Fiber is a wonder food in a way. It has long been regarded as a diet that promotes regular bowel movements. However, it does a great deal more. It helps to maintain good health and prevent chronic illness by beneficially influencing the body’s gut bacteria.
It also helps lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which are all major chronic illnesses. According to recent research, those who ate the most fiber were less likely to die of any sickness.
After listening to this, you’ve probably made up your mind on the fiber! But how do you go about getting the suitable fibers?
People relied on cereal grains to achieve their fiber requirements in the past. Cereal grains are no longer a viable option. Many cereal grains are treated with pesticides and preservatives, resulting in a more processed and less pure product.
Ayurveda and modern science prefer pure, natural food since it is easier to digest and use by the body. Furthermore, many high fibers packaged cereal bowls include wheat, which some people are sensitive to.
That’s why gluten-free fiber sources such as psyllium husk or flaxseed might be a preferable alternative (remember to use organic, natural sources). These are all ‘healthy’ alternatives.
Psyllium Husk, which has been around for thousands of years, is sometimes overlooked for more interesting and modern fiber sources like flaxseed and chia seeds.
Psyllium, unlike flaxseeds, has no fat. It also provides fewer calories, with roughly 20 calories in one tablespoon of Psyllium. However, it comes with its own side effects.
This blog post on “psyllium husk vs. flaxseed” will clear all your doubts and help you choose the best fiber for your dietary routine.
What Is Psyllium Husk?
Psyllium, the primary constituent in this powder, is a native crop of western India, Mediterranean Europe, Pakistan, and Africa. Its name comes from the Greek word "psulla," which means "flea," since its seeds resemble fleas. Plantago Ovata is the scientific name for this plant. Around 15,000 psyllium seeds may be collected from one of these plants!
They are then gathered and harvested, and turned into husks. The husk is then ground into powder as the next stage in this yearly ritual. This is the psyllium husk powder that you can buy in stores.
It is well recognized as a high-fiber natural source that aids in treating constipation, diabetes, sluggish metabolism, and obesity.
Preparation & Taste
Psyllium seed husks, like chia seeds, have no flavor and are simple to include in your diet. Psyllium seed husks may be used for hot porridge, juice mixes, and smoothies. Keep an eye on the quantity you add.
When psyllium seed husk is introduced to liquid, it swells in size, particularly powder form. If you're new to dealing with psyllium seed husk powder, start with a little amount and work your way up until you get the proper consistency.
Why Should You Take It?
Psyllium husk has been gaining popularity recently because of its tremendous health advantages. We've put up a summary of psyllium powder's advantages to make things easier.
1. It aids in digestive and metabolism issues.
Psyllium husk has a high water-holding capacity and absorbs water to produce a thick gel. It expands and induces bowel motions when it absorbs fluids in the digestive system. It has been shown to ease constipation, treats ulcerative colitis, and aid in regularity by doctors. Because Psyllium is prebiotic, it promotes the development of beneficial bacteria in the stomach, strengthening the immune system.
2. You can include gluten-free recipes.
Giving up things like pizza, cakes, and crepes might seem like agony when you're on a diet. On the other hand, Psyllium may aid in the creation of gluten-free and keto-friendly versions of such recipes. Psyllium maintains moisture in bread and gives it a light texture when baked.
It also provides the dough with more excellent elasticity and makes rolling it out easier. Psyllium powder is used in psyllium flatbread, coconut flour, psyllium husk bread, keto pancakes, and more.
3. Lowers the chances of cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease risks are reduced when more soluble fiber is in the diet. Because soluble fibers cut LDL cholesterol and enhance blood pressure in obese persons, this is the case.
Psyllium has been shown to improve HDL cholesterol while lowering triglycerides. It also helps to keep lipid levels in balance and strengthens the cardiac muscles.
4. It helps to keep your diabetes in check.
Psyllium powder may assist type-2 diabetes patients in lowering their blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. According to researchers, the concentrations of fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin improved dramatically after several weeks of ingestion.
5. The secret to weight loss.
Psyllium husk aids with appetite management. Because it gives you a sense of fullness in the stomach. So, if you want to lose weight and lower your BMI without feeling hungry, psyllium husk powder is the way to go.
Psyllium husk does not produce extra gas or digestive difficulties since bacteria are not fermented in our intestines. There have been relatively few instances of psyllium husk powder causing allergic reactions. Instead of the husk, the seed's components were usually the primary culprit.
