What are Flax Seeds?
People have recently started paying more attention to their food habits and health which has led them to think about eating healthy food. There are many foods you can eat to get proper nutrition and one such food is flax seed. Flax seed is also known as the most powerful and healthy plant food on the planet. It provides you with healthy fat, antioxidants and tons of fiber. If we go back in history we can find flax seed grown as a crop in ancient Egypt and China which was majorly used as an Ayurvedic medicine for years.
It was also cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. King Charlemagne was so convinced about the benefits of flax seeds that he passed a law which required his subjects to eat flax seeds regularly. Now, you can also benefit from flax seeds, they can be found as oils, powder, tablets and flour. They are taken as a dietary supplement to prevent many diseases like diabetes, constipation, etc.
Flax seeds contain lignans, protein, fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids like alpha Linolenic acid or omega 3. Therefore if you are looking for a food which will benefit you in many ways you can start eating flax seeds. There are several ways of including flax seeds in your daily diet but first let us take a look at the healthy benefits they can provide you with.
Health Benefits of Eating Flax Seeds: 10 Reasons You Need to Add it To Your Diet Today!
There are countless health benefits of flax seeds. Here are some major benefits that will keep you healthy for a long time.
Flax Seeds Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Cancer takes millions of lives each year around the world, a lot of people overcome it by taking proper care of their health and body. A body needs nutrients to keep fit. There are many treatments available to fight with cancer but these medications bring a lot of side effects with them. Our body needs ample amount of strength to fight the disease as well as cancer. Eating flax seeds provide our body with the much needed nutrients.
They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which prevent different types of cancer cells from growing in our body. They also contain lignans which is a plant based nutrient and work a lot like estrogen. They are a powerful antioxidants and help in slowing down any growth of tumor by preventing them from making new blood vessels. According to a survey done in 2013 in was found less cases of breast cancer who ate flaxseed regularly.
Flax Seeds are Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats that our body do not produce it. They are important for our body to survive and we can obtain them from the foods we eat. Although fish is the best source of obtaining Omega-3 fatty acids, you can easily get it from some plants, even you are a vegetarian. There are different kinds of Omega 3 fatty acids which are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ad docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The kind of omega 3 we get from plants is alpha Linolenic (ALA) and flax seeds are high in ALA.
Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits. They protect our bones and joints as they have anti inflammatory fats. By adding a handful of flax seed in your daily diet can provide you with a good amount of Omega-3 and keep you healthy for a long time. Omega-3 fatty acids have several health benefits. They help protect your bones and joints, and because they contain anti-inflammatory fats, they can help lower cholesterol and help us avoid heart attacks and strokes.
Flax Seeds is High in Potent Antioxidants too
Our body is exposed to free radicals from different sources like cigarette smoke, pollution, sunlight etc. Even when we exercise our body naturally produces free radicals when it converts food into energy. There are free radicals may cause oxidative stress which can trigger cell damage. Oxidative stress can play a major role in getting cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Parkinson’s and other age related macular degeneration diseases. We can help our body get rid of these free radicals by taking in antioxidants. Flax seeds contain health protective antioxidants called polyphenols.
They help in protecting our body from heart diseases and other cell damaging oxidative stress and prevents us from premature aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Eating Flax seeds regularly can help you take in a good amount of antioxidants and keep you safe from various health issues.
Flax Seeds are Good for Weight Loss
If you are looking to lose some weight you should include flax seeds in your diet due to its high fiber content. The two types of fiber are the insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not mix with water and turns into a bulking agent when mixed with water to help pass stool easily whereas soluble fiber like beta glucan and glucomannan turns into a gel like substance which slows down the process of stomach releasing digested food into the stomach. Eating soluble fiber can help you lose belly fat quickly.
Flax seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber with ALA and Omega 3 fatty acids which helps you in losing weight. It keeps you full for a long time and prevents you from eating all day. According to a study, adding flax seeds in your daily diet may help overweight people shed weight faster in comparison to those who did not eat flax seeds regularly.
Easing the Symptoms of Arthritis
People suffering from arthritis can benefit from flax seeds. Flax seeds contain ALA which helps in reducing inflammation. According to the Arthritis foundation, flax seeds can help people fight joint pains and stiffness. People having rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Raynaud’s phenomenon can take flax seeds regularly and reduce their symptoms to a great extant. They can take one table-spoon of ground flax seeds or one to three table-spoons of flax seed oil daily to benefit from it.
Diabetes is a common disease and more than half of the people around the world suffer from it. People with diabetes need to maintain their blood sugar levels to keep healthy. Flax seeds can play a major role when it comes to diabetes. Since flax seeds are high in fiber, they are a low glycemic food which do not let your blood sugar levels go up. Due to a high amount of soluble fiber it slows food digestion and decreases the absorption of sugar. One can also take flax seed oil to maintain their blood sugar levels. Insulin in our body regulates blood sugar and some people have difficulties in responding to insulin which brings the risk of type 2 diabetes. Lignans in flax seeds improve insulin sensitivity and slows the development of diabetes.
