Counting Many Benefits of Flaxseed
seed, also known as linseed, is noted to have high nutritional value, making it
a priority choice of food for health conscious people. Flax seed has the natural
fatty acids that provide preventative and restorative
abilities to your diet. There are two types of flax seed. One type is grown for
the seed use and considered an oil seed variety. The other is grown specifically
for fiber production to be utilized in the texture industry.
Even though flax seed has been around since the dawn of civilization, it is
more recently that mainstream society is beginning to understand its relevance
to a healthy life. Nutritionists, physicians, and health conscious individuals
are quickly becoming passionate about the health benefits of flax seed.
The health benefits of Flaxseed are as follows.
Richest source of omega fatty acids and lignans (potent cancer
fighters) known in nature. The immune-enhancing omega fatty acids 3, 6, and
9 are balanced in the combination your body requires for optimal health.
Also loaded with vitamins and phytonutrients, and an excellent source of
protein and fiber, flaxseed is nature's gift to health!
Provides improved Immune Function- Immunity is the body's ability
to defend itself successfully against foreign substances. The alpha
linolenic acid, as well as the lignans, decreases inflammation and promotes
healthy functioning of the immune system. Flax seed may be useful to manage
autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis,
psoriasis, and lupus.
Weight Management - research indicates that including flaxseed in
your daily diet can help you manage your weight. Besides stabilizing your
sugar levels, flax expands five times in bulk when ingested. Flax taken half
an hour before meals will help you eat less, so you will lose weight while
simultaneously strengthening your immune system.
Affect on Hormone Levels - Flax seed, with its high concentration
of lignans, is a great choice for all women, whether younger, middle-aged,
or older, as a natural way to normalize the menstrual cycle, manage
menopause, and lower the risk of osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease.
Intake of flaxseed on a daily basis results in hormonal changes that are
beneficial to women of all ages. In menstruating women who consumed 10 grams
(about 2 teaspoons) of flax seed on a daily basis, significant hormonal
changes have resulted. These changes are similar to those seen after
consumption of soy isoflavones. Positive effects included fewer cycle
changes, along with a reduction in ovarian disfunction. This, in turn, may
decrease the development of breast and other cancers. As women reach
menopause, the level of estrogens in their body decreases. This not only
gives rise to menopausal symptoms, but also increases the risk of
disease, including cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. In
post-menopausal women the protective effects of lignans is due primarily to
their estrogenic activity. Lignans have even been proposed as an alternative
to hormone-replacement therapy in post-menopausal women.
Adding just 1/8-1/4 cup of flaxseed to your daily diet can help
reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and
assists with healthy weight management.
Protection against bone loss - Daily dietary intake of flaxseed
offers protection against bone loss, may increase bone density, and reduces
the risk of osteoporosis.
Flax seeds have Anti-cancer Effects - Extensive studies on both
breast and colon cancer indicate that flax seed may play an important role
in cancer treatment, as well as prevention. A breast cancer prevention
program done at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Toronto Hospital,
involving 50 women diagnosed with breast cancer revealed that- while waiting
for surgery, half of the women received muffins containing 25 grams of
milled flax seed daily while the other half received ordinary muffins. The
women who received the flax seed muffins had slower-growing tumours compared
to the other group.
Flax seeds help Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease - It
aids in decreasing the so-called "bad" cholesterol. Increase the "good"
cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, suppresse the development of
atherosclerosis and inflammation, and enhances blood vessel tone.
Researchers at the University of Toronto found that total blood cholesterol
levels dropped by 9% and LDL ("bad" cholesterol) decreased by 18% when a
group of nine healthy women added flax seeds to their regular diets. The
women ate 50 grams of milled flax seed a day for four weeks
Seed for Fiber - The benefits of flaxseed in its whole seed form
far surpass those of flax oil because freshly ground seed includes the fiber
content that is so vital to maintaining digestive health. The insoluble
fibre in flax seed is helpful in regulating bowel movements, increasing the
frequency of bowel movements, and preventing or treating bowel
irregularities and constipation. Soluble fibre is helpful in lowering blood
cholesterol levels as well as lowering blood sugar levels (important for
people suffereing from diabetes).
Flavor enhancer - The light, nutty taste of flax seed enhances
the flavour of food, and adds nutritional value to your diet. Flax seed may
be eaten on its own, sprinkled on cereal, popcorn, and salads, or added to
oatmeal, yogurt, and blender drinks. Adding flax seed to baked goods adds
flavour, extra texture, and good nutrition. Milled flax seed may be
baked into a variety of products including breads, pancakes, bagels,
muffins, and cookies.
Look for a brand that has been certified organic - If you opt for
oil or capsules, make sure the oil is expeller-pressed (also called
"cold-pressed"). Expeller-pressed seeds produce the highest-quality flax
oils. But most importantly, look for the lignans. Milled flax is by far your
best source of lignans, but if you prefer oil or capsules, the bottle should
state "with lignans" clearly on the label.
Above are the reasons why Flax seed is gaining popularity among health and
nutrition experts as well as consumers. Start adding them to your diet, to
derive better health.
Dated 19 March 2013