Flax is a noble plant. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers used it, and it was cultivated, tilled, and they would make it into a tight, white and long-lasting canvas. Maybe at home, you still have this inherited piece of ancestral fabric.
Apart from flax stalks from which flax fabric is made, there are many different ways to use flax seed too, especially the healthy ones. Flax with its stems, seeds, and their oil, have been in use since ancient times.
In this article, you will find out why is flax seed good for you from health perspective.
What types of it there are and where to by them, the usage and nutrition of flax seeds, why are they good if you want to lose weight and possible side effects of their usage.
This article is a bit long, so check out the contents below and jump to a section that interests you the most:
Table of Contents
- 1 A Brief History – Where Does Flax Seed Come From?
- 2 What is Flax Seed & How It Looks Like?
- 3 15 Benefits of Flax Seed – What is Flaxseed Good For?
- 3.1 1. Flax seed is proved perfect for an enlarged prostate
- 3.2 2. Prevention of Breast Cancer
- 3.3 3. Flax seed for digestion against constipation
- 3.4 4. Excellent for high pressure and prevention of heart diseases
- 3.5 5. Flax seed as prevention of cancer
- 3.6 6. Alleviates uncomfortable symptoms of PMS
- 3.7 7. Prevention of diabetes and stabilization of sugar in blood
- 3.8 8. It is “brain food.”
- 3.9 9. Strengthens the immune system
- 3.10 10. It is good for the skin
- 3.11 11. Flax seeds are good for losing weight
- 3.12 12. Flax seed reduces inflammation
- 3.13 13. Flax seed reduces and prevents heat waves (hot flashes)
- 3.14 14. Strengthens bones and works as a prevention for osteoporosis
- 3.15 15. It also helps against cholesterol
- 4 Different Types Of Flax Seed & Where To Buy Them
- 5 Flax Seed Usage & Nutrition
- 6 What Does Flax Seed Contain?
- 7 Flax Seed For Weight Loss
- 8 Are There Any Flax Seed Side Effects?
- 9 Conclusion – How Is Flaxseed Good For You?
A Brief History – Where Does Flax Seed Come From?
Flax is one of the oldest and most exotic plants, whose origins are in Mesopotamia. Flax seeds were grown over 5 000 years ago in temperate and tropical areas, where they were used for different purposes.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used it in food, mixing flax with corn flour in the preparation of bread, and also as a remedy for digestive problems. After the fall of Rome it’s not that much used, but then Charlemagne, the Frankish ruler gave it back its former glory, making laws about planting and consumption of flax.
To today, linen is used for culinary and medicinal purposes as well as for the production of textiles, and in Europe, it is the oldest source of oil. At the top of each plant that grows up to two feet in height, there is a gentle blue flower.
There are many types of linen, but the most important two: long flax, which is grown for fiber and low flax, which is very wide and gives a lot of seeds.
After the bees carry out pollination, in the flower the fruit begins to develop, which will reach the size of a pea, and within which are located a dozen small seeds. Seeds vary depending on the site of planting so that they are in Canada black or brown, and yellow in India.
Flax seeds are a powerful ally in improving health, as well as in fast recovery from a disease.
Even though flax was used before thousand of years and even around thousand of years BC, it is until recently a relatively unknown plant which was used only for making pants and clothes.
What is Flax Seed & How It Looks Like?
- Flax is a grown one-year plant. The stem is thin and at the top of it, a little branch and the tips of branches have one small, very beautiful and delicate flower beautifully blue as the sky.
- Flax seed is teardrop-shaped, and it is very great. It may be darker or lighter brown color. The flavor is similar to the nut and very soft, so it is not used in cooking gourmet, and its application is primary because of its nutritional value.
- Flax seed is great, grim, smooth, oval, flattened, and it has a small dent (belly button). The shell is thin, brittle and coated epidermis which has a servant.
- The flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber (those that decompose as well as those that not), one of the best natural sources of omega three fatty acids and lignans.
Why is Flaxseed Good For You?
Five main ingredients of flax seed which improve health are omega 3 fatty acids, lignans, fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals from which the last three ingredients together give a lot of health benefits. Lignans are phytoestrogens and have antioxidant effects, and it is also considered to have a preventive effect in cancer – antioxidant effect of decreasing the activity of free radicals that destroy cells.
