For hundreds of years, flax seeds have been known for their health benefits. Nowadays, as more scientific research points to the innumerable health benefits of flaxseed, it's no wonder that flax seeds are now emerging as a new "superfood". Let us look into some of the health benefits of flaxseed that have scientific evidence.
Protect against Cancer
Recent studies have proved that two components of flaxseed have a protective effect against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. The lignans in flaxseed may provide some protection against breast cancer. Few studies have suggested that exposure to lignans during teenage years helps reduce the risk of breast cancer and may also increase the chances of survival of breast cancer patients. Lignans help protect against cancer by blocking enzymes that are needed in the metabolism of hormones and meddling with the growth and increase of tumor cells. Some of the other flaxseed components also have antioxidant properties, which may aid in protection against cancer and heart disease.
Good for Heart
One important component of flaxseeds is omega-3s which help the cardiovascular system through various different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and maintaining the heartbeat. New research also suggests that flaxseeds help in lowering blood pressure. Those effects are mainly the result of omega-3 fatty acids and the amino acid groups found in flaxseed.
Many studies have suggested that diets containing a good proportion of flaxseed omega-3s help prevent the hardening of the arteries and prevent plaque formation in the arteries by keeping white blood cells from coming close to the inner linings of the blood vessels. Because plant omega-3s also help in maintaining the natural rhythm of the heart, they may be useful in treating irregular heartbeat and heart failure, although more research is needed on this. Consuming flaxseed every day may also help your cholesterol levels.
Improve blood sugar levels
Preliminary research came to the conclusion that daily intake of the lignans in flaxseed may improve blood sugar to some extent.
Two constituents in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce the inflammation that comes along with certain illnesses like Parkinson's disease and asthma by containing the release of a few pro-inflammatory agents. ALA has been shown to reduce inflammatory reactions in men. And animal studies have found that lignans can reduce levels of quite a number of pro-inflammatory agents. Another way flaxseed helps prevent heart attack and strokes is by reducing inflammation that takes place due to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
Reduce Hot Flashes
One study of menopausal women suggested that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed into cereal, yogurt or juice, twice a day reduced their hot flashes by half. There are many flax seed recipes that you can try. The intensity of their hot flashes was also reduced by 57%. After taking the daily flaxseed for only one week, the difference was noticed by women and saw the maximum benefit within two weeks.
Thus we see that flaxseeds have several health benefits. You will see an overall improvement in your health due to the benefits of flaxseed. Consume it in a controlled proportion daily to see your health improve significantly.