The Amazing Benefits Of Flax Seeds

Amazing Benefits Of Flax Seeds

Flaxseed is a herbal food with good fats, antioxidants and fibre. It is also called “functional food,” as it has certain benefits that also helps to boost our health.  Flaxseed is also available as seeds, oils and powder, as well as pills, capsules and meals. People use it to avoid constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, cancer, and many other diseases as a dietary supplement.

Flaxseed nutrients include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), omega-3, or lignans, antioxidants, fibre, protein and polyunsaturated fatty Acids. The use of these nutrients will help reduce the risk of different conditions.  In ancient Egypt, and China people grew flax as a crop. For thousands of years in Asia, it played a role in Ayurvedic medicine.

In Babylon, flaxseed had already been cultivated in 3000 BC. King Charlemagne so firmly believed in the health benefits of flaxseed in the 8th century that he passed legislation forcing his people to eat it. Now, 1300s later, some scholars claim we have preliminary research to support the claims made by Charlemagne. Flaxseed can be used from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal, in all types of today’s food. In the US and Canada alone in the year 2010, the Flax Council reported that nearly 300 new flax products were produced. The demand for flaxseed has not only increased for the market but also Flaxseed agriculture. Flaxseed is used to feed all the chickens that lay eggs with omega-3 fatty acids in higher concentrations.

Health benefits of flax seeds

  • Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in flaxseed. Research has shown that it can help inhibit the growth of various forms of cancer cells. Flaxseed is also a lignane that is an antioxidant which can the restrict growth of the tumour by stopping new blood vessels from developing. 

In a 2013 review, women who ate flaxseed on a daily basis found a decreased incidence of breast cancer. The study writers have determined in 2018 that the risk of breast cancer after menopause could be decreased by flax seeds. Lignans are a kind of plant-based phytoestrogens that function in a manner similar to oestrogen. Phytoestrogens have been associated with raising the risk of breast cancer, but new research indicates that they can play a protective role.

  • Improves cholesterol 

Flax Seeds

According to research, if you include more fibres and omega-3, it will help you to boost your heart’s health. Lignans can also contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular illness. All these nutrients are found in flaxseed.

Flaxseed also comprises phytosterols which are cholesterol-like structures, but they help prevent cholesterol absorption from the intestines. Thus taking phytosterols can help lower levels of LDL or “bad” lipoprotein in the body. According to a research, it was examined that the effects of flaxseed on males with moderately high cholesterol who consumed either a lignan-containing 20 milligramme (mg) capsule, a 100 mg capsulation or placebo for 12 weeks, showed a drop in the level of cholesterol.

  • Easing the symptoms of arthritis

Flaxseed can minimise joint pain and stubborness in the muscles, according to a study conducted by  Arthritis Foundation. Certain people take it for rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and the Raynaud’s phenomenon. Although, they even say that there is not enough evidence regarding this claim,however, flax seeds have given positive results in reducing inflammation.

  • Hot flashes

In 2007, the findings of a team of scientists indicated that flaxseed can help to minimise the frequency or severity of hot flashes in women who do not use hormone medication during menopause. Further investigations by the same team however in 2012 have shown that flaxseed simply did not prove to be beneficial.

  • Blood sugar level

The risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, may be reduced by Lignans and other phytoestrogens. In 2013, a research was conducted on 25 people who were pre-diabetic, overweight or women who had menopause  were told to consume flax seeds for 12. After this, amazing results were obtained and people showed low levels of glucose and insulin sensitivity. However, in that same year, 99 pre-diabetes patients took 40 g or 20 g of flaxseeds or no flaxseed and placebo for 12 weeks each day. Flaxseed appeared to reduce blood pressure, but blood sugar or insulin resistance were not improved.

  • Preventing constipation

Flaxseed is a good insoluble source of fibre, which is not dissolved in water but remains in the digestive tract after consumption. It absorbs water and adds bulk that can contribute to consistency in a smooth bowel movement. However, there is little evidence to suggest that flax seed helps decrease constipation from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The NCCIH adds that flaxseed with too little water can make constipation worse and lead to blockage of the intestines. Furthermore, too much flaxseed or oil from flaxseed may cause diarrhoea.

  • Reducing the impact of radiation

In 2013 according to a study, it was found that flax-seed dietary lignans helped mice recover from exposure to radiation. The lignans ingested were lower than lignans, in contrast to the mice that did not have inflammation, wounds, oxidative damage and fibrosis and a higher survival rate. If other human studies show similar results, flaxseed lignans might help treat lung problems following radiation or radiation therapy exposure.

Flaxseeds have other benefits as well but are not supported with evidence and scientists are still conducting research on it.

Other benefits of flaxseeds

Risks of consuming flaxseeds

Flaxseeds may not prove to be beneficial for dealing with every condition. Always consult your doctor before consuming them for a serious disease or disorder, like:

  • If you consume medicines which helps in thinning blood
  • If you are taking non steroidal medicines
  • Medicines to control cholesterol
  • Have breast or uterine cancer responsive to hormones
  • pregnant or lactating 
  • Have a flaxseed allergy

Other than this, people should also keep in mind the following tips if they consume flaxseeds:

Avoid raw and unripe flax seeds because toxic compounds may be present. Use flaxseed soil and lots of fluid to avoid digestive problems. Only buy small bottles in a dark bottle of flaxseed oil and store them in the fridge as the oil can easily spoil. 

Furthermore, do not use oil after expiry of the label. In the cooking process, stop heating flaxseed oil. Fill in oil on ready meals and stop reheating by microwaving

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