Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

Consuming high quality flax seed on a regular basis can help you to stop many of the common health problems. Learn here about amazing benefits that those seeds have to offer.

The omega-3 fatty acids have a balancing role in the diet. They correct imbalances in modern diets that lead to health problems. Nutritionists caution that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids eaten in North America no longer meets our bodies’ needs. You can balance your consumption of fatty acids by adding flax to your diet. Current research shows eating flax seed provides health benefits.

A lower risk for heart disease. Nutritionists advise paying attention to the kinds of fats eaten. They suggest you eat less saturated fat and trans fats, and more polyunsaturated fat – which flax provides. Studies show a diet high in ALA reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and by preventing the buildup of harmful deposits in arteries. In other studies, where scientists studied large groups of people to find disease trends, increasing the ALA content of the diet corresponded to a decrease in risk of stroke and heart disease.

Prevention of some forms of cancer. The link between diet and cancer is well-known. Flax contains dietary fiber and omega-3 fat in the form of ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), which can reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, studies showed the ALA in flax slowed inflammation which led to cell growth in cancer. Another study on women newly diagnosed with breast cancer showed a slowing of tumor growth with the addition of flax to their diet.

Treatment of immune disorders. The lignans and ALA in flax help prevent inflammation that affects the body’s immune system. Flax in the diet may be useful in the treatment of such immune disorders as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus.
Also the omega 3 fatty acids are thought to reduce the inflammation of asthma. The mucilage in flax fiber is also good for the lungs.

Diabetes. Studies show flax lowers blood glucose in healthy, young adults. The effect of flax in the diets of people with Type 2 diabetes is currently being investigated.

Colon Problems. Flax provides the perfect blend of soluble and insoluble fiber for the better health of the intestinal tract. One ounce of flax seed meets 32% of the USDA’s reference amount for fiber.
Consumed with plenty of pure water, flax seed softens the stool and makes bowel elimination easier, a blessing to those with any level of constipation.
Much of the flax seed health benefit in this area is from the mucilage, the unique soluble fiber that is so soothing and cleansing to the digestive tract. This eases elimination while increasing the volume and soothing irritation at the same time. Also flax gently cleans excess mucus and other debris from the small intestine, improving absorption.
Flax is appreciated greatly by the whole spectrum of those with intestinal problems, from constipation to irritable bowel. Studies in older adults show eating flax helps increase the frequency of bowel movements.

Stress and depression. The Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) in flax seed is the source of the Omega 3 fatty acids. A key one is Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). This fatty acid is crucial to brain function, and is often deficient in modern people.
DHA is important for brain development in children, for calming in the face of stress, for mental acuity, and for memory. Having enough of it makes one calmer and smarter, and it may prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ways to include flax seed in home cooking:

– Sprinkle ground flax seed on your cereal and salads.
– Substitute flax seed mixture for eggs in home baking such as muffin and pancake (1 tbsp milled flax seed, plus 3 tbsp water = 1 egg). Final products will have less volume and taste gummier
– Include in other recipe when nutty flavor is preferred
– Substitute flax seed oil for other oils

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