One of the latest foods for health charts I went through contained flax seed and its invincible health benefits unlike many others. It said that flax seed enhances your mental and cardiovascular health, while boosting your immunity, digestive system and wards off high blood sugar. Yet, flax seed is not a part of our diet and still remains unknown to many.
Though flax seeds are tiny they are bombs of nutrition. Their nutrition load owes much to the presence of abundant fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, proteins, oil and phytochemicals.
- Fiber in flax seed is both soluble and non soluble. The dietary fiber content of flax seed is 26% out of which 14% is soluble. Any fiber rich food should be low in cholesterols and carbohydrates. It is the fiber in flax seed that helps you to check cholesterol and diabetes. It is amazing what fiber can do to your body. You will forget the pangs of hunger while consuming a low calorie food, soothe the digestive tract and promote digestion as well as constipation. It will also get rid of the mucus from the intestines and help to cleanse the colon.
- Omega 3-fatty acids help to fight inflammation and prevent medical conditions like arthritis and gout. The diet you follow should have a balance between Omega 3 and 6-fatty acids. While omega 6 is available in plenty in different modern day foods, omega 3 is rare though needed in plenty. A body with high Omega 6 will have increased inflammation (as a result of immune response), blood clotting and cell proliferation. And the imbalance between the two fatty acids cause heart disease, obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity, certain types of cancers and a tendency toward violence. Fish, flax and walnuts are the best examples of Omega 3 rich foods. Omega 3 contains alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which will help the body to rectify the imbalance caused by Omega 6.
- Lignans(matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol) in flax seed have antioxidant powers to fight off cancers, especially breast cancer. A new study relates lignans to thinner women with a healthy BMI and negate the chances of Type II diabetes in people who consume flax seed. Lignans help women by converting themselves to substance which control the female hormones and thus promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms and so on. Lignans are known also for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Wheat bran stands only next to flax seed in lignan content.
- The mucilage in the seed need special mention as it is a gentle, non-irritating, natural laxative. Thus it helps in weight loss, bowel cleansing and detoxification.
- Flax seed also contains B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese. It is lecithin in flax seed that emulsifies fat and cholesterol.
Flax seeds are great during a weight loss program when you are a raw food diet as they help to intoxicate your system. Flax seeds are recommended by helath experts to be swallowed than chewed so that the mucilage do not escape. However, avoid over consumption of flax seed as it can cause Omega 6 deficiency and cramping and other digestive problems in people with IBS.
Google for healthy delicious recipes with flax seeds once you get a green signal from your health care provider!
-Aparna K V
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