Besides flax seed which is more and more popular as a very healthy food, flaxseed flour is also very popular.
15 Benefits of Flax Seed – What is Flaxseed Good For?
Flax seed has a beneficial effect on our organism primarily because it provides all the nutrients necessary for health.
1. Flax seed is proved perfect for an enlarged prostate
Early research suggests that regular use of flaxseed for 4 months leads to diminishing symptoms of prostate enlargement, and to improve the quality of life in patients. This disease is very common in our region, particularly in men older than 60 years.
2. Prevention of Breast Cancer
Preliminary investigations show that if females with newly diagnosed breast cancer eat every day a cake containing 25g flax seeds for about 40 days a reduction in the growth of tumor cells appears.
3. Flax seed for digestion against constipation
Flax seed is an excellent source of valuable fiber. Flax seed increase bowel movements among young people and flax seed mixed with yogurt helps with bowel movements in adults. It is very useful with frequent diarrhea because it will increase the volume of stool and alleviate the unpleasant irritation of the intestinal system.
When poured a little of ground flax seeds in half a glass of water, you will notice that after a certain time it overflows. Very similar is its behavior in the intestine. This is very useful for people suffering from hemorrhoids because if the daily diet has flax included it will significantly mitigate their daily hardships discharge hoses.
4. Excellent for high pressure and prevention of heart diseases
Research shows that taking flax seed three times a day for six months reduces high blood pressure in men. This is largely thanks to omega 3 fat which prevents the risk of hypertension and all other related cardiovascular diseases.
5. Flax seed as prevention of cancer
Studies show that people who consume phytoestrogens, like those found in flax seed, have a lower risk of developing lung cancer, prostate cancer, and others. Omega 3 prevents rapid tumor growth and progression of a sudden serious illness.
6. Alleviates uncomfortable symptoms of PMS
Daily consumption of cakes with 25g of ground flax seed for three months will reduce breast pain that occurs at the beginning of a menstrual cycle. Women who suffer from painful menstruation and other associated symptoms of PMS, you should try flax seed with yogurt with your diet. I will tell you the recipe for this later in the article.
7. Prevention of diabetes and stabilization of sugar in blood
Flax seed helps if you have diabetes or want to prevent it. Flax is a low glycemic index food, so you, therefore, will not disturb the blood sugar level. Omega -3 fatty acids and fiber supply your body with energy and nutrients in the long run. If you can maintain a stable blood sugar level, its variations are less frequent, and it requires less insulin, and you have better control of your diabetes. People who consume flax can prevent diabetes and keep it better under control.
8. It is “brain food.”
Flax seeds help prevent brain diseases such as dementia, as well as in depression, attention deficit disorder, and problems with sleeping. Your brain, as well as the whole organism, must be provided with omega-3 fatty acids to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as to help with depression and attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, trouble with sleeping and so on. Children also need omega-3 fatty acids for proper brain development.
9. Strengthens the immune system
Flax seed helps with fibromyalgia and other disorders of the immune system by making the immune system stronger. It cures of the inside and acts as disease prevention. Not only will you benefit from the food that your body craves for, but also will lignans, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals help your body to heal itself.
10. It is good for the skin
Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seed are good for treating eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, acne and other skin problems. Lignans have an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore treat skin inflammation.
11. Flax seeds are good for losing weight
As we will say later in the article, flax seed is great if you want to lose weight. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a greater feeling of satiety. The fibers and proteins are digested more slowly, which makes you longer satiated. Thanks to this combination, it is less likely that you will have the need for caloric and unhealthy food, and it is more likely that you will choose healthier options.
12. Flax seed reduces inflammation
Flax seed helps with inflammation due to omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Both components cure and reduce inflammation in the body. Because of this flax has a beneficial effect on arthritis, allergies, asthma, sinusitis and so on.
13. Flax seed reduces and prevents heat waves (hot flashes)
Flax contains lignans in-shell seeds and they are a natural source of estrogen. Thanks to that, women feel relieved because their hot flashes are reduced, as well as night sweats and vaginal moisture increases without side effects as it would when it comes to hormone replacement therapy. Lignans in flax seeds have helped many women to resolve sufficiently hot flashes.
