What is flaxseed? Why is it so admirable and in high demand?
Known also as flax and linseed, flaxseed is a wonder-plant on this planet earth. Its botanical name is Linum Usitatissimum. It is a plant grown on an annual basis that grows about 1.2m.
Seeing its green leaves, pure pale or bright red flowers, none can imagine that it has embraced mesmerizing wonder within its round shaped fruit of about 9mm.
The flax seeds in the shape of an apple pip contain several elements within it that do great wonders for the human body.
The flaxseed has astounding features and contents, and the word ‘flaxseed’ today refers not only to the plant and seeds but also to the nutrients therein.
Flaxseed is well known as a ‘wonder plant’ not for any simple reason.
It’s the rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin B1, micronutrients, manganese and alpha linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid) or omega-3.
Research and studies on flaxseed have been perpetuated for ages and the new discoveries keep drawing the attention of the people towards its magical features and qualities.
The list of the benefits of flaxseed is quite long and cannot be summed up in just a few lines.
Despite the endlessly long list of benefits, you can here plod through few most significant advantages that can be received from flaxseed.
The benefits of flaxseed is known since ages, and with every passing day, its popularity keeps escalating.
Due to the presence of several micronutrients, useful acids, antioxidants, and many more fibers, it is used for various purposes.
In fact, it is a valuable miraculous food source and its consumers unendingly feel the joy and fullness of life. The flaxseed can be beneficial in following ways:
1. Boosts the overall health
Flaxseed is widely used to cure various fatal diseases and simultaneously it is also used as the food supplement.
Due to the prevalence of wide range of nutrients, fibers, acids, vitamins and many more miraculously useful elements, its consumption is very much in fashion in maintaining the overall ideal health.
Be it the matter of the heart, digestive system, skin, nails, hair, cells in the body, eyes or any other parts of the body; flaxseed has something for every bit of your body. It catalyzes the journey of your body towards the state of ideal health.
And this is the reason flaxseed is consumed in various forms like edible oils, capsules, tablets and food supplements, etc.
Omega-3 acid is vital in maintaining health and flaxseed contains about 50 to 60 percent omega-3 fatty acid.
2. Lowers the level of bad cholesterol
Flaxseed is considered to be very effective in lowering the level of bad cholesterol and increasing the level of good cholesterol. It thus protects the consumers against the heart diseases, blood pressure and hypertension.
The cholesterol in the body plays very vital role in the health of the body. The moment the bad cholesterol level rises, several disorders like hypertension, high blood pressure and other disorders related to heart or cardiovascular disorders occur.
Intake of the proper amount of flaxseed reduces the chances of such undesirable disorders.
3. Strengthens the toe and fingernails
Do you love your nails very much?
You may be quite careful and possessive about your nails. You trim them with care and polish them with passion.
Some women make it the part of the ongoing fashion and their personality and hence spend enough amounts of time and money behind it.
Beauty of nails may be one aspect of it but the first and foremost aspect that should be rendered due respect is the health of the nails.
Flaxseed strengthens toe and fingernails, and precise consumption of flaxseed not only makes them healthy and strong but also makes them look naturally beautiful.
4. Relieves rheumatoid arthritis
There is no disease or disorder that is welcomed by the people. There may be some diseases that are short lived, but the diseases like rheumatoid arthritis make one almost a handicap.
And if it is not treated, it makes the patient helpless with the passage of time. Flaxseed is known since centuries for its qualities to relive the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
But it does not mean that you consume flaxseed when you find the symptoms of the disease.
It is wise that you maintain certain and required level of omega-3 acids and other nutrients needed for your body so that you remain healthy and never fall prey to the diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Controls the blood-sugar level
Millions of people across the world today are suffering from the abnormal blood sugar levels.
Though, several medicines and treatments are available for lowering the blood-sugar level; it appears that the process of curing the patients has been slower than expected.
Flaxseed stabilizes and controls the blood-sugar level and thus it reduces the gravity of diabetes. Flaxseed contains high amounts of both insoluble and soluble fibers.
As per the conclusion of the Mayo Clinic research and study; the soluble fibers reduce the glucose levels and blood cholesterol. The gel-like substance created by the soluble fiber is very much helpful in doing so.
6. Maintaining hormonal level in women
Be it the men or women; hormones play a significant role in the proper functioning of the body. There are different types of hormones in the body and have their individual functions.
For proper functioning of the body, it is required that there exists a balanced and appropriate level of hormones in the body.
In the case of hormonal imbalance, the body fails to function in a proper manner and several disorders, and their symptoms come into existence. And if you are a woman, the hormonal balance in your body becomes more apparent.
Flaxseed maintains hormonal balance in the women of all varying ages, and thus the importance of flaxseed becomes very obvious.
7. Improves the digestive tract
Insoluble fiber is known for improving the digestive tract by adding bulk to it and facilitating quick and thorough movement.
The insoluble fiber has the quality of absorbing the water and thus prepares ways for the secretion of digestive enzymes by keeping the walls of the digestive tract clean and free from retarding elements.
Flaxseed thus boosts the orderly functioning of the body. But sufficient care should be taken in its intake. Indiscriminate intake of flaxseed may worsen the condition rather than improving it.
8. Protects against various types of cancer
Flaxseed can protect you against the colon and breast cancers.
The presence of omega-3 fatty acid in flaxseed disrupts the growth of cancerous cells as it prevents their clinging to the other cells in the body.
