Tired of seeing the same superfoods in the market every day? Looking for something that can bring newness in the palette, is delicious and super healthy also at the same time? Then, you are in the right place. Taking the nutrition and health industry by storm is the new superfood in the market that is flax seeds and today we will learn in detail about it.
What are flax seeds?
Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) commonly known as common flax or linseeds belong to the Family Linaceae. These are small oil seeds that originated in the middle east thousands of years ago and are generally grown as food and fibre crops in the cooler regions. Flax seeds have always been prized for their nutritional and medicinal properties but now it’s popularity has gained momentum and slowly and steadily it is acquiring the status of a ‘superfood’.
Health benefits of Flax seeds
Being one of the most versatile nutrients, the benefits of flax seeds are vast and diverse.
So let us have a detailed look at them.
1. Nutrient loaded- One of the oldest crops, flax seeds are found in two variants- brown and golden and both of them are equally nutritious. A spoonful of it contains a good amount of protein, fibres and Omega-3 fatty acids. Not to forget, it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Due to the presence of high amounts of alpha-linoleic acids, flax seeds are effective in preventing cholesterol from being deposited in the blood and can also curtail inflammation in arteries and diminish tumour growth.
2. Remedy for Cancer- According to research conducted, it was found that flax seeds can lower the risk of cancer and improve your overall health. Due to high amounts of estrogen and antioxidants present in flax seeds, it is very effective against breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women. Not only in women but flax seeds has also been able to visibly decrease the levels of prostate cancer markers in males. It also staves off colon and skin cancer.
3. High dietary content- In flax seeds, there are two types of fibres available- soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibres comprise of 20-40% of weightage whereas the insoluble fibres are 60-80%. Upon consumption of flax seeds, the fibres get fermented and help you in achieving a more regular bowel movement.
There are other benefits of the fibre too, it increases the consistency of intestine materials, slows down the digestion, regulates the blood sugar levels, lowers down cholesterol and also helps in preventing constipation.
4. Creating a healthy body- As stated in the above point, flax seeds help in regulating cholesterol level in blood but let me tell you how it is done. The fibre present in the flax seeds binds to the bile salt and is excreted out of the body. To replenish the bile salts, cholesterol is pulled from the blood into the liver lowering the cholesterol level in the blood in the process.
It has also been seen that eating 30 grams of flax seeds daily can help you to reduce your high blood pressure levels and also continuing the process for a month, can also fight against Type 2 diabetes.
Due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties, flax seeds can lessen the symptoms of diabetes, arthritis and asthma.
5. High protein content- Flax seeds are bestowed with rich protein and antifungal properties. It is abundant in arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. Flax seeds not only improves immune function, lowers cholesterol, prevents tumours but also is a good substitute of meat for vegetarians.
6. Weight loss buddy- For all those people who are looking for an option to lose weight but giving up on food is a strict no for them, then you have got flax seeds for rescue. It has been seen that upon adding 2.5gms of that seed to a beverage or any other food item, it can effectively stave off hunger pangs. The soluble fibre present in flax seeds produces a feeling of fullness in the stomach and thus can reduce the feelings of hunger and overall appetite. A very interesting way of weight loss.
7. Glowing skin, healthy hair- Not only the internal health but flax seeds benefit the skin and hair as well. Being so rich with numerous nutrients, flax seeds can alleviate many diseases, therefore, healing the body internally in the process and also making the skin supple and healthy from outside. After all, what goes inside, shows outside.
Due to the presence of Omega 3 fatty acids in flax seeds, it can prevent your skin from drying and also is an active acne deterrent and rejuvenates your skin thoroughly. Lignans and antioxidants take care of the ageing process of the skin.
On daily consumption of flax seeds, vitamin E present in them, repair hair damage prevents dandruff and also provides healthy teeth.
If we are talking about flax seeds benefits, then we have to talk about one thing one more and that is flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed oil is slowly creating a niche for itself in the food industry. Extracted from flaxseed by a technique of cold pressing, flaxseed oil is believed to contain more alpha-linoleic acids than flaxseed itself.
Flaxseed oil is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and benefits heart health and improves skin smoothness and hydration of it. The condition of atopic dermatitis can be effectively cured and it can treat constipation and diarrhoea.
How to take Flax Seed oil?
Being a versatile component, it can be used and consumed in any way possible.
- Add them to your morning detox water and sip it through the whole day.
- Drizzle some flaxseed oil onto your salad and enhance your palette.
- Mix flax seeds into yoghurt, smoothies or meat patties and begin your new diet regime.
- Ground your flax seeds and use it as a condiment for your curries.
- Mix powdered flax seeds and some coconut oil and apply it on your body and see how it becomes an excellent exfoliator.
Risks and side effects that come along
- Flax seeds should not be consumed by pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Higher doses of flax seeds can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract leading to bloating, gas, abdominal pain, stomach ache and nausea.
So as seen, flax seeds also have a fair share of side effects but the flax seeds benefits outweigh them. The health benefits of flax seeds are numerous and extremely helpful in the day-to-day life of people.
But now we come to an end. Flax seeds can be a potent nutrient to ward off many diseases and slowly and steadily, it is climbing to the top. Bestowed with so much nutritional goodness, the moment is not far away from where it will be declared as “the superfood”.