Monday, July 27, 2015

Health Benefits Of Flaxseed

Flaxseeds (which are also referred to as linseeds) are a seed from flax. Flax is one of the world’s oldest fiber crops, and it is known to have been grown in ancient China and Egypt. Flaxseeds are considered to be a superfood because they are a great source of dietary fiber, micronutrients, manganese, alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamin B1. Flaxseed is also a source of antioxidants and healthy fats.

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them:
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
Health Benefits Of Flaxseed
As reported in Medical News Today, there are many health benefits associated with flaxseed use. One of them is protection against cancer. Consuming flaxseed is believed to guard against breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Flaxseed is linked to cancer cell growth prevention because the omega-3 fatty acids in the seed can prevent the malignant cells from latching onto other cells in the body. Additionally, the lignans found in flaxseed are believed to contain antiangiogenic properties that prevent tumors from creating new blood vessels.

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, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Preliminary research also suggests that daily intake of the lignans in flaxseed may modestly improve blood sugar (as measured by hemoglobin A1c blood tests in adults with type 2 diabetes).

One study of menopausal women, published in 2007, reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed into cereal, juice, or yogurt twice a day cut their hot flashes in half. The intensity of their hot flashes also dropped by 57%. The women noticed a difference after taking the daily flaxseed for just one week and achieved the maximum benefit within two weeks.

Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses (such as Parkinson's disease and asthma) by helping block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents, Fitzpatrick says.
ALA has been shown to decrease inflammatory reactions in humans. And studies in animals have found that lignans can decrease levels of several pro-inflammatory agents.
Reducing inflammation associated with plaque buildup in the arteries may be another way flaxseed helps prevent heart attack and strokes.

Many experts believe it's better to consume flaxseed than flax oil (which contains just part of the seed) so you get all the components.

As noted in WebMD, flaxseed is linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In fact, research indicates that the omega-3s in flaxseed help normalize the heartbeat while also promoting anti-inflammatory action within the body. The amino acids found in flaxseeds are also thought to play a role in promoting cardiovascular health.

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