Furthermore, the anti-angiogenic properties of flaxseed stop the formation of new blood-vessels by the malignant tumors.
9. Reinforces the immune system
How often do you fall sick and reach the helping hands of hospitals and doctors?
Well, you may be a healthy person and rarely visit the clinics. One of the greatest reasons of poor health is the less formidable immune system.
The immune system of the body protects you from different types of disorders, allergies, illnesses, pollution effects and the disorders due to a sudden change of weather.
If your immune system is weak, you often feel uneasy and fall prey to different types of diseases. It is, therefore, essential that you build up a formidable and powerful immune system.
But how can you do it? Well, there are different ways to strengthen your immune system and one among them is the consumption of flaxseed.
The lignans and alpha linolenic acid effectively reduce inflammation and facilitate the smooth functioning of your immune system. Flaxseed, therefore, proves to be one of the good alternatives to empower your immune system.
10. Prevents hot flashes after menopause
If the flaxseed is taken in the form of daily diet, it can prevent the hot flashes that occur in women in post-menopausal period. Hot flashes very often appear to affect the overall health of women.
Also, the psychological condition seems debilitating. The prevention of hot flashes thus spontaneously restores and maintains the physical and psychological health of women.
11. Saves the skin from radiation
The antioxidant properties of flaxseed are very well known. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties are very much present in the flaxseed.
Due to such properties, dietary flaxseed mitigates the radiation effect and protects the tissues of the skin.
The tremendous health benefits of flaxseed are no doubt very alluring but one should use it as a dietary supplement in a meticulous manner.
12. Increases bone density
Have you ever felt the pain of losing the bones of your body? Thank God if you are not suffering from osteoporosis.
There are several very important properties of bones and one among them is the bone density. The decrease in the bone density may result in weak bones and further end into osteoporosis.
It is, therefore, significant that you take proper care of the health of the bones in your body. Flaxseed has the quality to increase the bone density and save from osteoporosis.
There are several ways to flaxseed intake, and you should not make any compromises as far as the bone of your body is concerned.
13. Reduces liver disease risk-factors
If you are suffering from liver disease, you may have to abstain from certain things like alcohol which in turn may isolate you from the company of your friends.
If that is the case, you can take the benefit of flaxseed-lignam capsules.
The research proves that these flaxseed capsules are quite effective in mitigating the risk factors that cause liver diseases.
Omega 3 substitutes for pure vegetarians
As you know how indispensable omega-3 fatty acid is for the ideal health of your body.
Fish oil is considered to be one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid and many of the people hence ensure the intake of fish in their regular diet.
But what should you do if you do not or cannot eat fish? Well, there may be various omega-3 supplements available in the market. You can lighten your pocket and quickly buy some omega-3 supplements.
Even if you do not like any of the two ways mentioned above; you can happily get omega-3 fatty acids by consuming flaxseed as part of your daily diet.
Are there any side effects of flaxseed?
Flaxseed is of course well known for its properties that are beneficial to health, and yet its side effects cannot be fully ignored.
The doctors and practitioners opine that the pregnant women should avoid consuming it and stay safe.
The presence of properties like estrogen may negatively affect the result of pregnancy. Also, the patients that suffer from bowel obstruction should avoid its intake as the presence of high-level fiber may worsen the condition.
Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain and bloating, etc., are commonly associated as the side effects of flaxseed consumption.
When should one avoid taking flaxseed?
Omega-3 supplements can induce seizure and therefore it is advisable that the people suffering from seizure disorder should avoid taking flaxseed.
If at all one desires to take flaxseed; the best way is to consult the doctor. If you are under medication for blood sugar, high level of cholesterol, topical steroids and blood-thinning medications etc, you should not forget speaking to your doctor if you are planning to take flaxseed.
Flaxseed contains several substances and if you fail to take proper care; you may land into some more serious trouble. It is better to delay and cautious rather than hurry and be indiscriminate.
What is the exact or ideal amount of flaxseed that can be consumed?
In fact, various organizations and researchers try to set the precise amount of flaxseed intake and yet no any common agreement has till date is seen as a conclusion.
Yes, the researchers and organizations do try to state a certain amount of omega-3 acids per day through the consumption of flaxseed.
But the need varies as per the individuals and, therefore, the best way is to consult the doctor or the reputed practitioner dealing with flaxseed consumption.
Intake of flaxseed in different forms
With the increasing popularity and demand of flaxseed, it is being merchandized in different forms in modern days. You can get them at the market in the forms of capsules, tablets and syrups, etc.
But many of the people still prefer to take it in its natural form with the food they consume. Flaxseed is ground and sold in the market as flour. You can purchase it and consume it as per your choice.
Flaxseed oil is very often smeared on the food items like bread and eaten. Some of the people also use the flaxseed oil as the cooking oil. On smoothies and salads, the flaxseed powder can be sprinkled.
You can mix the flaxseed powder with the other flours while kneading.
Ensure the authenticity of flaxseed products
In recent years, there appears an intense competition among the enterprises dealing with flaxseed and its different products.
There may be different companies or enterprises offering you the products at quite competitive prices. It is the time that you beware of the unauthentic companies and products.
Purchasing from the reliable stores or distributors is certainly a wise decision and you should not leave anything undone on the way to getting the authentic and quality products of flaxseed.