What is flax seeds?
Flax seeds are small brownish and sometimes golden seeds that come from flax plants, an old fiber crop believed to have come from Egypt and China. Also known as lin seeds, they are a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and manganese. Flax seeds have one of the highest concentrations of omega 3 in alpha-linolenic acid form. They are also a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants hence are very good at lowering the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Flax seeds can be eaten whole or grounded to be eaten with meals. They are also used to make a vegetable oil known as linseed oil.
Flax Seeds Benefits
1. Lowering cholesterol levels
Flax seeds have high soluble fiber content wich is good for metabolism and prevention of heart diseases and obesity. The America Journal of Clinical Nutrition published that Flax seeds are able to lower cholesterol by a third and promote weight loss. They soluble fiber traps cholesterol in the digestive system making it impossible for the body to absorb it.
2. Contributes to healthy skin and hair
The essential fats and vitamin B1 found in Flax seeds promote healthy nails, skin and hair. This is because the nutrients reduce dryness that causes hair and nails to flake. Flax seeds also improve the condition of eczema, rosacea and acne. Dry eye syndrome is also one of the conditions improved by flax seeds.
Flax seeds contain ALA which helps to protect the digestive tract lining from injury and inflammation. This protects the person from digestive ailments and reduces the symptoms of Cronhs disease. The high fiber content is good fro digestion and removing toxins from the stomach and small intestines. Apart from preventing against constipation, flax seeds also prevent the body from experiencing hunger all the time.
4. Reducing the risk of cancer
The 3 lignans and antioxidants found in lin seeds balance the hormones in the body and enhance cellular health. Clinical research for cancer shows that a teaspoon of flax seeds everyday will prevent breast and colon cancer. It’s also good for prostate and ovarian cancer because they are hormone related.
5. Menopausal symptoms
Flax seeds are able to reduce the symptoms women going through the menopause experience. The women get less flushing and night sweats. These seeds can also help women have regular periods and control weavy bleeding. They also reduce the extreme PMS Symptoms such as moods swings, anxiety and headaches.
6. Cardiavascular problems
The omega 3 found in plenty in Flax seeds is good for the heart. Though it’s found in ALA, 20% of it can be converted to EPH to ensure the heart is strong and healthy. Flax seeds also lower blood sugar presure, ensuring the heart performs normally without stress.
How to consume Flax seeds
There are many ways to consume flax seeds and incorporate them into out diet;
The first approach is to cook with lin seeds oil and apply to skin and hair together with other essential oils.
Flax seeds powder can be added to the mixture when baking or in ready-made smoothies, soups and juices. Adding a spoonful of the Flax seeds powder to yogurt, porridge and breakfast cereal is also a great approach.
Raw grounded flax seeds can also sprinkled in veggies and fruits to give a crunchy texture. They can also be sprinkled on Frensh toast on top of the eggs before it hits the skillet. Putiing them in meatloaf or meatballs before cooking is also a marvelous idea.
They can also be ground in the blender or coffee grinder and used as egg substitute when baking.
Though they don’t taste very good, Flax seeds can be chewed raw just like peanuts or fruits but it’s not recommended because no nutrients will be absorbed this way. instead of eating chips and other unhealthy snacks when one is hungry, a granola bar made with flax seeds can be a great substitute.
Flax seeds for weight loss
There are several ways flax seeds are used for weight loss:
Flax is fiber and it’s full of healthy fats but it’s free of carbohydraes. This means one can eat as much as they want without adding weight caused by starch. The fiber also improves digestion and metabolism which is crusial in weight loss.
The healthy fats found in flax seeds ensure one feels full and satisfied for longer without consuming too much food. This is because they absorb water and swell, making your stomach feel the same for a long time. They also supress hunger and reduce the amount of times one has to eat.
ALA fats reduce inflammation in the stomach lining. This is important to weight loss because an inflamed body will often hold on to weight. A healthy stomach lining makes it possible to lose weight and trap excess cholesterol in the tract instead of the compound being converted to fat. Even tough there is a lot of dat in flax seeds, it is the healthy kind that does not contribute to weight gain.
Other Uses of Flax seeds
The fact that flax seeds are gluten and starch free is a big advantage to many people. They act as a great substitute for omega 3 to people who are allergic to seafood and are used by people who are gluten intolerant. Mixing flax seed powder with a little water can also be applied in baking instead of eggs and this is better for weight loss and works mostly because some people are allergic to eggs.
The benefits of flax seeds to the body are simply endless. This is because they provide the much needed fiber and nutrients required to keep the body healthy and get rid of toxins. The best way to reap all the benefits is to buy them whole and refrigerate them. This way one can grind some everyday and incorporate in their meals. Flax seeds are versatile, multipurpose and nutritious grains for everyday health.