Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Flax seeds have numerous health benefits and have been in use since the eighth century. They are rich in fibre. About 20-35gms of fibre is required per day to inhibit certain diseases like colon cancer, breast cancer and other heart diseases. Stabilized and ground flax seeds are known to be the richest sources of fibre.
They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It contains above twice the quantity that can be gained through a regular diet. Flax seeds also reduce excessing inflammation and stress through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Owing to the fibre content in flax seeds, they are highly beneficial in digestive health. It is used as a natural laxative which helps the digestive system and improves the nutrient absorption by the intestines. Being a fibre it eases the movement of waste in the intestines until it is expelled.
Following are some benefits of flax seeds if consumed on a regular basis.
- Omega-3 present in flax seeds help in lowering the level of triglycerides by nearly 65% and blood cholesterol by about 25%. Omega-3 is necessary for a healthy skin, brain development, adrenal function, proper eyesight and sperm formulation. They also reduce the possibilities of the arteries being blocked by blood clots.
- Omega-3 also reduces inflammation of the body, lowers high BP and reduces allergic responses. Additionally, flax seed oil protects the body against chest pain or angina. A study also states that it may prevent a second cardiac attack.
- Omega-3 also benefits in preventing arthritis and lowers insulin requirement in diabetics.
- Clinical studies prove that omega-3 dissolves tumours and it has been successfully used for treatment of cancer.
- Flax seeds provide up to 800 times of plant lignans which is not available in any other plant source, thus, proving to be the richest source of lignans. Lignans are phytonutrients that reduce or even reverse breast cancer. They also possess properties of anti-tumour and reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, they mimic estrogens and can be used as a natural treatment for menopause.
- Flax seeds contain both insoluble as well as soluble dietry fibre with nearly 40% being soluble. Fibres modulate glucose, lower cholesterol, reduce risk of breast and colon cancer and improve functioning of the gastro-intestines.
- Rich in fibre, flax seeds, facilitate in easy passage of waste through the intestines. Flax seed oil prevents gall stones and even dissolves existing ones. They reduce inflammation and restore intestinal tract damages.
- Finally, flax seeds contain all essential amino acids and are thus good sources of protein.
On the whole, flax seeds are the richest suppliers of fibre, lignans and also high in omega-3’s and proteins. People generally use ground flax seeds which they have with hot foods or cereals. Unfortunately, pre-ground seeds quickly get rancid on exposure to light and oxygen. This happens due to dark flaxseeds that are present in them. Therefore, by removing dark seeds only golden ones are left which have a shelf life of up to two years.
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