also known as Linseed.
Composition of Flax Seeds
Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world.
Flax seeds contain Omega-3 (ALA) ,Fiber , Protein, Vitamin B1 , Manganese , Magnesium , Phosphorus and Selenium. Also, flaxseeds contain a good amount of vitamin B6, Iron, potassium, copper and zinc. This flax seed nutrition profile makes it one of the most extraordinary super foods. To obtain the beneficial fatty acids from the flax seeds, they need to be ground first.
Health benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flax seeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer. Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support weight loss. Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss.
ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.This is important for weight loss in that an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight.
It is beneficial for increasing libido: Testosterone, a natural sex hormone known in human body and regular use of flaxseed helps to increase testosterone thus resulting in increase of libido and other male sexual characteristics. Apart from these flax seeds also contains fatty acids, which are considered as the major building blocks for sex hormones.
Flax seeds promote Male Fertility: Flaxseed oil is considered as one of the best supplement for promoting fertility. It contains L-Arginine which is very beneficial for promoting sperm counts. Flaxseed oils are useful for making sperm healthy. It improves Sexual Performance: Flaxseed oil plays a major role in increasing blood flow to sexual organs thus promoting longer erections.
Flax seeds contain high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract. The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption. Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.
Perhaps the biggest flax seed benefits come from it’s ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health. Flax is very high in soluble and insoluble fiber which can also improve digestive health and is one of the highest magnesium foods in the world.
Flaxseed oil and flaxseed mucilage significantly reduced the number and length of gastric ulcers induced by ethanol.
Arthritis and Gout
Flax seeds have been shown to ease arthritis, especially in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Flax seeds have natural anti-inflammatory benefits, which makes them beneficial for arthritis sufferers. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax seeds are used by the body to produce prostaglandins. These are hormone-like substances which help reduce inflammation.
Women who consumed 40 grams of ground flaxseed daily had a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of their hot flashes. The women’s hot flashes were scored over a period of six weeks, and those who took the flaxseed showed a 50% decrease in the frequency of flashes, and a 57% decrease in their “flash score” overall, resulting in major improvements in their quality of life. Participants in the study even noticed improvements in their mood and in joint and muscle pain. Flax seeds are a wonderful food. They have a number of nutritional properties that can help with female and male fertility. They are an excellent source of the “good fats” which can help manufacture hormones in women.
Scientists from Australia have now discovered Flax seeds themselves help keep your blood pressure in check. It’s thought that the alpha-linolenic acid in flax may reduce the amount of fatty acid byproducts in your blood, preventing the narrowing and blockage of arteries. Flaxseeds are abundant in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat and in a study, ALA-rich foods lowered blood pressure slightly — probably because this omega-3 fatty acid helps relax blood vessels, allowing blood to move more freely through arteries.
Flaxseed can lower cholesterol levels. Flax seeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid. This is the plant-derived type of omega-3 fats, which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides levels. Flax seeds also contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is thought to aid in lowering cholesterol, by preventing the absorption of cholesterol within the body.
Flax is super rich in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for cardiovascular, brain, and thyroid health. The University of Maryland Medical Center conducted a study in which they found that those who ate diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, can help to improve the production of thyroid hormones.
History of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the worlds first cultivated superfood. Hippocrates ate and wrote about it in 500 B.C. Flaxseed is one of the oldest crops, having been cultivated since the beginning of civilization. Flax is believed to be native to Egypt, but its origins are questionable since it has been used widely around the world.