Flaxseeds are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid omega-3. Compelling evidence suggests it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Some call it one of the “most powerful plant foods on the planet”.
The seeds come from the Flax. It is an annual plant that bears light-blue colored attractive flowers. The seeds are an excellent source of numerous health-benefiting nutrients, dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
1. Omega-3 essential “good” fatty acids. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of omega-3s that are shown to have heart-heathy benefits.
2. Lignans, have phytoestrogen antioxidant qualities, and are found at a percentage of 75 to 800 times more in flaxseeds than other plant foods.
3. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types of fiber.
The seeds contain lignans, a phytoestrogens considered to have antioxidant and cancer preventing properties. Lignans work by blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells. Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed may protect against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
In animal studies, the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, inhibited tumor occurrence and growth.
Plant omega-3s help the cardiovascular system with its anti-inflammatory properties while normalizing the heartbeat, significantly lowering blood pressure. They may also be useful in treating arrhythmia and heart failure. Atherosclerotic plaque buildup has been reduced by up to 75% due to the lignans in flaxseeds.
Eating flaxseed daily may also help your cholesterol levels. A study of menopausal women showed a decrease in LDL “bad” level after the women ate 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed each day for a year.
Daily intake of the lignans in flaxseed may improve blood sugar
Two components in flaxseed, Omega-3s and lignans, may reduce the inflammation associated with Parkinson’s disease and asthma, by helping block the release of pro-inflammatories. Flax seed oil consists of approximately 55% Omega-3s.
One study in 2007, of menopausal women, reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed twice a day cut their hot flashes in half as well as the intensity. The women noticed a difference after taking the daily flaxseed for just one week and achieved the maximum benefit within two weeks.
How much flaxseed is recommended
1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day is currently the suggested dose.