Flax seeds, also called linseeds offer several significant health benefits. They keep the heart healthy, help in weight loss and also prevent cancer.
Flax seeds are derived from a plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. The seeds have been used for over 5000 years now.
What is Flax Seed?
Flax seeds resemble sesame seeds, but are slightly bigger and have a smooth and shiny hard shell. They are usually brownish and have a warm and nutty taste. Whole seeds contain a toxic glucoside, but, it is detoxified by heating / roasting.
Flax Seed Whole
Flax seeds can be obtained whole or ground. However, by and large, ground flax seeds are preferred, since they offer greater nutritional value. When buying whole flax seeds, make sure that the package is air tight; and has no evidence of moisture.
Flax Seed Ground
Flax seeds may be purchased in the ground form, or may be ground at home. Ground flax seeds must be refrigerated, since they are prone to oxidation and spoilage.
Flax Seeds Oil
Always purchase cold pressed flax seed oil, packed in opaque bottles that have been kept in the refrigerator. Flax seed oil is never used in cooking, but may be added to foods after they have been cooked.
Flax Seed Nutrition
Flax seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linoleic acid. They also supply large amounts of phytoestrogens called lignans; and are a wonderful source of dietary fiber. In addition, they provide iron, copper, potassium and magnesium.
Flax Seeds Weight Loss
Flax seeds help lose weight. They are loaded with fiber, which boosts fat loss; also, the omega 3 fatty acids help reduce serum cholesterol levels. Metabolic activity increases and unwanted and superfluous fat gets burnt. Add two spoons of ground flax seeds to oats porridge or a yogurt smoothie everyday.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels with Flax Seeds
The omega 3 fatty acids cut down the risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases. Ground flax seeds improve the serum profile level appreciably. They reduce LDL or bad cholesterol, thus prevent atherosclerosis, and stave off a heart attack.
Flax seeds Prevent Cancer
Linseeds are decidedly beneficial in warding off cancer, especially, breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is worthwhile to note that patients suffering from cancer, when put on to a linseed diet, demonstrated diminished spread of the tumor cells.
Consuming adequate amounts of flax seeds, during the menopause phase, drastically decreases the risk of developing breast cancer. Also, research says, a linseed diet has the potential to shrink breast tumors considerably.
Ground linseed helps prevent prostate cancer, and also helps men with existing prostate cancer. About two spoons of ground flax seeds, taken everyday, slows the growth rate of, and speeds up the death rate of the tumor cells.
Flax Seed Recipes
Flax seeds can be added to a host of dishes to enhance their nutritive value. The following flax seed recipes are easy to follow:
- Sprinkle ground flax seeds on to the cereal or porridge.
- Add ground flax seeds to bread, muffins and biscuits.
- Add flax seeds to a vegetable dish to give it a nutty flavor.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Flax Seed Improves Lipid Profile without Altering Biomarkers of Bone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women, Lucas, E. A., R. D. Wild, L. J. Hammond, A. D. A. Khalil, S. Juma, B. P. Daggy, B. J. Stoecker, and B. H. Arjmandi, 2002.