Flaxseeds or linseeds have been grown for thousands of years. These are one of the super foods and the oldest crops to be cultivated. Their extensive health and nutritive values have prized them as the best foods for all ages. They originated many years ago and were used in textile industries long before it was proven that they are good for health. The content of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids has made flaxseeds a staple food across the world. These tiny seeds are considered a functional food that helps boost your health at a wider angle. As far as health benefits are concerned flaxseeds are said to control many diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and digestion-related issues.
Flaxseeds are not only nutritious but very high in calories. These brown tiny seeds are very high in amino acids but they lack lysine which means they contain a low amount of protein. Apart from this, these tiny seeds are a good source of minerals and compounds such as phosphorus, magnesium, copper, thiamine, ferulic acid, lignans, molybdenum, and cyanogenic glycosides. Flaxseeds have properties that are very protective for your overall health. On the basis of sciencic research, they are becoming superfoods due to amazing health benefits.
The right way to consume these tiny brown seeds:-
Generally, there are two types of flaxseeds brown and yellow. Both are beneficial and nutritious from a health point of view. These seeds can be consumed either raw which gives a nutty flavor or as flaxseed oil. Incorporating them into your diet is very easy, you can include them in your smoothies and salads. But to enjoy optimal benefits they should be consumed in the right amount and way. According to the experts, ground flaxseeds are better because they are easy to digest over whole flaxseeds. Moreover, the whole flaxseeds have a hardcover shell that can go through your intestine without being digested, thus restricting their nutritive properties. It is advisable to consume a tablespoon of flaxseeds every day. It has also been found that consumption of flax seeds is generally safe for most people. But for people, those who have constipation, diarrhea, bleeding problems, hormonal disorders, low bp, and low sugar level should use them carefully. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can include them in their diet but should avoid taking flaxseeds supplements. It is also advised to consult a doctor, in case of allergic reactions or complications.
Health Benefits of flaxseeds:-
For centuries flaxseeds/linseeds have acquired the title of the most useful nutty seeds that have all the required health benefits, here are some of them-
- High in nutrients:- Flaxseeds contain a high amount of nutrients like lignans, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds can be consumed as1 tablespoon /7 grams per day as a standard size. This amount is sufficient because it will provide vitamins, minerals, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber to enhance your fitness.
- Contains a high amount of omega-3 fats:- Flaxseeds are the best option for people who are vegetarians and don’t consume fish. They are high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This acid is not produced by the human body, hence it can be obtained from the food a person eats. The ALA present in flaxseeds help in preventing cholesterol deposition in the bloodstreams/vessels of the heart, reduces swelling in the arteries and also helps reduce the growth of tumor in animals. As per the study in Costa Rica, it was found that among 3,638 people who consumed ALA more were less prone to the risk of a heart attack in comparison to those who took less of this element. A further study of 250,000 people proved that ALA has the power to reduce the risk of heart disease, and stroke up to 14%.
- Flaxseeds Contain Dietary Fiber:- These tiny seeds are good in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The combination of fiber (20-40% and 60-80%) becomes fermented in the presence of bacteria in your large bowel, gathers excreta, and enhances bowel movement. The soluble fiber promotes the consistency of the intestinal contents and reduces the rate of digestion. This helps in lowering down cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels.
Similarly, insoluble fiber helps in softening the stool, thus preventing constipation. It is beneficial for people who are prone to irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore adding flax seeds to your diet will result in better bowel movement and good digestion as the tiny seeds are fully packed with fiber.
- Lower Cholesterol Level:- Flaxseed can improve the level of cholesterol in your body. Studies show people who have high cholesterol issues can lower their level up to 17% by consuming 30 grams of flaxseeds daily for three months and can beat bad cholesterol (LDL) by 20%.
And other studies about diabetes have proven that the good cholesterol level increased to 12% when patients were asked to consume 10 grams of flaxseed powder daily for one month. The fiber content in the flaxseed binds the salts and is excreted. The replenishment of the bile salt helps in pulling cholesterol from your blood and delivering it into your liver. And hence your blood levels of cholesterol are lowered, in other words there is an improvement in your cholesterol levels. So this process is very helpful in improving your heart health.
- Calms Blood Pressure:- Flaxseeds are very beneficial for those who have high blood pressure problems. It has been proven that consumption of these tiny seeds for around six months reduces systolic and diastolic, B/p and decreases the number of high B/p patients. Eating 30 grams daily will help calm B/p among people who are on medication.
- They’re Rich In Proteins:- Flaxseeds contain high-quality plant-based protein which is high in amino acids, arginine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid. There are numerous animal studies supporting flaxseed protein to be a major element very helpful in preventing tumors, improve the immune system, reducing cholesterol levels, and possess anti-fungal qualities.
- Reduces Blood Sugar Level:- A major health problem across the globe is type 2 diabetes. This is because the body is not able to secrete insulin and hence results in high levels of blood sugar. So diabetics are advised to include flaxseed in their daily diet because flaxseed contains insoluble fiber that helps reduce blood sugar levels.
- Helps Control weight:- Flaxseeds have the ability to keep hunger in control. Adding 2.5 grams of ground flax fiber to your health drinks can reduce the feeling of hunger. The soluble fiber content of flaxseeds slows down the rate of digestion which encourages hormones to control your appetite. Controlled eating means you can have control over your weight. The dietary fiber gives you a feeling of fullness.
- Possess Lignans Properties:- Flaxseeds contain lignans, a plant compound full of estrogen and antioxidant properties. Both the elements help in reducing the risk of cancer. Flaxseeds are valuable food that have the ability to fight breast, colon, skin, and prostate cancer.
- Reduces The Intensity Of Hot Flashes:- Consumption of ground flaxseeds twice a day (2 tablespoons) can reduce the intensity of hot flashes in women. Hence it is advisable to include flaxseed in the diet of menopausal women.
Conclusion:- Flaxseeds are full of nutritional values, they appear to be tiny but have the potential to enhance your health. They’re rich in health elements. Therefore, you should collect them as early as possible from your nearby grocery store. Whether flaxseeds or flaxseed oil both are a versatile food and can be consumed as a salad dressing, in smoothies, beverages, and many more ways. They are full of rich nutrients so including them in your daily diet to enjoy a disease-free life is the best option. Take it in the right way and quantity or as prescribed for more health benefits.