Flax seeds, often called linseed or alsi, are little oil seeds that originated thousands of years ago in the Middle East. According to several studies, it may help lower cholesterol levels, disease, cancer, heart attack, and diabetes. That's a big ask for a small seed that's been around for millennia.
Flaxseed was first produced around 3000 BC in Babylon. King Charlemagne, in the eighth century, was so convinced of flaxseed's health benefits that he enacted laws compelling his citizens to take it. Some experts believe we now have early research to back up what Charlemagne suspected, thirteen centuries later.
Nowadays, flaxseed may be found in a wide variety of foods, such as crackers, tortilla shells, and porridge. According to the Flax Council, about 300 new flax-based products were introduced in the United States and Canada in 2010. Not only has consumer demand for flaxseed increased, but so has agricultural use. Flaxseed is fed to all of the chickens that lay eggs with greater levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed contains lignans, protein, antioxidants, fiber, omega 3, and polyunsaturated fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Such nutrients could help to lower the risk of a number of ailments.
Here are 9 scientifically proven health benefits of flax seeds:
- Rich in nutrients
Flax seeds are one of the ancient crops on the planet, having been cultivated since the start of time. Brown and golden are the 2 different kinds, both of which are nutrient-dense. A standard serving size is 1 tablespoon of crushed flax seeds. Protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals, are abundant in one tablespoon.
- High in omega 3 fats
Flax seeds can be your best supply of omega-3 fats if you're a vegetarian or don't consume seafood. They're high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid derived primarily from plants. ALA is one of the two necessary fatty acids that your body does not make and must be obtained from food.
- Rich Source of Lignans
Lignans are plant chemicals with antioxidant and estrogen characteristics, which can help reduce cancer risk and improve overall health. Flax seeds, for example, have up to 800 times more lignans than other plant meals. Those who eat flax seeds, especially postmenopausal women, have a decreased risk of breast cancer, according to observational research.
As per a Canadian study involving over 6,000 women, flax seed eaters are also 18 percent less likely to get breast cancer. Men, on the other hand, can benefit from flax seed use. In a small study of 15 men, those who ate 30 grams of flax seeds per day while eating a low-fat diet had lower levels of prostate cancer, showing a lower risk of prostate cancer.
- Rich in dietary fiber
Flax seeds provide 3 grams of fiber per tablespoon, which is 8–12% of the daily fiber requirement for men and women, correspondingly. Furthermore, flax seeds contain both soluble (20–40 percent) and insoluble (60–80 percent) dietary fiber. This fiber pair is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in bulkier stools and more regular bowel motions.
Soluble fiber, on the one hand, improves the consistency of the contents of your intestine and delays digestion. This has been demonstrated to aid with blood sugar regulation and cholesterol reduction. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, permits more water to bind to the stools, increasing volume and resulting in softer bowel movements.
- Improve cholesterol
Flax seeds can also help to decrease cholesterol levels, which is a health benefit. As per one study, taking three tablespoons of 30 grams of flaxseed powder daily for three months reduced total cholesterol by 17% and bad cholesterol levels by approximately 20% in persons with high cholesterol. It can also help to diminish cholesterol levels, which is a health benefit of flaxseed.
- Lower blood pressure
The fiber in flax seeds appears to be responsible for these benefits, as it binds to bile salts and is then expelled by the body. Cholesterol from your blood is drawn into your liver to replenish these bile salts. This procedure decreases cholesterol levels in the blood. This is fantastic news for anyone looking to lower their cholesterol.
Flax seeds have also been studied for their natural capacity to decrease blood pressure. Six-month research in Canada found that eating 30 grams of flax seeds daily reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 and 7 millimeters of mercury, respectively. Furthermore, a thorough evaluation of data from 11 trials found that consuming flax seeds daily for more than three months reduced blood pressure by 2 mmHg.
While this may appear minor, a 2-mmHg drop in blood pressure can reduce the chance of dying from a stroke by 10% and heart disease by 7%.
- Rich in protein
Flaxseed health benefits are fantastic as it is the source of plant-based protein, and flaxseed protein and its health advantages are gaining popularity. The amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid are abundant in flaxseed protein. Flaxseed protein has been found in many different lab and animal studies to aid boost immunological function, decrease cholesterol, prevent cancers, and have anti-fungal capabilities.