Constipation may occur if large psyllium husk powder is consumed without appropriate liquids. Excessive gas, bloating, and discomfort might happen if the quantity consumed is more than 15 grams per day. It might result in intestinal obstruction in the worst-case scenario, although this is quite unusual.
What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed is regarded as one of the most excellent fiber sources. It consists mainly of grains obtained from flax plants (or Linum usitatissimum) that reach a height of 2 feet. For hundreds of years, people have used it for its myriad health advantages!
The Babylonians were the first people to grow it. They began cultivating it 5000 years ago, and it rose to such a high level of popularity that in the eighth century, French King Charlemagne passed a law limiting its consumption!
The flavor of these flaxseeds is comparable to that of almonds. It's also utilized in producing oil, grains, and linen fabric. You may also find it in your pet's food's ingredients.
Preparation & Taste
Flax seeds, unlike Psyllium, have a somewhat nutty flavor. Flax seeds are often toasted to enhance the taste. Flax seeds come in two colors: golden and dark brown. To release all the nutrients, you must shatter the seed covering. You must chew them thoroughly.
You may purchase ground flax seeds, but make sure they don't hang around for too long and are stored in a cold, preferably dark, environment. If your flax seeds smell fishy, they're probably rotten, and it's time to get rid of them. Flax seeds are something I use in everything from my meals to my hair care products.
Why Should You Take It?
Flaxseed is high in polyphenols. It's a powerful antioxidant that safeguards your health. Here is how it can benefit you in more than one way:
1. It's good for your heart.
Flaxseed's healthy lipids aid to decrease blood pressure, prevent arterial hardening, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, and avoid strokes.
One research revealed that consuming three tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily for three months decreased "bad" LDL cholesterol by almost 20% and total cholesterol by more than 15% in persons with high cholesterol.
2. The fiber in flaxseed promotes digestion.
Both soluble and insoluble fibers may be found in flaxseed. Soluble fiber softens feces, making it easier to move through the GI tracts and eliminate. Insoluble fiber aids in the movement of waste through the stomach and promotes bowel regularity by stimulating the digestive tract. Both forms of fiber help to keep your digestive system healthy.
3. It reduces the risk of cancer.
Flaxseed has been demonstrated to help prevent tumors and cancers from developing. This might be due to flax's high lignan content. These plant chemicals have antiangiogenic effects, which may stop tumors from growing and generating new blood vessels.
4. Flaxseed may even help with hot flashes.
Some studies show flaxseed may assist with this perimenopause symptom. In one research, women who ate 20 grams of crushed flaxseed twice a day, mixed with cereal, juice, or yogurt, had half as many hot flashes as those who did not. Their hot flashes also decreased in severity by more than half.
5. It reduces the risk of diabetes.
Flaxseed lignans have also been associated with lower HA1C levels, a measure of average blood sugar over three months. In addition to lowering diabetes risk, the seeds may also assist in other ways. In scientific research, participants who ingested 13 grams of flaxseed per day had reduced blood glucose and insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity.
6. Flaxseed might help you lose weight.
Mucilage makes up most of the soluble fiber in flaxseeds. This fiber interacts with water to generate a gel-like consistency that slows stomach emptying, resulting in more incredible sensations of fullness and a delay in appetite. So, you eat less, thus lose weight eventually.
7. Flaxseed may help you get more supple skin.
Massaging flaxseed oil lowers skin sensitivity and reduces skin roughness and scaling while enhancing skin moisture and smoothness.
Failure to maintain an appropriate flaxseed dose might result in major digestive problems. Abdominal pain and increased bowel movement are common side effects of overeating this seed. Diarrhea, stomachache, and bloating are common side effects of such scenarios. However, moderation is the key!
Some individuals have allergic responses to flaxseed. This usually occurs while taking flaxseed oil, which may produce itching, swelling, redness, and other symptoms in the user. If you see these symptoms in someone, tell them to stop using or eating flaxseeds right once and seek medical attention. However, it's very unusual and happens occasionally!
Look another masterpiece video explanation from Dr. Eric Berg DC about FlaxSeed Benefits for Skin & Symptoms of Linoleic Acid Deficiency.
Flaxseed Vs. Psyllium Husk: Head-to-Head Comparison Between Them
Compared to Psyllium, flaxseed fiber has a more fantastic natural healthy mix of insoluble and soluble fiber.
Flax contains a 65-75 percent insoluble fiber content and a 25-35 percent soluble fiber content. Psyllium has a substantially more significant percentage of soluble fiber, ranging from 20% insoluble to 80% soluble fiber. That's why psyllium gels more quickly than flax fiber when combined with water.
