“Yeah, really Flax seeds are a super food!” This will surely be your opinion after reading this article. Flax seeds, also known as lin seeds or ‘Alsi’ in Hindi, are a super food with many nutrients and medicinal values packed in them that are necessary for a clean bill of health. These micro-sized seeds are capable of generating macro health benefits that most of the other foods cannot. This is an unexaggerated article about all the benefits of flax seeds for good health and how to have it in interesting ways.
What makes it super?
Prevention is better than cure
Flax seed nutrition
Flax seeds benefits
How to select and store
Interesting ways to eat
What makes it super?
You may not need any information regarding how scarce it is to find food that is both organic and healthy. Flax seeds are a nutrient rich food that is capable of curing many medical problems by incorporating it into the food we daily eat. Very importantly, it’s an organic food which doesn’t have any ill effects in the long run. It’s also a low carb-food with high nutrient values that are good for the metabolism of the body.
It’s a green symbol food, means a vegetarian food that is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s rare to find omega-3 fatty acids in vegetarian food, omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and other meat food. So it’s food for everybody, irrespective of age, gender, height, weight and habits of the person. It’s also readily available, and easily usable in many different foods. All of these qualities and the benefits of flax seeds add to make it a Superfood!
Prevention is better than cure
Normally, people search for solutions to the problems on the internet, and here and there, only after they are affected by the problem. They look for that particular solution in the article and then close the article ignoring the rest of it. Instead, reading all the benefits and incorporating them will keep you away from health problems even before they start affecting you. Though you are not influenced by other things mentioned in the article, it’s better you give a reading of all the health tips. This prevents medical issues to arise as you are not allowing its roots to grow.
So start using flax seed in your diet before getting affected by health problems because prevention is better than cure.
Flax Seed Nutrition
Before checking out the benefits of flax seeds, let us look at the nutrition facts of the flax seeds.
A 1ounce (3 tablespoons) of flax seeds contains the following amounts of nutrients.
- Omega-3 fatty acid—6300mg
- Vitamin B1—30% of Recommended Dietary Allowance(RDA)
- Manganese—35% of RDA
- Magnesium—30% of RDA
- Phosphorous—19% of RDA
- Selenium—10% of RDA
- Vitamin B6
Flax Seeds Benefits
High-fiber, low-carb combo
Flax seeds contain massive amounts of fiber and small amounts of carbohydrates, which is an essential need of the present day’s diet. Flax seeds are made up of 30% carbs, and stunningly 95% of that is fiber. Digestible carbs are very low in flax seeds, which is one of the amazing flax seed benefits that promote weight loss. It prevents the body from putting on weight as it is low in carbs. The fiber present in flax seeds is gluten free, which reduces constipation, and this is one of the best benefits of flax seeds
The fiber content is composed of the following:
- 15-35% soluble fiber (mucilage gums)
- 65-85% insoluble fiber (cellulose and lignin)
Soluble fiber helps regulate cholesterol levels and blood sugar. It feeds the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and enhances the digestive health.
- Insoluble fiber when mixed with water and mucilage gums makes flax seeds a natural laxative.
Source of Omega-3 fatty acid
Omega-3 fatty acid is essential for the functioning of certain processes in the body. Our body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, so the food you take must contain this. Otherwise, the body will be in short of omega-3 fatty acids, which objects the functioning of some processes in the body. It is one of the amazing flax seed benefits that it is a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s one of the few vegetarian foods in the list of omega-3 fatty acid food sources, which is one of the huge benefits of flax seeds for vegans.
Great for skin
- The lignan in flax seeds repair the skin from inside out and brings a natural glow to the skin.
- You can use flax seed for skin glow by mixing one tablespoon of flax seeds with one teaspoon of turmeric and one and a half tablespoons.
- Add few drops of rose water to form a paste and apply it to skin.
- Allow that to settle on the skin for ten minutes and wash it with cold water.