Flax seeds are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, and flaxseed protein and its health advantages are gaining popularity. The amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid are abundant in flaxseed protein. Flaxseed protein has been found in many different lab and animal studies to aid boost immunological function, decrease cholesterol, prevent cancers, and have anti-fungal capabilities.
Both the animal and plant protein meals are likely to have triggered hormones in the gut to cause a sense of fullness, resulting in eating less at the next meal.
- Control blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a severe health issue that affects people all over the world. High blood sugar levels are a symptom of diabetes, which is caused by the body's inability to release insulin or resistance to it. As per a few studies, persons with type 2 diabetes who include or consume 10–20 grams of flaxseed powder to their regular diet for at least one month had blood sugar levels drop by 8–20%.
The insoluble fiber component of flax seeds contributes to this blood sugar-lowering impact. Insoluble fiber, according to research, inhibits the release of sugar into the bloodstream and lowers blood sugar levels. However, one study reported no benefit in diabetes control or blood sugar levels.
This could be related to the study's limited sample size and the usage of flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is deficient in fiber, which is responsible for flax seeds' capacity to reduce blood sugar levels. Overall, flax seeds can be a nutritious and useful addition to the diet of diabetics.
- Helps in weight loss
If you have a habit of snacking in between meals, try mixing flax seeds into your beverage to keep hunger at bay. It is considered that mixing 2.5 grams of ground flax fiber extract into a beverage lowered hunger and appetite. The dietary fiber content of flax seeds may help with weight loss by reducing hunger and enhancing feelings of fullness. Flax seeds' high soluble fiber content certainly contributed to the feeling of fullness. It slows digestion in the stomach, triggering a slew of chemicals that regulate hunger and make you feel full.
Tips for storing, consuming to get maximum health benefits of flax seeds:-
Many experts say that eating flaxseed rather than flax oil (which only contains a portion of the seed) is the best way to acquire all of the nutrients. But remain tuned as the investigation continues. "Ground flaxseed is a terrific first choice in general," Thompson adds, "but there may be specific cases where flax oil or the lignans taken at proportions naturally found in flaxseed are just as good."
What amount of flaxseed do you require? The optimal dose for achieving health benefits is unknown. As per the Flax Council of Canada, a daily intake of 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed is now recommended.
- Flaxseed is more likely to travel through the intestinal tract undigested when eaten whole, meaning your body doesn't acquire all of the beneficial components. If you wish to grind flaxseed yourself, small electric coffee grinders appear to be the best option
- Don't get mixed up with the various product names for ground flaxseed. Flax meal is made from milled or ground flaxseed
- Although golden flaxseed is more appealing to the sight, brown flaxseed is more readily available in most supermarkets. Nutritionally, there isn't much of a difference between the two, so it's all up to you
- Ground flaxseed is now widely available in supermarkets (or flax meal). It's commonly found in the flour or "grain" aisle, as well as the whole-grain cereal department, and comes in 1-pound sacks. It's also available at health food stores and on various websites like Healthy Master
- When purchasing flaxseed-containing items, be sure the label specifies ground flaxseed rather than whole flaxseed. Cereals, spaghetti, whole-grain bread and crisps, granola bars, meatless meal products, and snack foods all include flaxseed
- Add a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed to any item you eat, such as porridge, smoothies, soup, or yogurt. It will soon become a habit, and you will not have to think about it; you will simply do it
- Dark sauces and protein mixes are the greatest ways to hide flaxseed. When flaxseed is included in enchilada casserole, chicken parmesan, chili, beef stew, meatloaf, or meatballs, no one notices. You can typically get away with adding 2 to 4 teaspoons of ground flaxseed to a 4-serving dish. Use 4 to 8 tablespoons for a dish that serves 6 to 8
- In recipes for quick bread, rolls, muffin bread, bagels, waffles, and pancakes use ground flaxseed instead of some of the flour. If the recipe asks for 2 or more cups of flour, try substituting 1/4 to 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- The freezer is the best spot to keep ground flaxseed. Pre-ground flaxseed should be frozen in the bag it came in, or in a plastic sealable bag if you ground it yourself. The ground flax will not oxidize and lose its nutritional value if kept in the freezer
- Solid flaxseed appears to have a protective layer around the fatty acids inside. Keep your whole flaxseed in a dark, cool area until you're ready to ground it. Whole flaxseed, on the other hand, can be stored at room temperature for up to a year if it is dry and of excellent quality
Now you must be wondering how to consume Flax seeds or flaxseed oil that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Consider the following flax seeds dishes:
- Using them as an egg replacer by mixing them with water
- Adding them to your favorite yogurt is a great way to use them up.
