Flaxseeds or linseed or alsi as it is known in India has myriad of health benefits when consumed in right proportions and the right way.
What can’t a small proportion of flaxseed do for you? Ranging from managing cholesterol, cancer, skin and hair, diabetes to controlling cardiovascular and digestive health, it has achieved it all.
Flaxseed is known to be one of the oldest crops in the world, cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. Having suspected its health benefits, the king Charlemagne even passed a law to ensure his subjects consumed flaxseeds. As of now, these seeds have become a part of traditional cuisines of Asia, America, and Africa.
These tiny seeds packed with lots of health benefits are brown or golden in color. These can be eaten in raw form or can be taken when grounded in a tasty meal.
Owing to its benefits upon health, flaxseeds are emerging as “superfood” in the markets. Its consumption has also seen an increment since then.
Health benefits of Flaxseeds
1. Prevents Cancer
- Flaxseeds are a rich source of lignans – contains 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
- These have antioxidants and estrogen properties.
- These also contain phytochemicals which act as antioxidants for preventing cancer.
- They have the protective effect against breast, prostate and colon cancer.
2. Improves Digestive Health
- Rich source of dietary fibers – contains both soluble and insoluble fibers.
- One tablespoon of flaxseeds contains approximately 3 grams of fiber, providing 8-12% of daily recommended fiber intake.
- Soluble fiber is needed to maintain proper gastrointestinal functions.
- Insoluble fiber lowers LDL cholesterol level and keeps the heart healthy.
3. Restricts Calorie Intake And Aid Weight Control
- Presence of abundant fibers in flaxseeds keeps the stomach full for a long time.
- These dissolve in water creating a gel-like substance that keeps the stomach full for longer time.
- This helps in managing weight by restricting calorie intake.
4. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
- Flaxseeds are a rich source of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids.
- For a vegetarian, it is one of the only sources of omega 3 fatty acids from plants.
- An abundant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), mostly plant-based omega 3 fatty acid which is needed for the body as our body doesn’t produce them.
- These help in lowering high blood pressure.
- These also prevent hardening of arteries.
- The ALA present in flaxseeds prevents cholesterol deposition in the blood vessels of the heart.
- These also aid in anti-inflammatory action and normalizing heartbeat.
5. Fights Inflammation
- The deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids causes inflammation.
- Flaxseeds being rich in omega 3 fatty acids fights inflammation in the body.
- These help in blocking the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents.
- Inflammation further causes heart diseases, diabetes, allergies, and asthma.
6. Controls Diabetes
- Lignan-rich foods are known to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Yet again, flaxseed is the solution! Being loaded with lignan these help in controlling diabetes.
- Several studies have also proved its significance in dropping insulin resistance.
7. Healthy Skin
- Flaxseed oil contains nutrients that help to maintain good health of the skin.
- These also help in healing the wounds faster.
- Flaxseeds contain adequate and essential fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.
- They also prevent skin cancer, control acne, minimize skin irritation, maintain even skin tone.
8. Hair and Scalp
- These help in maintaining healthy hair, preventing hair loss and dandruff.
- These are also effective for brittle hair and make them healthy and strong.
- Flaxseeds also avoid scalp problem like eczema etc.
9. Boosts Immunity And Maintain Overall Health
- The lignans and ALA present in flaxseeds boost the immune system.
- Also, flaxseeds being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and most B complex vitamins improves overall health and provides good metabolism.
Owing to these many benefits of flaxseeds, a proper intake of these tiny but mighty seeds can improve your overall health. So start consuming some amount of flaxseeds daily and bid adieu to health problems and diseases!
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