Flax seed also called linseed is becoming known as an extremely beneficial and powerful super food. The main components of flax seed that promote health are omega 3 fatty acid, lignans, fiber, protein and micronutrients (vitamins+minerals). These ingredients work together to provide a variety of health benefits. There is some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Among all world`s healthiest foods, flax seed comes out number one as a source of omega-3s. The primary omega-3 fatty acid found in flax seeds is alpha-linoleic acid. Moreover, flax seeds are the richest source for lignans, important antioxidants, which have anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Flax seeds contains 75-80% more lignans that other vegetables and cereals. The increase in awareness of the benefit of flax seed has created a stir in the food processing business. Currently there are over 300 food products that contain flax seed. According to Flax Council of Canada the suggested dose is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed a day. Flax seed should be consumed grinded, because only that way its healing properties can be used. It look`s like plenty of reasons to try this super food.
1. Lowering Cholesterol
Cholesterol leads to the development of atherosclerosis, increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attack or stroke, but the lignans which are contained in the flax seeds have a protective effect and reduce the cholesterol. The latest scientific studies have proven that men can reduce cholesterol naturally, if they include flax seeds in their daily diet. Daily consumption of three spoons of lignans from the flax seeds, reduce cholesterol in men for 10 %, if used regularly over three months.
2. Prevents Diabetes and Stabilizing Blood Sugar Level
Flax seed helps in stabilizing sugar level in the blood. There is strong evidence to suggest that consuming flax seed every day improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes, according to a study published in Nutrition Research. When you can keep your blood sugar levels more stable, you have less spikes in your blood sugar levels, need less insulin, and help your diabetes.
3. Helps Weight Loss
Flax seed is great for losing weight, because it prevents water retention in the organism. Regular consumption of flax seed helps kidneys to release fluid and sodium, speeds up metabolism and fat melting. Thanks to the large percentage of dietary fiber, grinded flaxseed decreases the feeling of hunger. You might want to take flax 30 minutes before meals to control your appetite.
4. Balance Menopausal Symptoms
One study of menopausal women, published in 2007, reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed mixed into cereal, juice, or yogurt twice a day cut their hot flashes in half. The intensity of their hot flashes also dropped by 57%. The women noticed a difference after taking the daily flax seed for just one week and achieved the maximum benefit within two weeks.
5. Improve Digestive Health
Flax seed is a natural laxative. Flax seed is a great source of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and specific fiber, so called Clay. The nutritive fibers contained in flax seed are important for proper function of the digestive system. This improves the ability of the body to use other nutrients. Flax seed gets closer to the mallow according the amount of mucus it contains.
6. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Research suggests that plant omega-3s help the cardiovascular system through several different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat. New research also suggests significant blood pressure-lowering effects of flax seed. Those effects may be due to both the omega-3 fatty acids as well as the amino acid groups found in flax seed. Flax seed is one of the richest sources of fatty acids which dilute the blood and reduce the risk of thrombus formation.
7. Lower Risk Cancer
Consuming flax seed may help protect against prostate, colon, and breast cancers. Flax seed is thought to prevent the growth of cancerous cells because its omega-3 fatty acids disrupt malignant cells from clinging onto other body cells. In addition, the lignans in flax seed have antiangiogenic properties – they stop tumors from forming new blood vessels.
8. Healthy Skin
Flax seed is known for being very high in the anti-inflammatory index. This means that skin irritation, tissue inflammation and redness may be minimized. In addition, skin rashes may be reduced. Chronic conditions such as rosacea, acne, dermatitis and psoriasis may be lessened. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for increasing the speed at which skin wounds heal.
9. Healthy Hair
Flax seeds are packed with nutrients which are required for the growth of your hair. A daily dose of flax seeds can make your hair healthy, vibrant and strong. The anti-inflammatory properties of flax seeds reduce the possibility of dandruff, eczema and other scalp conditions. The seeds stimulate the production of sebum in the scalp, preventing flaking and dandruff. Including flax seeds in your diet can help to ameliorate several hair conditions, such as cicatricial alopecia and male baldness.
10. Gluten-Free Diet
Flax seed has a light, nutty taste. How to get more flax seed in your diet? Here are some ways to add it to the foods you already eat and enjoy: sprinkle flax seed on your cold cereal or hot oatmeal at breakfast;add a teaspoon of ground flax seed to the mustard or mayonnaise that you spread on your sandwich at lunch; blend flax seed into juice or smoothies; sprinkle on salads or in soups; mix a tablespoon of ground flax seed into your yogurt; add flax to tomato sauces or to casseroles; add flax seed to meatballs or meatloaf…or experiment with it in your favorite recipes to boost their nutrition profile.