Psyllium increases water in the feces, making it softer and easier to pass, which helps to treat constipation. Drink plenty of water while taking Psyllium; otherwise, it might induce constipation or aggravate current constipation, as well as throat swelling and choking. Flax has a lower probability of producing constipation.
Lignan is a plant-based molecule with estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties in the human body.
The most acceptable source of lignans is flaxseeds; Psyllium has none. Although further study is required, lignans are thought to be protective against hormone-related malignancies, including breast and prostate cancer.
#3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Because Psyllium does not contain any fat, it is not an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
On the other hand, Flaxseeds are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a form of omega-3 fatty acid found in plant foods. A tablespoon of intact flaxseeds has 2.5 grams of ALA, whereas a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds has 1.8 grams. Flaxseeds include omega-3 lipids, which may help protect your heart.
#4. Nutritional Information
Flaxseed provides nearly half the calories of Psyllium. The table below shows the exact nutritional values of each seed per tablespoon.
Psyllium Seed Husks
Flaxseeds are the superior option in total nutritional value since Psyllium lacks fat and protein. Psyllium, on the other hand, is an ideal option in terms of calorie count since it contains almost less than half as many as flaxseeds.
Dietary fiber is abundant in both psyllium husk and flaxseed. Apart from being an excellent source of fiber, these products have a variety of other uses.
Flaxseed is also utilized to produce oil, pet food, and linen fabric. On the other hand, Psyllium husk is used as a thickening agent and in laxatives.
In Ayurveda, a food's health properties are determined by its suitability for your body type.
Psyllium husk fiber is the greatest lubricating, bulk laxative in Ayurveda, and it soothes irritable bowels. It is, however, a hefty meal that, if ingested too often and in excessive amounts, may cause stagnation and toxins in the digestive tract. As a result, Psyllium should be used with a digestive stimulant such as ginger. It's also better for the Pitta and Vata people.
Flax seeds should be kept in the freezer. They vary from Psyllium in that they are lighter and have a higher temperature. This makes them unsuitable for pitta but ideal for Vata and Kapha. They also help to keep hormones in check. All fiber should be consumed with lots of water to prevent constriction of the digestive system and gas.
People Also Ask:
Q. What can I replace flaxseeds with?
Sprinkle chia seeds on top of your cereal, soup, or smoothie. When preparing bread, use wheat germ. Almond flour may be used in baking. To function as a binding agent, replace each tablespoon of flaxseed in your recipe with one-quarter cup of blended silken tofu.
Q. Is psyllium husk a keto-friendly ingredient?
Psyllium husk is a great low-carb item to have on hand, particularly for baking. Because of its propensity to mimic the texture of these and other high-carb favorites, Psyllium can help you make keto-friendly, gluten-free equivalents.
Q. Why do people use psyllium husk in baking?
Psyllium husk powder keeps loaves moist and prevents them from crumbling. Guar gum is used in cold foods like ice cream and pastry fillings, while xanthan gum is used in baked items like yeast bread. Psyllium husk powder can be utilized for both purposes.
Q. What is your favorite way to consume flax seeds?
Adding them to water and drinking it as part of your regular fluid intake is a great way to start. Here are some other ways I use flax seeds –
- Drizzling flaxseed oil over salad as a dressing.
- Adding ground flax seeds to hot or cold morning cereal (great to get your Omega 3s)
- Adding them to your favorite yogurt
- Using in the cookie, muffin, bread, and other batters
Q. Is flaxseed suitable for Keto?
Flaxseeds are well-known as a low-carb whole-grain alternative (since virtually all the carbohydrates in the seeds are fiber, a non-digestible type of carbohydrate that isn't tallied in the total carb count). Lignans, insoluble fiber, and soluble fiber are also present.
As you can see from the flaxseed vs. psyllium husk comparison, your unique dietary needs and medical problems determine the best option for you. If you have bowel irregularity, none of these options would be suitable since they may both cause problems.
If you need more fat and protein in your diet, flaxseeds are the way to go, while psyllium husk is the way to go if you want to save calories. Flaxseeds are also high in lignan, which helps to protect you against cancer. When these terms are considered, flaxseeds seem to be the winner of this competition.
However, it's important to remember that you need to balance different meals while crating your diet chart, so eat all these fibers without preferring one over another. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are also all good sources of fiber. So, eventually, the answer is the same; It depends on who asks it.