14. Strengthens bones and works as a prevention for osteoporosis
Taking 40g of ground flax seed daily for one year, according to research, can increase bone density in women. This simple therapy postpones osteoporosis.
15. It also helps against cholesterol
Flax seed is used as a cure for many diseases, and I mentioned few of them. Research shows that with regular use of ground flax seed, flax cakes and flax bread, a reduction of the so-called bad cholesterol appears, i.e., regulation of its level in the body. It does not significantly affect the level of good cholesterol but leads both to a good balance. Most preparations of flax seed do not significantly influence a number of triglycerides.
These 15 benefits of flax seed are here to help you to find out what benefits you can have if you regularly consume flax! When you keep healthy eating style, your body can heal itself more efficiently and prevent being attacked by various diseases. That is the way I recommend using flax seed on a daily basis for many health benefits I told you about.
Different Types Of Flax Seed & Where To Buy Them
Flaxseed can be found in whole seeds, crushed flax seed, like flax seed meal, as flax seed flour, and as flax seed oil. As the story of its health benefits spread, it can now be found in cereals, baked goods, and other processed foods. All of these forms of flax seed are to be found in health food stores. It can be used in a lot of sweet or salty foods and pastry.
What To Look For?
When buying flax seeds in bulk, you should sniff them to check if they are good and not turned rancid and also find meals in opaque vacuum-packed bags to avoid its exposure to light and air since it may spoil more quickly if so.
When buying flax seed oil, you should look for the one that comes in the opaque bottle and is kept refrigerated. Because of its sensitivity to light and oxygen before purchasing flax oil, you should check the packing that should be a dark color and the cap should be tightly closed.
You should purchase only the much as you need, therefore, prevent the possibility of it spoiling or rotting before you get the chance to use it.
How To Store Flaxseed?
My advice is to buy whole seeds and grind them later and home, where you should grind as much as you need at one time. You should keep your flax seed and/or flax oil in the refrigerator, not longer than two weeks.
Two types of flax seed are yellow and brown, and they have different nutritional contents, where golden flax seed is the best for human consumption since the brown flax, even though edible for humans is more often used for feeding animals. You should also always try to get organic flax which is not grown with the use of pesticides.
Flax Seed Usage & Nutrition
Flax seed is richest in vitamin B-17, and for human metabolism to use it, flax seed must be a grind. For those who do not know, for the benefit of taking vitamin B complex to happen, at least two hours after taking the vitamins you should not use anything that contains white sugar.
If you want to know exact daily dosage, then read my post about recommended flaxseed intake per day, depending if you are pregnant, want to get rid of constipation, lose weight or just maintain health.
How To Use (Grind) Flax Seed?
The easiest way to add flax seed to your diet it is good to have a mill for seeds or for coffee (but the one that is quite clean). This is necessary because the sac of flax seed ‘s hard for welding, so there is a need to grind the flax seeds.
Read my tutorial about how to properly grind flax seed.
Flax seeds, nuts, and other similar food should be ground before you use it because it is food that is easily rancid when milled. You can add milled flax seed to bread, cakes, pancakes, or you can sprinkle them over a variety of dishes, like soups and salads.
With water, shaken seed gives colorless slime. The seed is mild, oily and nutty taste.
Let me tell you something about how to use flax seed
- The tea – We get the tea by covering the intact flax seed with hot water. That’s the way mucilaginous substances are discharged into the water.
- Flax Oil – Flax oil is obtained by cold pressing from the seeds and is very healing. However, it does not contain lignins, and it does not contain cellulose. It must not be treated with heat, and it is used only for spillover and as an addition, best with drinks made of milk.
- Ground seeds – They can be mixed with honey, added to the dish or be stirred in water or juice so you can simply drink them.
- Flax seed – You can mix it with honey or add it to muesli and eat it that way. It is necessary to chew it good and to drink large quantities of water.
What Does Flax Seed Contain?
- Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega – 3 fatty acids, but also vitamins and trace elements ( phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, manganese ).
- The most important ingredient is the seed mucilage that is released from the whole seeds in the presence of water.
- It also contains phytoestrogens – plant hormones of chemical structure similar to estrogen. Its shell is thin but rich in cellulose fiber, so it is indigestible. Therefore, it is best exploited as ground seeds.
