Sunday, September 30, 2018

What are Flax Seeds, Health Benefits of Flax Seeds | The Ultimate Beginner's Guide - Health and Fitness City

What are Flax Seeds?

Flaxseeds are shaped more like pumpkin seeds, rather than round, but are also fairly small. They also come in two colors (brown and golden) 
and have been found in the human diet as early as 3000 BC in  Babylon. The story of flaxseeds does not involve Aztec warriors, but it does claim that King Charlemagne passed 8th-century laws requiring all of his subjects to consume flaxseed for the health benefits. Today, you can find flaxseed, also known as linseed, in many consumer products, and it is also commonly used to feed livestock such as chickens and cows so that their meat is higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds come from the flower of the plant and can be grown almost anywhere in North America, despite reportedly originating in Egypt.

Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

High fiber and low carbs
In general, it is advised to consume at least 30g-40g of foods that are rich in fiber on a daily basis. Food with high fiber content are known for aiding digestion. Flaxseeds are extremely rich in mucilage gum content, which is essentially a fiber that forms a get and is water soluble. It is great for the intestinal tract as it prevents the food in the stomach from moving too quickly to the small intestine. As a result, your body can absorb nutrition better. As flaxseed has both, soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps with colon detoxification, losing fat, and reduces sugar cravings as well.

It promotes healthier skin and hair
A great way to improve your hair, skin, and nails without having to add additional regimes to your day is to simply add 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds to your breakfast. This is because the ALA fats that are present in the flaxseeds help improve the health of your skin and hair as they have essential fats and B-vitamins that are known for reducing flakiness and dryness, two qualities that are highly undesired in skin and hair. Flaxseed oil can also be ingested for the same purpose, or it can be added to any other essential oils to create a skin moisturizer that’s totally organic.

It promotes weight loss
Flaxseeds are known for preventing and managing obesity and leading to healthy weight loss. This is because flaxseed has high amounts of healthy fats and fiber, which keep you feeling satisfied and full for much longer than other foods. Therefore, the chances of getting hungry soon and consuming more calories is greatly reduced. Moreover, ALA fats are also known for helping to reduce inflammation. Though this might seem disconnected from weight loss, it is actually quite important as inflamed bodies tend to hold excess weight easily. Ground flaxseed can be added to smoothies, salads, or soups to facilitate healthy weight loss.

It lowers your cholesterol
Having high amounts of bad cholesterol in the blood can be a cause for concern as it can lead to arteries clogging, heart disease, and strokes. Flaxseed lowers the overall cholesterol in the body. The fiber content of flax seeds that is soluble can trap cholesterol and fat within the digestive track and prevents it from being absorbed by the body. It also traps bile in the similar fashion, which is great because bile is made from cholesterol that is present in the gallbladder. This trapped bile is excreted naturally through the digestive track, which then forces the body to produce more of it. As a result, the excess cholesterol that is present in the blood is used up, which lowers the overall cholesterol in the blood.

It is gluten-free
Most healthy diets these days promote gluten free ingredients. Flaxseeds are a great substitute for grains that contain gluten, such as wheat. This is ideal for people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. Flaxseeds can also be considered a great alternative way to bring omega-3 fats into the body for those who are allergic to seafood and cannot get the nutrition from them.

It has high quantities of antioxidants
Flaxseed is high in lignans which are essentially fiber related polyphenols that give the body the benefits of antioxidants such as anti-ageing, cellular health, and hormone balance. They also help with growing more probiotics in the system, which then helps by eliminating candida and yeast present in the body. Lignans are also great for your overall health and immunity. They are anti-viral and antibacterial and can therefore help avoid common flus and colds.

It promotes digestive health
Flaxseeds can add a lot to one’s body when included in the diet simply because they promote better digestive health. The ALA that is present in the flax protects the lining of the digestive tract and maintains better gastrointestinal health. It is quite good for people who suffer from Crohn’s disease or have any other ailments related to the gut mainly because it helps reduce its inflammation. Flaxseed has high quantities of insoluble and soluble fiber which is great for the digestive system and also has high quantities of magnesium. It can also help relieve constipation by stimulating peristalsis, the contraction and opening of the muscles in the gut.

It fights cancer
Flaxseeds are known for fighting against colon, ovarian, prostrate, and breast cancer, and is therefore a wonderful food to include in your diet. This is because there are three important lignans that are found in flaxseed that get convert by the bacteria in the intestines into enterolactone and enterodiol. These balance hormones in a natural way and are responsible for reducing the occurrence of breast cancer. The lignans that are found in flaxseeds are also known for reducing the occurrence of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

It has Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Flaxseed contains a healthy amount of ALA, which is considered a good fat and it is crucial to include it in the daily diet.

It helps with symptoms of menopause
The lignans that are present in flaxseed help women with managing the symptoms of menopause. They are also a great alternate to use for hormone therapy because they have estrogenic properties in them. These estrogenic properties can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Flaxseeds are great for women who are still in their menstrual cycles as well as it can help regulate the cycle.

Uses of Flax Seed
Apart from the benefits that have been discussed, this seed has a host of uses. Flaxseed can be used in baking as a substitute for wheat and other grains that are not gluten-free. Medicinally, flaxseed can be used in order to treat sore throats, infections in the respiratory tract and cough. It is used to treat kidney problems in patients who have Lupus. It even helps with depression and ADHD. It is also used in medicines that treat rheumatoid arthritis, malaria, and infections of the bladder. Flaxseed can also be applied to the skin by people who want to treat eczema, acne, boils, burns, and inflammations. The flax plant is a fiber plant which can be used to produce linen and other fibers.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Flax Seed
Although flaxseed is quite safe to consume, there are certain instances where its consumption can be possibly unsafe. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding are usually asked to avoid taking flaxseed as it often acts like estrogen and it may be harmful to the pregnancy or the infant. People who have a bleeding disorder are advised not to consume flaxseed as it may slow down the process of clotting, leading to more bleeding. Patients with gastrointestinal obstructions cannot consume flaxseed has it helps with bowel movements and may speed things along faster than the body can naturally handle with those obstructions. It can also speed up hormone related conditions as it acts like estrogen.

Cultivation of Flax Seed
It is believed that flaxseed is native to Egypt. It is grown and cultivated throughout the world and can be easily found in places like Europe, South America, Asia, and the United States of America. It is also believed that humans have been consuming flaxseed for nearly 6,000 years now and that it was the first superfood to be grown and eaten.

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