Flax Seeds Facts
Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the worlds first cultivated superfood. Flax seeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world. Flax seeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, protein, magnesium, phosphours, selenlum and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world – known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. Flax seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, and thiamin and a good source of selenium. They also contain gamma-tocopheral, a form of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Flax seeds are beneficial 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 flax seeds contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids and 2 grams of fiber with just 37 calories.
1. Flax seeds are high in Phytochemicals and Antioxidants
Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular healtth.
Flax seeds 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 pri-menopausal syndrome. Flax seeds have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which mitigate and protect against pneumonopathy. Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flues.
2. Flax seeds are high in Fiber, but low in Carb
One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract.
The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption.
Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.
You should aim to consume 30-40 g of high fiber foods 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. daily.
3.Flax seeds are helpful in Weight Loss
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support weight loss. Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.
This is important for weight loss in that an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight. Add a couple of teaspoons of ground flax seed to soups, salads, or smoothies as part of your weight loss plan.
4. Flax seeds reduce 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.
The soluble fiber content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder.The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.
5, Flax seeds are Gluten-Free
inflammatory where flax is anti-inflammatory. So, flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten-sensitivity. They may also be a good alternative to omega-3 fats in fish for people with a seafood allergy.Another great aspect of flax being gluten-free is that it can be used as a grain-free option in cooking. I will often use it along with coconut flour in baking at home.
6.Flax seeds improve Digestive Health
Flax seeds 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.Maybe the biggest flax seed benefits come from it’s ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health. It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments, as it can help reduce gut inflammation.
You can also take 1-3 tbsp of flax seed oil with 8 oz of carrot juice to help naturally relieve constipation.
Flax is also very high in soluble and insoluble fiber which can also improve digestive health and is one of the highest magnesium foods in the world.Two tablespoons of flax seeds contains about 5 g of fiber or 1/4 of the RDA. The fiber found in flaxseeds provides food for friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.
7. Flax prevent Cancer
The antioxidants in flax seeds 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 flax seeds 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. The three lignans found in flax seeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
8.Flax seeds help in Depression
It’s true: Depression hurts. There are plenty of antidepressants that doctors may prescribe, but according to a Japanese study, simply adding flaxseed to your diet may also prove useful. Their study found that patients with significant depression levels also suffered from lower levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids—the same acids that are found in various foods like fish, walnuts, and flax. Eat up, the theory goes, and it might help correct those imbalances.
9. Flax seeds reduced Liver Disease
Are you living a healthy and fit lifestyle, yet still can’t shake the alcohol consumption? Just like any self-destructive behavior, you may be putting yourself at great risk. One very serious possibility is liver disease. Fortunately, for those who can’t seem to help themselves, there may be a way to decrease the risk factors involved with liver disease. Recent research conducted on 30 men found that those receiving flax seed lignan capsules effectively reduced their liver disease risk factors. They concluded that 100 mg supplementation could be beneficial.
10. Flax seeds control Diabetes
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.
11.Flax seeds rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
We hear a lot about the health benefits of fish oil or omega-3 fats. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fats that are critical for optimal health. Although flax seeds do not contain EPA or DHA, they do contain ALA, another type of omega-3 fat.A study published in Nutrition Reviews has shown that approximately 20% of ALA can be converted into EPA, but only .5% of ALA is converted into DHA. Also, surprisingly gender may play a big role in conversion where young women had a 2.5-fold greater rate than men.
Regardless of conversion, ALA is still considered a healthy fat and should be included in a balanced diet.
13. Flax seeds help in menopausal Symptoms
The lignans in the flax have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. It can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans do have estrogenic properties.These properties may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even help menstruating women by helping maintain cycle regularity.
To experience the flax seed benefits for your hormones include 1-2 tbsp of flax meal in a breakfast smoothie along with 1 tbsp of flax seed oil.
14. Flax seeds fight Inflammation
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.
15.Flax seeds reduces Hot Flashes
A study published in 2007 found that consuming 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds in women could reduce their hot flashes by half. Flax seed is a potential aid in managing pre-menopausal and post- menopausal symptom.
16. Flax seeds useful for skin–
Flax seeds and its oil contain several skin-friendly nutrients that can help to improve the health of the skin. Flax seed oil is added to a number of skin care products like shower gels, moisturizers and sunscreen.
The high levels of lignans and omega 3 fatty acids promote healthy bowel movements, preventing skin diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely important for the healthy growth and development of the skin cells. The lignans present in flaxseeds improve the appearance of the skin by reducing the levels of DHT in the body.
2. Skin Healing
The omega 3 fatty acids in flax seeds increase the speed at which wounds heal. Flax seed is best known for its high anti-inflammatory levels. You can successfully minimize skin irritation, rashes, inflammation and redness by regularly consuming flax seeds. Thus, benefits of eating flax seeds are many for skin. It also shrinks the possibility of acne, dermatitis and psoriasis.
Dry skin can lead to several skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and other signs of ageing. The essential fatty acids in flax seed keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. Regular intake of flax seeds increases the body’s natural oil production, keeping the skin baby soft. A daily massage with flax seed oil prevents irritants from entering the pores. It also locks moisture into the skin, keeping dryness at bay. Well-moisturized skin also delays the onset of wrinkles.
4.Prevent Skin Cancer
A diet rich in flax seeds may protect the skin tissues from radiation. Researchers have found that flax seeds significantly reduce skin damage after sun exposure. The antioxidants present in flax seeds fight the free radicals, preventing skin cancer.
5. Controls Acne:
Flax seeds control the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin glands, preventing the onset of acne. Eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of milled flax seed daily to achieve healthy and younger-looking skin.
You can also prepare a scrub from ground flax seeds to exfoliate the skin. Mix flax seed powder with yogurt, honey and mix well. Scrub your skin gently with it for 10 minutes and wash off. The scrub removes dead skin cells and rejuvenates it, leaving it silky smooth.
17. Flax seeds useful for Hair
Flax seeds are packed with nutrients like protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and omega 3 fatty acids, which are required for the growth of your hair. A daily dose of flax -seeds can make your hair healthy, vibrant and strong.
1. Prevents Hair Breakage:
The high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseeds increase the hair’s elasticity, making it less prone to breakage. It endows you with stronger hair.
2. Reduces Dandruff:
The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseeds reduce the possibility of dandruff, eczema and other scalp conditions. The seeds stimulate the production of sebum in the scalp, preventing flaking and dandruff.
3. Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Flaxseed is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. A deficiency in this essential nutrient can cause dry and brittle hair. Healthy consumption of flaxseeds may make your hair stronger.
4. Prevents Cicatricial alopecia:
Including flax seeds in your diet can help to ameliorate several hair conditions. The anti-inflammatory properties of flax seeds prevent cicatricial alopecia, a permanent hair loss condition. Cicatricial alopecia damages the hair follicles severely, preventing the growth of healthy hair.
5. Prevents Male Baldness:
The alpha linolenic acid in flax seeds inhibits 5 alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shrinks the hair follicles, leading to baldness. The ALA, linolenic acid and oleic acid in flax seeds are used as natural remedies to treat male baldness. It also prevents hair loss due to Telogen effluvium.
USES of Flax seeds
- Flax seeds are 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, yoghurt 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 flax seed to your cheese spread or mayonnaise when making a sandwich.