The energy content of 100 g flaxseed is 534 kcal / 2234 kJ. Of these, 42 % fat, 29 % carbohydrate, and 18.2 % protein. It is an excellent source of vitamin thiamine (1.6 mg which makes 133% RDA), riboflavin ( 0.2 mg which makes 123% RDA) , pyridoxine (0.5 mg, which makes 58 % RDA ) of folic acid ( 52.2 mg which makes 26 % RDA) and pantothenic acid ( 1 mg, which makes 20% RDA) , a good source of niacin ( 3 mg, which makes 19 % RDA) .
From minerals it is an excellent source of copper (1.2 mg which makes 135 % RDA) , magnesium ( 392 mg which makes 131% RDA) , manganese (2.5 mg which makes 125% of the RDA) , phosphorus ( 642 mg which makes 80 % RDA) , selenium (25.4 mg which makes 46 % RDA) , iron ( 5.7 mg, which makes 41 % RDA ) of calcium ( 255 mg, which makes 32 % RDA) and zinc (4.3 mg or 29 % RDA) .
Linseed in 100 g containing 27 g of dietary fiber, 28.7 g of unsaturated fatty acids, of which 22.8 g of alpha-linolenic acid, and 651 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.
So What Does Flaxseed Do For Your Body?
As is evident from the composition, flax seeds are very rich in numerous medicinal matters. For a long time, it is known that they are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid. Omega-3 fatty acids have multiple effects on the health of our body.
They participate in the process of mitigation of inflammation and pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, osteoporosis and migraine. Indirectly, they can reduce the formation of blood clots which prevents the risk of heart attack or stroke.
According to the results of an international study on the impact of macro and micro nutrients on blood pressure, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may influence the reduction of high blood pressure.
Flax has proven to be as effective as the drugs for lowering cholesterol, which has been proven in a study of 40 patients who have through 60 days been consuming 20 g of ground flax.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to maintain the elasticity of the cell membrane, which is critical in diabetes because a lot of elastic cells respond better to insulin and better absorb glucose.
Research conducted at the University of Toronto showed that flax can fight against diabetes.
Those who had carried out the experiment (who ate bread with flax) had in their blood an hour after meals 28% less sugar than those who ate wheat bread.
A meal with flax or flax flour is a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can change the difference of cholesterol in heart disease, reduce the exposure of colon harmful things in food, help with constipation and stabilize blood sugar in case of diabetes.
Scientists have obtained results that indicate that lignans from flax associated with omega-3 fatty acids slow the occurrence of prostate cancer. Lignans are antioxidants that have antibacterial, antiviral properties and prevent damage caused by free radicals, and are associated with aging and disease.
Linseed contains lignin and other fibers. Lignins reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer because they minimize the activity of Estrogen, the main sex hormone in women which can start malignant growth.
What is Flaxseed Oil Good For?
Flax seed oil heals skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, acne or sunburn. Oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of depression, and may also affect the improving of memory, concentration, learning and eye health.
Ground flax or flax oil is a good source of lignans phytohormones that can ease menopause symptoms, reduce the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Some evidence points to the fact that flax seed helps with fertility.
Also be sure to read my full comparison between flax seeds and flax seed oil.
Flax Seed For Weight Loss
To a large extent, the effects of weight loss that flax seed posses are from its low carbohydrate content and high concentrations of Omega -3 fatty acids (33 times higher than in wheat germ) and the result are numerous benefits of flax seed oil.
Flax seed oil in a seed protects the lining of your digestive tract, so this seed is the perfect food if you have a sensitive stomach. Taken with any meal, ground flax seed causes the feeling of satiety and long-term satisfaction – just sprinkle some of it over the salad, add to soup or yogurt and use in many other delicious ways.
Flax seed for weight loss is a natural and straightforward way to lose weight and is used across the world. Flax seed will help you to regulate cholesterol levels in organism, to regulate weight, problems with constipation and so on. Even though it has a lot of calories, flax seed contains a lot of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids and both of them affect your appetite, so you can reduce your intake of calories during the day in order to successfully lose weight.
Always remember to take ground flax seed, not the whole flax seed, because they go trough your digestive system undigested. Also, grind flax seeds in a coffee mill immediately before consumption because the oil as part of the flax begins to oxidize after coming into contact with air.
Flax Seed Recipe For Weight Loss
Here is a recipe for a drink made of flax seed that you can try, and that is good for losing weight:
Preparation: In the evening do the following: Over 3 tablespoons of flax seed pour 1 liter of boiling water. Allow it to stand overnight. It is best to use a thermos. If you do not have one, use a pot with a lid. In the morning, drain it. You’ll get a little thicker (mucous) beverage.
Application: Filtered drink should be consumed during the day 3-4 times per 150ml for half an hour before meals. Drink is made every night for the next day. Do not stockpile. It must always be freshly prepared.
Consumption: Drink of flax seed is consumed by 10 days. Then you make a break for 10 days and continue again, till the desired result. This way you can regulate body weight. It is not addictive, and you lose weight healthily and safely. It is all individual but to reduce body weight you’ll need 3-5 such treatments. Drink plenty of water during the day.
This excellent drink reduces appetite, so to achieve quick results (if you use it for the purpose of weight loss), flax seed from the drink can be consumed as breakfast or dinner. Optionally, you can sweeten it with honey. It’s delicious.
Flax Seed Smoothie Recipe
A different recipe, with smoothie or your favorite meal replacement shake, is this:
Components: A large tablespoon of ground flax seeds & Half a cup of smoothie.
Put the flax seeds in smoothie and stir well, then drink half an hour before meals. This can be repeated half an hour before going to bed. It is recommended that this diet lasts for twenty-one days, and than you make a break for a week. Ground flax seed will speed up your metabolism and improve the rhythm of bowel movements.
How Much Fiber is Actually There In Flax Seed?
When it comes to weight loss, you have for sure heard about the meaning of fiber in nutrition and how food rich with fibers stabilizes the sugar level in blood, is that so? Well, you should know that, as I mentioned before, flax seed contains a significant amount of fibers, in total around 25% of their mass, including 12% mucilage, a substance known for its ability to lower the levels of cholesterol.
It is true that the high content of fiber makes flax seed very gentle, natural laxative, which cleans your colon from toxic metabolic waste and it accelerates the work of beneficial bacteria. If the health of your colon is good you will have the possibility to loose weight a lot easier. But that is not all.
To fully understand what are the advantages of flax seed that are related to weight loss, you should have in mind one more thing. Lecithin in the structure of flax seed dissolves unhealthy fats from food in your digestive tract, and a fiber mucilage then “captures” these bad fats and eliminates them from the body, thus preventing their deposition. Great, isn’t it?
Are There Any Flax Seed Side Effects?
- Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. People who were taking flax seed in large doses had stomach pains, flatulence and diarrhea.
- Because of its laxative effect people that suffer from bowel disorders should avoid using crushed flax seed and instead take oil if they want to try benefits of flax seeds.
- Even though omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds help in reducing swelling which is a good thing, they can slow down the formation of blood clots and increase bleeding.
- Woman with troubles related to hormonal imbalance should also be careful when using flax seed because it can mimic the biological effects of estrogen.
- It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to flax seed.
Conclusion – How Is Flaxseed Good For You?
- Flax seed contains a lot of useful components like vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and fiber, which normalizes the bowels.
- Flax seed cleans the body of toxins, normalizes metabolism, reduces blood sugar levels and reduces appetite. It absorbs certain nutrients, cleans the intestines and supplies the body with lecithin.
- The fatty acids contained in flax seed itself, activate the sebaceous cells in the body, helping to melt the excess fat in the body. Therefore, it is an ideal product for weight loss. It helps in losing excess weight and to maintaining body weight normal.
- From flax seed you can make a drink for which you can find a recipe in the article and that drink will help you to lose weight in a healthy way. Recommended by many dietitians, this drink is also very healing and very useful for people suffering from gastritis, stomach ulcers, chronic constipation and hemorrhoids. This will also help in the treatment of cystitis and pyelonephritis. This drink possesses a wide range of positive effects on the human body, try it today!
I hope this article helped you in your decision to start using flax seed on a daily basis for many health benefits, as a prevention and improvement of your health or to cure a disease you might have. Please be free to leave a comment or an opinion.