Benefits of Flax seeds
Flax seeds scientifically called Linum Usitatissimum first originated in the Middle East several thousands of years ago.
Flax seeds also commonly known as linseeds are small brown or yellow oilseeds that are dense in nutrition and process many benefits to our health.
Flax seeds have gained popularity because of their nutritional value containing Omega 3 fatty acids fiber and other unique nutrients.
Flaxseeds can provide some benefits like improving digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc if they are included in your diet.
In this article, let us discuss the benefits that flax seeds can provide you if you make them a part of your diet.
Rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids
Flaxseed is an excellent source of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of Omega 3 fatty acid that is primarily found in plant foods.
The Omega 3 fatty acid is not produced by the body and you have to get it through your diet. It is a rare compound but flax seeds are especially rich in this.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing cholesterol being deposited in your heart blood vessels preventing the risk of heart arrest.
Rich in fiber
Flaxseed is a rich source of fiber. One tablespoon of flaxseed can provide 7 grams of fiber which is around 7% of the daily fiber intake.
Fiber intake is known to regulate the bowel moments and keep your gut healthy. Flax seeds provide two kinds of fiber namely soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber absorbs water in your intestine which results in slower digestion. This process regulates the blood sugar levels and lowest cholesterol and adds bulk to the stool which helps to promote bowel movements and reduce constipation.
While the insoluble fiber gets fermented by the bacteria in your gut helping you to improve your bowel regularity.
Control your blood sugar levels
Flax seeds are especially helpful for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Flaxseed helps stabilize your blood sugar levels and decreases insulin resistance.
This effect may be due to the high amount of soluble fiber present in the flax seeds. So always make sure to consume whole flax seeds rather than flaxseed oil as the oil is deprived of fiber content.
Lowers cholesterol levels
The fiber present in the flaxseed binds to the bile salts before they are excreted from your body.
So to replenish these, your body extracts the cholesterol from your blood into the liver resulting in the control of cholesterol levels in your body.
According to a study, people suffering from high cholesterol, after eating 4 tablespoons of flaxseed per day, have a decrease in their (LDL) bad cholesterol levels by 15 %.
Helps in the management of your weight
The fiber content present in the flax seeds lowers digestion and increases the feeling of fullness. This feeling is especially useful if you are trying to lose weight and prevent yourself from eating excessive food.
According to the studies, people who have added flaxseeds to their diet had lower body mass index than before.
Protect you against cancer
Flaxseed is a rich source of lignans which are plant compounds that are helpful in fighting against cancer. Amazingly flax seeds are a rich source of lignans and contain 75 to 800 times more than other plant foods.
Studies have shown that flaxseed intake can help people lower the risk of breast cancer in the case of postmenopausal women. Flaxseed also can protect people against other types of cancer like skin, blood, and lung cancer.
Also Visit: Healthy Diet plan for Diabetes Patients
Nutritional benefits of flaxseeds
Flax seeds are a rich source of protein, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, and several vital vitamins and minerals.
One tablespoon full which is equivalent to 7 grams of ground flax seeds contains nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins like thymine, Vitamin B6, Copper, manganese, magnesium, Phosphorus, and Selenium, zinc, iron folate.
Flax seeds are rich in vitamin B, especially thymine. It plays a key role in energy metabolism and improves cell functioning. The copper present in flaxseed helps in brain development, immune health, and iron metabolism.
Flax seeds are also a source of the rare mineral Selenium. Selenium acts as an antioxidant that helps in the repairing of the cell tissues.
How to consume flax seeds
Consuming ground flax seeds
It is advisable to consume ground flax seeds when compared to whole flax seeds. Because the outer shell of the whole flax seed is hard and it is tough to break down by your intestines. On the other hand, ground flax seeds are much easier to digest and absorb by your body.
Consuming flaxseed oil
The oil is extracted from the flax seeds by cold pressing. Flaxseed oil is heat sensitive and it is not suitable for high-heat cooking like fries. Instead, you can use flaxseed oil for salad dressing and stir-fries.
Always remember to store flaxseed oil at low temperatures away from sunlight due to its sensitivity to heat.
But flaxseed oil is deprived of fiber content. So including grounded flaxseed in your diet can reap the most benefits because of the rich fiber content and the health benefits it can provide to your body.
Quantity of flax seeds that can be consumed
Throughout the article, we have shown the studies based on 1 tablespoonful of flax seeds which is around 7 grams.
As per the studies, one should not exceed consuming more than 3 or 4 tbsp which is around 27 to 35 grams of flax seeds.
This is because the fiber content present in the flax seeds may result in constipation if it is over-consumed.