Flaxseeds also called linseeds. The seeds from the flax plant can be used whole, ground to make a meal, or used to create a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil. It is better to consume flax seeds than flaxseed oil. Flax seeds are tiny nutty-flavored seeds that not only taste good but have innumerable health benefits. Flaxseed contains strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Types of Flax Seeds
There are two main types of flax seed: golden flaxseed and brown flax seed. Their nutritional profiles are very similar and both contain the same number of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, lignans, soluble and insoluble types of fiber. It is the best food for the vegetarians to get omega-3 fatty acids.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
- Exposure to lignans during adolescence helps reduce the risk of breast cancer and may also increase the survival of breast cancer patients. Protect against cancer by blocking enzymes that are involved in the hormone metabolism
- Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent hardening of the arteries and keep plaque being deposited in the arteries partly by keeping WBC from sticking to the blood vessel’s inner layer
- Eating flaxseed daily may also help your cholesterol levels. The level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the bloodstream has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome
- Soluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber absorbs water which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly.
- Reduces the risk of certain cancers breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Plant omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the tumor incidence and growth
- Daily intake of flaxseed helps in maintaining the heart’s natural rhythm
- Topical flaxseed oil also showed to have positive effects on pain control and nerve function of patients
- Ground flaxseed but not flaxseed oil may also help with menopausal symptoms. Such as hot flushes and night sweats
- A diet of flaxseed may protect skin tissue from being damaged by radiation
- Flaxseeds are an ideal way for those who don’t eat sufficient oily fish to ensure they get enough omega-3 fatty acids
Grind the flaxseeds, store them in an airtight container and use them in any of the following ways
- Sprinkle on salads, cooked vegetables or cooked dal
- Add grounded flaxseeds while kneading dough for chapattis or roti, bread, biscuits
- Mix in smoothies or curd
- Can be sprinkled on fruits, veggies, and yogurt
- Incorporate ground flaxseeds into muffins, cookies
- Flaxseed meal can also be used as a binder or egg substitute in baked foods for people who are allergic to eggs
- Flaxseed oil is sometimes added to salad dressing.
Who Shouldn’t Take Flax Seeds?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not take flaxseeds
- Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are not recommended for children
- Those with a seizure disorder should avoid flaxseed supplements as omega-3 supplements may induce seizures
- Anyone with digestive problems like Crohn’s disease, colitis, and women with hormone-sensitive diseases like endometriosis, PCOS should not use flax seeds
- Blood-thinning medications, blood sugar lowering medication, topical steroids, anti-inflammatories can all be affected by flaxseed, so take advice from your doctor before taking them or increasing dietary levels of flaxseeds
- Don’t take flaxseeds if you7 have swelling or closure of the esophagus
What are the Side effects of Flax Seeds?
Generally, flaxseeds and flax oil seem to be safe. but for some, it may cause side effects as mentioned below.
- The soluble fiber in the flaxseeds may cause diarrhea, cramping, gas, and bloating. A high amount of flaxseeds, especially when not taken with enough water, can cause constipation and even bowel obstruction
- Abdominal pain, nausea
- The immature seeds of flax are poisonous
- In some people, severe allergic reactions such as rash, hives, itching, difficulty in breathing, swelling
- Flax seeds can interact with some medical conditions and some medicines so ask your doctor before using flaxseeds
- Raw and unripe flaxseed is possibly unsafe. Flaxseed in these forms is thought to be poisonous.