It is also found that women who take flax seed regularly experienced a drop of 57% of the intensity of hot flashes during menopause. 2 table-spoons(tsp) of ground flax seed can be easily mixed with a smoothie, cereals or juices and taken in daily to benefit from it.
Flax Seeds Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be caused by several factors like bad eating habits, stress and heart issues. High blood pressure is also called hypertension which increases the pressure of blood in the arteries. A person suffering from high blood pressure has their heart work harder to pump and release blood which leads to damaged blood vessels resulting to heart attacks and strokes. People with high blood pressure may also damage their kidneys, brain and eyes therefore it is important to maintain their blood pressure at all times.
Eating 30 grams of flax seeds daily for six months can bring down their systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg whereas the diastolic blood pressure may come down to 7 mmHg, therefore people with high blood pressure should include flax seeds in their diet regularly.
Flax seeds also play a major role in keeping us looking younger. Since they are high in lignans and antioxidants they prevent fine lines and wrinkles on our face. The high amount of fatty acids keeps our skin moisturized and looking supple during the hard winter times. People who are worried about sagging skin should eat flax seeds and avoid looking older than they are.
Repairs Hair Damage
Thinning and premature graying of hair is a common issue among people of all ages these days. This could be due to poor lifestyle, stress and eating habits. Flax seeds are full of needed nutrients and vitamin E which repairs our damaged hair. They strengthen our roots and prevents hair fall.
5 Ways to Include Flax Seeds in your Daily Diet
Flax Seed Oatmeal
Starting your day with a bowl full of oatmeal can get you many health benefits and adding a handful of flax seeds can enhance its properties.
- 1 cup water
- Dash of sea salt
- 1/2 cup gluten free oats
- 2 tsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Take water in a pot, add a pinch of sea salt and boil the water.
- Add oats to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes while stirring it on low flame.
- Add cinnamon, flaxseed in the cooked oats and stir it well.
- Remove the pot from the stove after a couple of minutes and add more cinnamon if you wish.
- You can now add coconut, hemp, rice or flax milk if you like it or serve it as it is and enjoy
Flax Seed Smoothie
Another great way of adding flax seeds in your diet is to mix it with smoothies. Kids like to drink smoothies therefore you can easily have them take it and they won't even know it.
- ½ frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk
- Take banana, strawberries, flax seed meal and soy milk and put it all in a blender. Puree it well and serve.
Flax Seed Raita
Make your raita with even full of health benefits by making flax seed raita as a side dish for yourself or even your guests. The raita is made with flax seeds, lauki and yogurt and is loaded with all the nutrients your body needs to stay fit.
- 3 tablespoon flax seeds
- 2 cup grated bottle gourd
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cup yoghurt (curd)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- For Garnishing 10 leaves coriander leaves
- Roast flax seeds and cumin seeds in a pan on medium heat.
- Let it cool and grind it into a powder.
- Take another pan and put lauki with 1/2 cup water, cook it for about 7 minutes and let the water evaporate.
- Take a bowl and beat yogurt till it is smooth, add flax and cumin powder in it.
- Add salt, sugar, yogurt and cooked lauki in it as well and mix it.
- Keep it in the fridge for a while and garnish it with coriander leaves before serving.
Radish & Flax Seed Salad
Another healthy side dish you can add to any meal can be this Radish and flax seed raita which offers a refreshing mix of flavours.
- 2 Radish
- 5-7 Radish leaf
- 2-3 drops Lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp Mustard oil
- 2-3 spoon Flax seed roasted
- Add salt and lemon juice in mustard oil and whisk well.
- Cut radish and its leaves into thick strips.
- In a pan dry roast flax seeds and let it cool.
- Now, take a bowl and add sliced radish, its leaves and roasted flax seeds in it and serve.
Flax and Vegetable Soup
Soups are the best way to keep yourself warm and healthy during winters. Here is an easy way of making soup with flax seeds and vegetables.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 cups frozen vegetables, such as mixed carrots, peas, corn or 2 cups assorted fresh vegetables, of your choice
- 4 -6 tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds (flax meal)
- 4 tablespoons fresh chives or 4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- Saute onions in butter until transparent.
- Now add water to it and let it boil.
- Now add miso, bouillon, vegetables as written.
- Cook the vegetables well and add flax meal to it.
- Boil for one minute only after that and remove from heat and serve.
Improve your Diet with Flax Seeds
Dietary is significant to improving one's health. With a good diet, one can stay healthy and keep illnesses at bay. A great way to eat what you want while keeping healthy will be through adding flax seeds to one's diet. Whether enjoying a drink, soup or a smoothie, eating salad, or some cooked meat, flax seeds will go along with almost all types of meals. This makes it a very good choice to add to any meal. Moreover, it has high nutritional value, making flax seeds the best choice to eat along with your meals and still stay healthy.