Flax Seed Benefits
Flax plant is a fibre crop which belongs to the linaceae family. It is widely produced in Asian and Mediterranean regions. Its seeds, the flax seeds, are known for their enormous health benefits. They are used in various breads, waffles, oatmeal, cookies and muffins. Even flax oil is consumed as a nutritional supplement. So, let’s have a look at the various flax seed benefits.
Nutritional Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are high calorie food. They provide around 520 calories for 100 grams of consumption. Flax seeds are significantly high in carbohydrates, fat, dietary fibre and protein. They are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acid and monounsaturated fatty acid. Flax seeds are loaded with antioxidants in the form of lignans. Vitamin-B and Vitamin-C are present in flax seeds. Minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and zinc are found in it.
Flax Seeds prevent Cancer
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha linolenic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid which restricts the malignant cell from damaging other healthy cells. It has been found to protect against prostate, colon and breast cancer. Lignans are the antioxidants present in flax seeds which have anti-angiogenic properties and thus restrict the growth of new tumor cells. Lignans protect against cancer that are sensitive to hormones. It has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer without interfering with breast cancer drug.
Flax Seeds ward off Bone Loss
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid which promotes bone health. It aids in improving the mineral density of the bone. Bone loss and brittle bones can be combated by its consumption.
Flax Seed Benefits – Reduce Heart Diseases
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha linolenic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and thus protects the blood vessels from inflammation. Lignans also reduce inflammation by restricting the production of platelet activating factor and C-reactive protein (responsible for inflammation). The anti-oxidants also help in reducing bad LDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Research has shown that regular intake of flax seeds can decrease cholesterol level by 9% and bad cholesterol level by almost 18%. Even high dietary fibre in flax seed can aid in lowering cholesterol as it prohibits the absorption of cholesterol in the blood.
Flax Seeds improve Digestion
Healthy dietary fibre can aid in digestion. It can help in bulk the bowel and can prevent constipation. Lignans aid in reducing the risk of colon cancer by protecting the lining of mucous membrane.
Flax Seeds are beneficial for Women
Flax seeds are recommended for women. Consumption of flax seeds can help in preventing osteoporosis and can normalise menstrual cycle. Lignans can help prevent ovarian dysfunction. Lignans act as estrogen as they contain phytoestrogen and can reduce the risk of hot flashes among post-menopausal women.
Flax Seed Benefits – Combats Diabetes
High amount of dietary fibre can aid in regulating blood sugar and can control occasional spikes. It can be consumed to inhibit diabetes.