- The anti -fungal, antiseptic properties in the paste give a glowing look to your skin.
The omega-3 essentials, high fiber content and lignans all together ensure that the digestive track is clear and clean, which is the best technical way to prevent the acne and other skin problems.
Flax seeds help control the production of sebum, which is one of the reasons for acne when produced in high quantities.
- Another benefit of flax seed for skin is it rejuvenates the skin. It is considered as one of the strong exfoliants that can be used to get rid of the dead skin.
- This is an amazing benefits of flax seeds for the skin, which treats rashes on the skin in the home itself. Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seed efficiently speed up the healing process and are further assisted by anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds.
Cholesterol is not at all desirable stuff in our body as it has adverse effects carrying in it such as heart disease. According to the study, daily intake of flax seeds can reduce the levels of cholesterol in the body. Flax seeds benefits become fulfilled with the control over cholesterol levels in the body within 7-13%.
Fiber and lignan are responsible for the lowering of cholesterol in the body. Lignans and fiber bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids and move them to the digestive tract. This lowers cholesterol in the body which is necessary, and this is a natural benefits of flax seeds.
Another notable health benefits of flax seeds are that it fights against breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer. The three lignans present in the flax seeds are converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones, which is a major reason for breast cancer. Lignans prevent hormonal metabolism of cancer cells and also objects for their growth.
The tumor needs angiogenesis, new blood cells, to provide oxygen and nutrient for growth. But flax seed inhibit growth factor required to stimulate tumor growth.
Flax seed benefits in reducing cancer chances but it does not happen overnight. They must be taken daily for a long time, so only it can happen. Yeah, we might have said it’s a super food, but not in that sense. All the benefits of flax seeds are effective when taken regularly in controlled quantity.
High fiber content in flax seeds improves the levels of insulin in the body. This helps the people suffering from diabetes condition. People who have type-2 diabetes are recommended to eat flax immediately to reduce the effect of the condition. Flax seeds uses with lignan are the most significant. Lignan in them helps in reducing the ill effects of type-2 diabetes condition.
- Flax seeds are known to be one of the best ways to relieve constipation from centuries.
- Flax seeds have natural laxative properties that help in solving constipation problem
- Flax seeds contain 6-13% of mucilage. Mucilage is a slimy gum-like compound that gives a temporary soothing and protective coating throughout the digestive tract. This feature is an excellent tool to relieve constipation.
- Flax seeds benefits in keeping the bowel movements regular.
- Fiber present in flax seeds is gluten free, so it has no part in creating constipation problem.
- Other health benefits of flax seeds are it reduces inflammation in stomach and intestines.
- Flax seeds are the richest dietary source of lignans. These function as phytoestrogens in the body. This is one of the significant flax seeds health benefits.
- These phytoestrogens have weak estrogenic and antioxidant
- They reduce the amount of glucose and fat in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
- Phytoestrogens help in lower blood pressure and lower inflammation in arteries.
- Lignans are fermented in the digestive system by bacteria, which may reduce the risk of cancers, especially hormone sensitive cancers prostate, uterus and breast cancers.
- Lignans play a crucial role in most benefits of flax seeds, so one must not forget how good to have lignans in the body.
In a study, flax seed was found to work the same way as hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood disturbances. The whole damage of hormonal imbalance, vaginal dryness may even lead to cysts on the ovary, which is a horrible problem in women.
According to the research, flax seeds are rich in fiber, alpha-linolenic acid and lignans. They have phytoestrogenic properties in lignans that play a role in controlling hormonal responses in the body. They have qualities of estrogen in the body, so these qualities are helpful for women who are undergoing menopause and do not have enough levels of estrogen. This is one of excellent health benefits of flax seeds for women.
Reduce Hypertension (Blood Pressure)
Flax seeds are effective in lowering blood pressure than other foods that we usually eat because of healthy flax seed nutrition. A year study of patients with high blood pressure, the systolic blood pressure was reduced by 10mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure was reduced by 8mmHg by taking flax seeds in their diet. Ultimately the risk of heart disease is reduced by 30%.
