This blog is about the health benefits of flaxseed, a real power seed. You can find lots of posts on the Internet. It is a superfood, and people in the Healthbranch know this.
Flaxseed has an enormous level of nutrition. The most important is the amount of omega 3, which makes it together with Hemp and Chia seed a source of omega 3’s for people following the Vegan diet. These people don’t eat meat, and very often, they avoid eating fish as well. To get their amount of omega 3’s, they need to include flaxseed into their diet.
It is also a very cheap source of nutrition. To heal your body and to stay healthy, I recommend taking flaxseed daily. Even you eat meat and fish, it is still beneficial to use the flaxseed every day, maybe in your smoothie. Flaxseed is one of the so-called superfoods. I tell you why.
What are the Health Benefits of Flaxseed?
Flaxseed is a plant-based food that is full of healthful fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. The last one is the reason that many people use it for constipation. If you do so, you need to drink lots of pure water because the fiber soaks the water. When the bowel is trying to get rid of the fiber, it needs to be smooth; otherwise, it gets hard and can damage the intestinal wall. Always drink a lot of pure water with any extra fiber you take. You can imagine a brush cleaning your house, so does the fiber to the gut.
Flaxseed originally comes from ancient Egypt and China. But here in Europe, it also has perfect circumstances to grow. It is quite a cheap seed, so you can easily include it in your diet.
Flaxseed has perfect nutrients. The polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid(ALA) makes it a healthy variant to fish oils. It also includes lignans, protein, and the healthy components I listed above. That makes flaxseed outstanding food.
We have many inflammation processes in our bodies because of the free radicals released through digesting foods, detoxification, cell renewing, and metabolic processes, which occur due to natural and environmental processes. Oxidative stress develops, leading to cell damage and disease. Flaxseed is full of antioxidants, which help to neutralize the radicals. The amount of lignans is higher than in other food. The price and benefits make it a great food to consume daily.
How does Flaxseed help the Body?
Flaxseed has many health benefits. According to researchers, the amount of omega-3s is high enough to prevent different types of cancer cells from growing. Omega -3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is very important for detoxification and fighting off inflammation in the body. It promotes brain health, which makes it an excellent food to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. The antioxidants, ALA, and lignans protect the heart by preventing plaque from forming in the blood vessels, which is the main reason for high blood pressure and, finally, a heart attack. That is also due to the omega-3 in flaxseed to reduce the cholesterol.
It is vital for women in Menopause to include it into their diet because of the lignans acting similarly to estrogen. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen which are recommended for menopausal women. They balance the levels of estrogen in these women by holding on to the estrogen receptors.
The bad estrogen-like xenoestrogens coming from chemicals in our environment and plastic will not connect to the body’s receptors. Healthy fats are needed to build hormones in the body. If you include lots of healthy fats, like omega- 3 and other polyunsaturated fatty acids, you will not have all these unbearable symptoms of menopause. Sugar makes them even worse.
Flaxseed helps you also to reduce the extra weight you might want to shed. The connecting ability of the phytoestrogen on the receptors help lowering breast cancer if consumed daily.
If you are in menopause, I recommend you take a tablespoonful of flaxseed daily. You can buy a cheap coffee mill and ground it before taking it in. I put it in my blender with vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients, so you will be able to swallow the flaxseed better.
Another important point is that flaxseed improves cholesterol and heart health. I said it above already, but the reason for that is the lignans. They contain phytosterols that have a similar structure to cholesterol. They can prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. With cholesterol is meant the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that you might know as the bad cholesterol. This “bad” cholesterol plaques the veins and arteries in the body if you have too much of it. A high cholesterol lab refers to LDL.
A very vital note is that ALA reduces inflammation. Researchers found out that flaxseed reduces joint pain and stiffness in people who have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia. But you would better combine taking flaxseed with an anti-inflammatory diet. It is always the whole approach that improves your health.
Inflammation develops when you eat a standard diet of grains, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Among other factors, not moving your body enough, cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol and coffee, eating the wrong diet can make you vulnerable to develop an auto-immune disease( chronic disease).
To heal, it is always better to approach a complete healings plan. Believe me; I have been there.
Flaxseed helps to improve blood sugar so that diabetes will not develop but improve. It is again due to the lignans and phytoestrogens and fiber.
Most times, people who have diabetes are overweight because they are resistant to the signals that the hormone Leptin gives. Leptin takes care of giving a signal to the body’s cells that you have eaten enough so you won’t overeat. The cells are resistant to the signal.
Obese people keep eating, and the body has to produce more insulin to lower their blood sugar(insulin production is the pancreas task). The cells in obese people become resistant to insulin. The pancreas is exhausted.
The healing properties of flaxseed are helping to improve insulin sensitivity and levels. But this is also a whole approach to a healthy lifestyle plan. It would help if you always change your lifestyle with professionals like your GP(doctor), dietician, and fitness trainer. If you are already ill and obese, never stop taking your medication, and follow your doctor’s advice.
Flaxseed has a good amount of insoluble fiber, making it with water to a smooth paste that the gut helps clean its walls. If you consume it daily, you will not have any constipation. Keeping the gut healthy will keep your body healthy.
Polyunsaturated fats and their benefits
These are the good guys. Eating healthy fats is essential for every person. They help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and the body to produce hormones. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. These oils are found in fatty fish, like salmon, plant-based oils, seeds, and nuts.
There are two main types of fats, saturated and unsaturated fats. The chemical structure is different.
Unsaturated fats have one or more double bonds. Monounsaturated fat has one bond, whereas polyunsaturated fats have more than one bond.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids belong to polyunsaturated fats. Both essential fatty acids are needed for cell growth and brain health. They must be taken from your diet. Our body can’t produce it by itself.
Omega-3 sources are fatty fish, grass-fed butter, chia seed, hemp seed, and flaxseed. Dairy products made from raw milk are also having small amounts of omega -3. There are three main groups of omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid(ALA).
Omega -6 fatty acids sources are flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, poppyseed oil, safflower oil. The problem with omega-6 is that our ratio has changed in our diet. We consume more omega -6 than omega -3s. So it is always better to include more omega-3s like fish and flaxseed, Chia seed in our diet.
How to store flaxseed oil?
Polyunsaturated fats are chemically unstable and prone to oxidation. It would help if you didn’t cook with them. The heat produces damaging free radicals, which cause inflammation in the body. You better store them in the fridge.
The whole flaxseed is better than already grounded seeds. Because of the instability of the fatty acids by getting in contact with warmer temperatures, even room temperatures, it is always better to buy the whole seeds. Grounded flaxseed gets easily rancid. If you buy oil, you must store it in the fridge.
But be careful when you buy the oil; you don’t know how the oil is processed. The high temperatures of processing the seeds into oil will allow them to oxidate. And then, the oil is worthless.
You can better put the seeds into your smoothie or ground them before consumption.
For Vegans, flaxseed is a great substitute for fatty fish and dairy products to get a good amount of omega-3s. If you still consume fish, it is better to eat a balanced diet containing lots of different omega-3s from fish, animal products, and plant-based sources. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential for our body to function.
Because of its nutritional worth, it is a perfect superfood. If you are a woman in menopause, it will help you to balance your hormones so that the symptoms will improve. Just include flaxseed in your daily routine and feel the difference.
I would love to hear what you think, what your experiences are. Please let me know. If you have questions, I would love to answer them.
To your health,