, or mix it into muesli or yoghurt and eat, 2-3 times daily.
*Mixing ratio of psyllium husk to liquid of at least 1:10.
For whole psyllium seeds:
Stir 1-2 teaspoons into water* and allow to swell, or mix it into muesli or yoghurt and eat, 2-3 times daily. *Mixing ratio of psyllium husk to liquid of at least 1:5.
Psyllium husk powder in particular, with its high swelling capacity, absorbs liquid very rapidly. It can also be difficult to mix without lumps. You should therefore slowly increase the amountof psyllium husk powder until it feels right for you.
In terms of the swelling capacity of psyllium products, there is generally a high percentage of soluble fibre in psyllium husk, which is the part with the greatest swelling capacity. Therefore the pure husks swell more than the whole seed. The grinding process used to make the powder (ground psyllium husk) increases the purity of the product and thereby its water retention capacity (viscosity), resulting in an even higher swelling capacity.
Note on swelling capacity: The number refers to the swelling capacity in ml/g as measured according to the USP method. The higher the purity, the better the swelling properties of the psyllium husk. For example, our Golden Peanut premium psyllium husk has the highest swelling capacity for husk, between 65-68 ml/g. This is mainly due to the high purity level of the product. Our premium 99% psyllium husk is ‘extra white’. This means that it has a low percentage of specks. This very popular premium product contains 99% mucilage, up to a maximum of 0.5% light and 0.5% heavy foreign matter. Due to its high purity level, it can even have a swelling capacity of up to 68 ml/g. Ground psyllium husk from 99% premium psyllium husk can have a swelling capacity of 80 ml/g. Only the powder can achieve a swelling capacity of more than 70.
PLEASE NOTE: No matter which psyllium product you choose, you should always consume it with plenty of fluid. A precise amount of fluid cannot be specified, as this varies according to the individual. Nevertheless, the overall recommendation in the literature is to drink at least one to two litres of water after eating psyllium products.