These are the top benefits of flax seeds to achieve a healthy body.
How to select and store
Flax seeds are available in both the whole and ground, each of which can offer different benefits. If you find difficulty in chewing flax seeds, it is better to go for grinding which is easily digestible too. On the other side, pre-ground seeds are convenient and have shorter life span. Ground seeds when carefully packed in a light protective, gas flushed pouch and refrigerated typically lasts about 7-12 weeks. But whole flax seeds when stored in airtight container in a cool, dark, dry spot have a life span of 7-12 months.
Whole flax seeds are available in prepackaged containers and bulk bins. Make sure they are fresh and moisture-free before bought and check whether containers are covered properly or not. Flax seeds health benefits are efficient only if they are clean and moisture free. They must be stored in airtight container in a dry, dark and cool place or just place the container in the refrigerator.
Ground seeds are usually available both refrigerated and non-refrigerated. Choose flax seeds that are packed in a vacuum sealed, gas flushed bag. Once they are open to atmosphere, they are more prone to oxidation and spoilage. So after grinding it must store in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.
Flax seed oil is also available in markets, which is perishable and has sweet, nutty flavor. The high flax seed nutrition that is capable of treating some major health problems as discussed above are present in all three forms of flax seeds, whole, ground, and flax seed oil.
Who should not use flax seeds?
No doubt there are amazing benefits of flax seeds, but it’s always better to play safe and take precautions. It’s better to get clearance from a doctor before using flax seeds on a regular basis. Individuals who suffer from diverticulosis, a diseased condition in which a person has tiny pockets in their intestine lining, need to be cautious not to have seed fragments get trapped in those pockets and thus should use finely ground flax seed or flax seed oil. Avoid flaxseed if you have bowel problems.
Interesting ways to eat flax seeds
Of all the benefits of flax seeds don’t forget its delicious taste. Flax seeds have a pleasant nutty taste. If you are a debutant in using flax seeds, it’s best to start in small quantities so you can verify whether you are comfortable using it and do not have any allergies using it. Make sure to take lots of water while taking flax seed. Flax seeds uses become more profound when soaked under water. Water is used in its functioning process, so it absorbs water in the body. To compensate, drink the extra amount of water than usual.
Start your day with a dose of omega-3 by sprinkling over cold cereal or by mixing them in hot cereal like oatmeal. This is easy and simple to use and does not kill a lot of time.
Wanna grab all the flax seeds health benefits? Then don’t miss its delicious flavor. Ground seeds can be added to the batter for making bread, roti, pancakes, cakes and cookies.
Combine fruit, yogurt and flax seeds for a delicious morning parfait.
Add 2gms of whole flax seeds to your smoothie to enjoy the advantages of flaxseed for skin
Preparation of smoothie
- Add bananas, strawberries, and honey in soy milk, blend in a juice mixer till it is smooth and frothy.
- Serve garnished with the strawberry and banana slice.
Flax seed Raita
Raita is a popular food in India and is a significant part of the meal. Add flax seeds in the preparation process of raita to enjoy the advantages of flax seeds for health.
- 1 cup low-fat curd, freshly beaten
- 1 cup bottle gourd, grated
- ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
- ¼ tsp roasted cumin seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp roasted, coarsely ground flax seeds
- ¼ black salt
- Salt to taste
- Combine bottle guard with one cup of water. Cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes
- Combine all the ingredients, in the deep bowl and then mix well.
- Refrigerate for an hour to serve chilled
Garnishing soups with a tablespoon of ground seeds for a delicious flavor and to grab flax seeds uses accompanying it.
Ground Meat dishes
Substitute ground flax seeds for breadcrumbs in ground meat dishes such as tacos, meatballs, and meatloaf for the sake of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and protein.