- Mixing them with water and drinking it as part of your normal fluid intake is a good way to start.
- Sprinkle flaxseed oil over salads as a dressing
- They can be used in cookies, cupcakes, bread, and other recipes.
- To thicken the texture of smoothies, mix them in
When flaxseeds are ground, they become so versatile that you don't have to think twice about creating a wide range of delicacies. Adding a spoonful of flaxseeds to chapatis, parathas, pooris, bread, desserts, drinks, soups, salads, and other dishes can give them a healthy, nutty, toasted twist.
If you need a little help getting started with flax seeds in your normal cooking, we have compiled some of the easiest and fuss-free recipes for you.
Flaxseed fruity muffin recipe:-
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using paper or foil liners, line a muffin tin. Spray the interior of the liners with canola cooking spray.
- Mix the pineapple with sauce, apples, canola oil, egg, egg whites or egg alternative, sour cream, and molasses in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. You can add the raisins, almonds, or dried fruit as per your choice and mix well.
- Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flaxseed in a medium mixing basin.
- Beat the flaxseed mixture into the sour cream mixture on low speed until just mixed (batter will be a little lumpy). Fill muffin tins 1/4 cup at a time with batter.
- Heat for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and spongy to the touch in the center of a preheated oven.
Flaxseed nutrition smoothie:-
- In a juicer, mix 2-3 strawberries, 2 bananas, 2 tablespoons flax seeds, and 1 teaspoon honey until smooth and frothy.
- Strain the smoothie into two separate glasses in equal amounts.
- Garnish with a strawberry and banana slice on top.
- Mix one cup of water with the 1 cup of thickly grated bottle gourd. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes over medium heat.
- In a large mixing basin, combine all of the ingredients(roughly ground flaxseeds, roasted cumin seeds, 1 cup low-fat curd, salt as per taste) including the boiled bottle gourd, and stir thoroughly.
- End up serving cold after chilling for at least 1 hour.
Flax seeds include a number of plant components that are advantageous to your health:
- Phytosterols - Plant cell membranes contain phytosterols, which are related to cholesterol. They have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol levels.
- Lignans - Lignans are antioxidants and phytoestrogens that are found in practically all plants. Flax seeds are extremely high in lignans, with up to 800 times the amount found in other meals.
- Ferulic acid - This antioxidant is capable of aid in the prevention of a number of infectious diseases.
- Cyanogenic glycosides - In your body, these molecules may create thiocyanates, which can compromise thyroid function in some people.
Flax seeds are generally well-tolerated, and allergic reactions are uncommon. When consuming these seeds, however, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water.
Cyanogenic glycosides - Cyanogenic glycosides are plant chemicals found naturally in flax seeds. Thiocyanates are formed when these chemicals bind with sulfur molecules in your body. Thyroid gland function may be harmed if you consume too many thiocyanates.
In healthy people, moderate quantities are unlikely to create any negative consequences. Those with thyroid issues, on the other hand, should avoid eating a lot of flax seeds. Though there is no known safe upper limit for flaxseed consumption, one study found that 5 tablespoons (50 grams) per day is safe and helpful for most healthy persons.
Phytic acid- Flax seeds, like other seeds, contain phytic acid. Because it can inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc, phytic acid is often referred to as an antinutrient. Phytic acid, on the other hand, has no long-term effect on mineral absorption and has no effect on following meals. As a result, this shouldn't be a huge problem – unless you're weak in minerals like iron or eat an unbalanced diet.
Buy roasted flaxseed from Healthy Master and consume it as a snack because nuts and seeds can help you feel full for a long time, ensuring that your appetite is effectively handled. So, if you're trying to lose weight or want to maintain good gut health you don't have to go hungry or eat less. Simply eat a handful of nuts and seeds every day to get the nutrition you require.