Gut health: Flax seeds and psyllium boost digestion

Gut health: Flax seeds and psyllium boost digestion

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Useful helpers for the intestine: linseed and psyllium provide well-being

For many people, gut health is still a taboo subject. This "ecosystem" is a complex interplay of brain, intestine and trillions of bacteria and it has a significant part in the physical and mental well-being. Flax seeds and psyllium can make an important contribution to intestinal health.

Flax seeds and psyllium are useful helpers for the human intestine. Thanks to their valuable ingredients, they stimulate digestion and ensure well-being. This is what the Bavarian Consumer Service points out in a current announcement.

Psyllium husk and linseed

As the experts explain, psyllium husk is the seed husk of the plantain plantago indica (psyllium). The name Psyllium means flea because the seeds look very similar in shape, color and length. Psyllium husks are mainly grown in India and Pakistan and the Mediterranean region and are offered as remedies, fiber and swelling agents.

The seeds of flax (common flax, linum usitatissimum) are referred to as linseed, also known colloquially as linseed. Cultivation areas are mainly Canada and Russia, with regional linseed cultivation also taking place. Flax seeds mainly contain fatty oil, proteins and fiber.

Natural swelling agents promote gut health

Psyllium and linseed are natural swelling agents. They act like little sponges in the intestine because they absorb liquid, which makes the contents of the intestine more voluminous and softer. This in turn increases intestinal mobility (peristalsis) and thus the defecation. Source substances from linseed and psyllium can be easily integrated into the daily menu. It is very important to ensure an adequate hydration. Because if you drink too little, you run the risk of constipation, constipation or abdominal pain.

The oily substances in flaxseed act as a lubricant and help, among other things, as a home remedy for constipation. And the linolenic acid contained in linseed has an anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning effect. Lignans, which are phytoestrogens and phytochemicals, can be found in the outer layers of linseed. Since they have a similar effect to estrogens, they are often used as a hormone replacement during menopause. Psyllium does not contain these estrogens.

According to the Consumer Service, psyllium is best used as a swelling agent because it does not form as many intestinal gases. These seeds are better tolerated and - compared to other swelling agents - there is less or less flatulence. They swell very much and contain relatively few calories. According to experts, they are able to bind 50 times their weight in water.

Because psyllium husk and flaxseed can bind other medicines and affect their effectiveness, it is advisable to wait at least an hour after consuming them before taking any medication.

Superfood with yogurt

Many people stir the superfood into their muesli or yoghurt. They are also popular on salads, in soups or stews. The Bavarian Consumer Service has a recipe ready. The following ingredients are required:

  • 200 g of yogurt
  • 100 g fresh seasonal fruit
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1 tbsp linseed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • ΒΌ tsp cinnamon

The psyllium husk and linseed are stirred into the yoghurt. Let it soak in the fridge for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, wash the fruit, peel if necessary and cut into small pieces. The fruit mixture is then mixed with the lemon juice and agave syrup and added to the yoghurt. Finally stir in the cinnamon. The whole thing is very suitable as a filling snack for the office or school.

However, it can also make sense not to stir the seeds directly into the food, but rather to let them soak in a glass of water and drink the mixture before eating. Then you are not too hungry when you start a meal, which is helpful if you want to lose weight. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Consumer Service Bavaria: Flax seeds and psyllium - Little helpers for the intestine, (accessed: 16.09.2019), Consumer Service Bavaria

Video: Dr Shikha Sharma tells health benefits of Isabgol Psyllium husk (December 2022).