For something so small, flaxseed has big benefits. Recent studies have shown that flaxseed, known to the world for thousands of years, may aid in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing bone loss, promoting weight loss, increasing immunity, and fighting cancer,
Flaxseed is high in:
· Vitamins and minerals, including most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese
· Fiber, both soluble and insoluble
· Phytochemicals, including many powerful antioxidants such as lignans. In fact, because it’s a plant, flaxseed is one of the best sources of lignans .
· Omega-3 fatty acids, key to fighting inflammation. Flaxseed is a mega-source of the plant version of omega-3 . Flaxseed oil has about 50 percent Omega 3— five times more than walnut oil or canola oil, which are the next highest sources of Omega 3.
· Lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber in flaxseed has been shown to lower cholesterol, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to high blood pressure, stroke, or heart attack. Fiber is also believed to lower blood sugar levels, which is important for people who have type 2 diabetes.
· Reduce bone loss. A study of diabetic rats showed a delay in bone loss after they were fed flaxseed, thanks to its concentration of fatty acids.
· Help with weight management. Flax expands when ingested, making you feel fuller. You can take flaxseeds 30 minutes before meals to control your appetite.
· Improve digestive health. The fiber in flaxseed can help relieve constipation and make you more regular.
· Improve Menopausal Symptoms
Flax, like soy, is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like substances that are found in plants. Phytoestrogens act as a natural hormone therapy and help to stabilize hormonal levels. This stabilization of hormonal levels helps to lesson the symptoms of menopause like Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, moodiness .
· Increase immunity. Omega 3 has been shown to decrease inflammation, which allows your immune system to function better. Preliminary research suggests that flaxseed can help relieve autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus.
· Fight cancer. Studies show that flaxseed may have a role in fighting cancer, particularly colon and breast cancer. The benefit is based on its high concentration of lignans, which are believed to inhibit tumor growth.
Flaxseed should be ground before consumption as your body is better able to digest it. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won't get all the health benefits. Ground flaxseed should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator; it should be good for about 90 days.You should be 1 tbsp ie 3 tsp ground flaxseed daily .One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and provides 36 calories.
Because flaxseed is high in fiber, when adding it to your diet, start with small amounts and increase it slowly. Drink plenty of water. As flaxseed is good source of soluble fiber it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flaxseeds, otherwise constipation may result.
How to add Flaxseed in Your Diet
Flaxseed has a light, nutty taste. Here are some ways to add it to the foods you already eat and enjoy:
· Sprinkle flaxseed on your cold cereal or hot oatmeal at breakfast.
· Sprinkle on salads or in soups.
· Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into your curd.
Flaxseed is a great way to get fiber and important nutrients into your diet. Experiment with it in your favorite recipes to boost their nutrition profile.