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Health Benefits of Flaxseed

by Romila De Munshi
July 11, 2018

Is flaxseed the new wonder food? Emerging research suggests there are important health benefits of flaxseed. Preliminary studies show consuming flaxseeds can prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and prostate cancer from progressing.

Flaxseed is considered to be a superfood for good reason. There are some amazing health benefits of flaxseed, backed by science.

Here's how flax can be a healthy addition to the diet:

 

Anti Inflammatory

Flaxseed consumption may prevent heart attack, stroke and Parkinson's. Flaxseeds are the richest food sources of ??-linolenic acid (ALA), and lignans (also found in legumes, other seeds, wholemeal and nuts). Medical research indicates that ALAs and lignans reduce inflammation, especially in diseases like Parkinson's and asthma. ALA and lignans are anti-inflammatory as shown by both human and animal studies. There is another benefit of reducing inflammation in the body: Unclogging plaque from arteries.

 

Hot Flashes

Menopausal women may benefit both physically and mentally by eating flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which are a source of dietary phytoestrogens. Flaxseed research done in 2007 showed a marked improvement in the general wellness (both body and mind) of the menopausal women in the study.

 

Cancer Protection

Cancer prevention is surely the most surprising of all health benefits of flaxseed. But studies reveal that diets rich in flaxseed provide natural protection from cancers, such as prostate, colon, and breast cancer. Lignans, Phyto-oestrogens, and omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds have anti-cancer properties. Flaxseed can help your body fight cancer cells and can stop tumours from forming.

 

High Cholesterol

Heart health is one of the biggest health benefits of flaxseed. Flax helps lower LDL ('bad cholesterol) as well as total serum cholesterol. Human studies done by medical researchers suggest that those who take something like can benefit from the cholesterol-lowering benefit of flaxseeds. However, more conclusive research needs to be done to show if this food can also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

 

Diabetes and Pre-diabetes

Eat right and eat healthy by adding flaxseed to your daily diet. It will help reduce the absorption of glucose in your blood steam and help you avoid type-2 diabetes. There is strong evidence that obese men and women with pre-diabetes saw a marked improvement in glycemic control after going on a daily diet of flaxseeds.

 

Protection from Radiation

Flaxseed may protect skin tissue from radiation. A study revealed that flaxseed, being a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, is also effective in protecting against the harmful effect of radiation on the human skin.

 

How much flaxseed should you eat, and how?

Consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day is recommended. Some people can increase it to 3 to 4 tablespoons, but do so gradually. Flax increases bowel movement and while it rids constipation, taking too much too soon will have the opposite effect. Consume the amount mentioned on the product label, or less to give your body time to adjust.

How do you eat these superfood seeds besides sprinkling them on your cereal? Add them to make a delicious and nutritious smoothie for breakfast. Use ground flaxseed powder to make bread, brownies, muffins and almost anything that requires flour.   

Lots of people wonder whether foods made with flaxseeds lack taste. Flaxseeds don???t have to be tasteless; there are many tasty ways of adding the ground flaxseed to your daily diet. For instance, check out our yummy flax muffins recipe.

 

Who should NOT consume flaxseed?

Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid ground flaxseed and flax supplements until more research confirms it is safe for babies.

 

Take Home Message

Researchers, nutritionists and doctors are recommending people add ground flaxseed to their daily diet to keep health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease at bay. Omegas, ALA, lignans, and soluble fibre are why ground flaxseeds are considered super healthy. But, there is no magic ???superfood??? that guarantees you and your family good health! All you can control is to improve your diet by making better choices and lead a healthier lifestyle.

You can easily buy flax online to get the health benefits of flaxseed and be healthier and live better. Try searching flaxseed oil, soft gels, capsules or powder.

 

Remember: Check with a doctor before starting a new diet or supplement, especially if you have a medical condition. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, ibuprofen and others can interfere with flax. Also, regularly adding flaxseeds to the diet will increase bowel movement gradually. Eating flax every day may lead to bloating, gas, abdominal pain, or diarrhoea in some people, so the dosage needs to be reduced. 

 

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