When you talk about health boosting food choices, flaxseeds top the discussion. Why these seeds that were not very popular since last one decade have suddenly grabbed the attention of health watchers around the world? Many people have included these seeds in their daily diets in some or the other form but very few may know the exact benefits of these seeds and the right way of consuming them too. Researchers around the world have concluded that even the small amount of these omega-3 rich seeds when consumed regularly would bring positive difference to your heart and overall health. Here, you will find the quick reply to all your queries about flaxseeds and their diverse uses.
What is flaxseed?
Flaxseed is produced from flax crop which is the fiber crop cultivated over ages. The flax crop has its history of cultivation in China and Egypt which later expanded to the world. Another popular name of flaxseed is linseed.
The awareness about the flaxseeds have been found only in last decade due to more of media publicity and online articles being published on the same, but the health benefits of these seeds are known since centuries. In 8th Century, King Charlemagne emphasized on consuming more flaxseeds due to its health benefits. He had also passed certain laws supporting the consumption of flaxseeds.
These seeds are found to be rich source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants. Regular consumption have shown good results in combating the health issues like heart ailments, cancer and diabetes. Though the quantity and the form in which flax seeds are consumed would make a major difference as incorrect consumption would let the flaxseeds remain undigested.
Suggested dose of flaxseed
Flaxseeds are natural and hence no minimum or maximum dosage recommendations are worked out. You can consume these seeds in moderate quantity so as to get the optimum results. Also, the nutritionists suggest that these seeds may be ground before consuming to get the desired benefits. The whole seed would remain undigested and may be flushed out of the body without ripping the benefits.
These seeds have not peculiar flavor or fragrance and hence it can be mixed with other food items to get good benefits of the same. You can use it in dips, breads and gravies to increase its consumption.
What makes flaxseeds so healthy?
Flaxseed may look just like any other seed but when it comes to comparing the nutritional value, the difference is huge. These seeds are packed with fibers and have cholesterol lowering capabilities. The research work so far made on these seeds have not suggested any heart disease curing capabilities but regular intake have proven lipid lowering results. The study published in British Journal of Nutrition have authenticated these lipid lowering properties of flaxseeds.
Flaxseed oil is the vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, though it may not have same effects as fish oil. If you are vegetarian then flaxseeds would fulfill your body’s omega-3 needs which non-vegetarians may get from fish.
These seeds are rich in magnesium, protein, dietary fibers and antioxidants too.
Benefits of flaxseeds in various diseases
Consumption of flaxseeds is recommended for general wellness but you can use them to prevent or control many lifestyle diseases too.
- High Blood Pressure – This is one of the most common health conditions faced by the people around the world. As per one study carried out for 12 weeks by Greek researchers on 59 subjects of middle age, flaxseed oil consumption have lowered their blood pressure significantly. You can include flaxseed oil in your daily diet by using it as salad dressing.
- Cholesterol – High cholesterol levels will eventually make you suffer from heart attack or some other heart related issues. Flaxseeds either in oil or ground form can be added to your every meal to enjoy the drug free cholesterol reduction. Studies Iowa State University and British Nutrition Journal have proven this.
- Cancer – Positive results have been observed in the patients suffering from prostate cancer and skin cancer when they are administered with regular flaxseeds or flaxseed supplementation. The tumor growth reduced by 63% in mice subjected to flaxseed supplements.
- Depression – Fast pace lives and disturned personal lives have now made depression a major issue amongst the people of middle age. Flaxseed would work as antidepressant to certain extent. You cannot take it as drug but it can be used as prevention aid.
Precautions for beginners
If you are using flaxseeds for the first time then stay prepared for the possible short term side-effects like constipation, nausea, bloating, stomach pain and flatulence. Some people may also experience diarrhea. Start consuming the seeds in moderation to avoid these possible side-effects.
Flaxseeds have ample benefits when taken in the right quantity and these seeds can become daily dose of health supplement too. All you have to do is keep them handy and rip the utmost health advantages.