Benefits of Flax Seeds for Health:
Hi, Friends today we will see the Benefits of Flax Seeds for Health. The therapeutic and health benefits of flax seeds are popular around the world. The health benefits of flax seeds come from the high amounts of fiber, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids present in it. A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids and 2 grams of fiber with just 37 calories.
High in Phytochemicals and Antioxidants:
Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of lignan, an estrogen-like chemical compound that scavenges the free radicals in the body. It contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant-based foods. A 100 grams serving provides 0.3 grams of lignan. Lignans promote fertility and reduce the peri-menopausal syndrome. Flaxseeds have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which mitigate and protect against pneumopathy.
The antioxidants in flaxseeds provide protection from cancer and heart diseases. Recent studies have concluded that flax seeds can significantly lower the risk of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer. The lignans present in flaxseeds have antigenic properties. They prevent the tumors from forming new blood cells. The seeds contain ALA, an omega 3 fatty acid that inhibits tumor incidence and interferes with the growth and spread of cancer. Consumption of flax seeds can also increase survival in breast cancer patients.
Improves Digestive Health:
Flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber present in flax seeds improves the movement of food through the intestines. The mucilaginous fiber in flax seeds also improves the intestinal absorption of nutrients. The soluble fiber dissolves in the water and creates a gel-like substance, keeping the stomach full for a longer time.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases:
The amino and omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseeds can significantly lower high blood pressure. A diet rich in flaxseeds can prevent hardening of the arteries. It also prevents the deposition of plaque in the arteries by keeping white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessels’ inner linings. Lignans in flaxseed reduce the atherosclerotic plaque buildup by 75%. It is also useful in treating irregular heartbeat. The alpha linolenic acid in flaxseeds protects the blood vessels from inflammatory damage.
Reduces High Cholesterol:
Research has suggested that eating flax seeds daily can reduce the cholesterol level significantly. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignan, which work together to reduce cholesterol. The low-density lipoprotein in the blood stream is often linked with heart diseases, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Several researchers have concluded that daily intake of lignan-rich foods stabilizes blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. According to research, people who consumed flax seeds for 12 weeks noticed a significant drop in their insulin resistance. This is due to the drop in oxidant stress caused by its high antioxidant levels.
Inflammation is mostly caused due to the deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acid is a key nutrient for fighting inflammation in the body. ALA and lignans found in flax seeds may reduce inflammation by blocking the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents. Consumption of flax seeds increases the production of two other omega 3 fatty acids, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), which provide further inflammatory protection.
Reduces Hot Flashes:
A study published in 2007 found that consuming 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in women could reduce their hot flashes by half. Flaxseed is a potential aid in managing perimenopausal and post- menopausal symptoms.
Nutritional Value of Flax Seeds:
There are two types of flaxseeds- brown and golden. The nutritional profile of both the varieties is almost the same.
Flaxseeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is high in B complex vitamin, manganese and magnesium. Additionally, flaxseeds are low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who are on a weight loss and diabetic diet.
|(Source: USDA National Nutrient database)|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||42.16 g||170%|
|Dietary Fiber||27.3 g||68%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.985 mg||20%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||0.6 mg||1%|
|Vitamin E||19.95 mg||133%|
|Vitamin K||4.3 µg||3.5%|
Availability and Storage of Flax Seeds for Health:
Both brown and golden varieties of flaxseeds are easily available in the supermarket and at health stores. They are mainly sold in bulk and packages. Whole flax seeds last over a year if stored correctly. It is advisable to purchase whole flaxseeds and grind them into powder at home itself. Whole flax seeds are best stored in a cool and dry place.
The oil present in flaxseed is highly unsaturated. This means that it can turn rancid if stored incorrectly. Flaxseeds are best stored in their own shell. They can easily last for a year if not exposed to heat. It is best consumed within a few weeks of opening.
- Flaxseeds often used as an egg substitute in baked goods. The soluble fiber in this seed adds structure to the cake and muffins.
- Sprinkle ground flaxseeds over oats, cereals, yogurt, and smoothies.
- You can cook flaxseeds in casseroles, meatball, and curries. Use 4 to 8 tablespoons of flaxseeds in a dish serving 6 to 8 people.
- It also goes well with dosa, chapatti dough, buttermilk, chutney, and upma.
- The seeds from the flax plant can also be pressed to make vegetable oil, commonly known as linseed oil.
- Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to your cheese spread or mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
Most nutrition experts recommend ground flax seeds over the whole ones. Whole flaxseeds pass through the intestine undigested, preventing you from getting all the benefits. Flaxseed ground to make the nutrients available to the body. You can use a processor or blender to grind the flaxseeds at home.
Ground flaxseeds lose their nutritive value if exposed to air or sunlight. Store ground flaxseeds in the refrigerator in a cool and dry place to prolong its shelf life. Unlike the seeds, flaxseed oil does not contain fiber or phytochemicals. It is not recommended for this reason.
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