They can even protect against radiation. Read on to find out more about these amazing flax seeds.
Why flax seeds are useful
These small, dark brown seeds are one of the pillars of the diet. They contain many nutrients – from fiber to vitamins, trace elements, and essential fatty acids. Here are eight reasons to eat at least a tablespoon (10 g) of flaxseed daily.
1. You will improve heart health
One teaspoon (2.5 g) seed contains up to 700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic (ALA). This makes flaxseed the highest omega-3 among all plant foods. Several studies show that regular consumption of alpha-linolenic acid significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, ALA is good way prevention of stroke.
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2. Reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol
All the same alpha-linolenic acid, combined with fiber, which is also rich in seeds, reduces cholesterol levels. More precisely, it’s “bad” from the one that settles on the inner surface vessels’ in the form of plaques and impairs blood flow.
3. Reduce high blood pressure
In one study, patients who suffered from hypertension were given three tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily for 6 months. Results; the pressure of the program participants decreased by 7-10 points.
4. Reduce blood sugar
The fiber in the seeds slows down the release of sugar into the blood. Thus, the glucose level becomes lower. This is confirmed by research. For example, in one of them, people with type 2 diabetes were offered daily one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. A month later, it turned out that the volunteers’ blood sugar level had dropped by 8–20%.
5. Get rid of chest pain during PMS
To reduce mastalgia associated with the onset of the menstrual cycle, it is sufficient to eat a flaxseed bun every day for 3 months or take two to three tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily for 2 months.
6. It will be easier for you to control your weight
Dietary fiber in flax seeds reduces appetite.
A couple of small studies have shown that if you drink a ” flaxseed drink” (warm water with a teaspoon of ground flaxseed) in the morning, your hunger will decrease, and the total number of calories you will eventually consume during the day will decrease.
7. Reduce the risk of cancer
There is evidence that omega-3 fatty acids suspend the growth of cancer cells. But flaxseeds also contain another, more powerful anti-cancer element – lignans.
This is the name of plant antioxidant compounds. They have anti-angiogenic properties – they prevent tumors from forming new blood vessels, which means they do not feed and develop.
The content of lignans in flaxseed is 800 times higher than other products.
The antitumor properties of flax seeds have been confirmed experimentally. So, in one study, it was found that flaxseeds use significantly reduces breast cancer risk. And in another, scientists have found that the product stops prostate cancer.
8. Increase the level of radiation protection
So far, this property of lignans has been tested only in mice (for obvious reasons, however), but the results impressive. Laboratory animals that consumed flax seeds daily were found to be more resistant to radiation. They survived more often than their seedless relatives. Also, they had less inflammation.
These are not all the beneficial properties of the product. It has been suggested that flax helps relieve asthma and fights internal inflammation. Active research is currently underway on this score.
How and to whom flax seeds can be harmful
Going overboard with flaxseed is difficult. According to the USDA, if this ingredient is less than 12% of your total daily diet, there is no health threat.
But if you do overdo it, there may be side effects.
- Bloating, flatulence
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
However, there are categories of citizens who need to be careful about the use of flax seeds.
- Pregnant and lactating women. Seeds contain phytoestrogens, the effect of which on pregnancy and breastfeeding has not yet been adequately studied.
- People who suffer from intestinal obstruction.
- Those who have bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinners. In theory, you can use flaxseed in this case, but you need to consult with your doctor.
- Those with diabetes mellitus. Flax seeds cause a drop in blood sugar that can be too severe.
- Hypotonic. Substances found in flaxseed can further reduce blood pressure.
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How to take flax seeds
There are several important rules.
- Eat seeds crushed. Otherwise, they can slip through the digestive tract undigested.
- Use roasted seeds. There is data that raw or unripe can be toxic.
- If possible, drink the seeds with water, compote, juice, or other liquid. This reduces the chances of bloating or constipation.
Here are some ways to add flaxseed to your daily diet
- Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and eat one to two teaspoons every day. The time of day is not very important, but it is best to consume flax about half an hour before breakfast.
- Add one to two teaspoons of seeds to warm water for a nutritious flaxseed shake.
- Sprinkle the oatmeal or cereal for breakfast with ground seed.
- Stir in flaxseed powder into your favorite yogurt or smoothie to thicken it.
- You can throw ground seeds into minced meat for cutlets or, for example, into the dough for homemade bread.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker