FLAX SEEDS……………….Tiny Mighty Grain
It may be tiny, but it’s mighty: Flaxseed is the low carbohydrate whole grain rich in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic acid). They are also a good source of the minerals bone-supportive magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Flax seed and Fibre: Flax seeds are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre which is mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
Flax Seed is High in Phytochemicals: Flax seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Flax and Cardiovascular Disease:
There have been positive research studies on the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed in particular has been found to reduce blood pressure. Studies suggest this may be due to the combination of omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids. Both of these acids are found in flaxseed.
Additional benefits include:
- Prevention of the hardening of arteries (arteriosclerosis)
- Lignans in flaxseed reduce plaque build-up
- May improves irregular heart beat (initial studies show promising results)
- Reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL)
Anti carcinogenic properties: Flax seeds have high levels of lignans (plant chemicals with lots of health benefits) which help in protecting against breast and prostate cancer.
Protection against diabetes: Flax seeds are known to decrease insulin resistance and help in regulating blood sugar. The lignans in flax seed may actually help prevent diabetes.
Good for weight watchers: Flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for people who limit their intake of sugar and starch. It’s also a delight for vegans and vegetarians as it is a non-animal source of omega-3 fatty acid and is often used as an egg substitute in baked products to add structure and body to the food.
Protection against dry eyes: The Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seed help to fend off dry eyes.
Tips for using flax seed
- Ideally, flax seed should be consumed in the grounded form as it allows better absorption.
- Start slowly if you aren’t used to a high-fibre diet. Grind it coarsely and drink plenty of water along with the powder. You could have it with your cereals or hot and shakes and smoothies or even add it to homemade cookies, vegetables or salads
- To get maximum benefits, 2 tablespoons of ground flax is recommended per day.