Flax is one of the oldest fiber crops in the world and is known to have been cultivated in both ancient Egypt and China; however the use of flaxseeds in everyday cooking has fallen away in many cultures today even though their health benefits have been known for centuries. In fact in the 8th Century, Charlemagne was so convinced of the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws to ensure his loyal subjects ate them!
And the reason for these health benefits is because flaxseed, also known as linseed, is high in:
- Vitamins and minerals, including most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese
- Both soluble and insoluble fibers
- Phytochemicals, including many powerful antioxidants such as lignans. And because it’s a plant, it’s actually one of the lignin sources around!
- Flaxseed is a mega-source of the plant version of omega-3, which is the ‘street name’ for alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), containing about 50% ALA. This makes it about 5 times more rich in ALA than canola and walnut oil which are the next highest sources
Grown in Central Asia, North America and Europe flax can be found in most conventional and health food stores in whole, ground or oil form. And while buying the whole form is best for preserving those natural fatty acids, they should be ground before eating as whole seeds may not always be digested properly. However the best way to get the highest amount of ALA is by consuming flaxseed oil which is obtained through cold pressing the seeds.
Besides flaxseed there are, of course, also other ways to stay healthy and take good care of yourself. This wonderful crop works in diverse areas, but if you want to ensure you’re not missing any important element or vitamin, sometimes it proves worthy to invest in professional supplements. If you’re afraid they might be too expensive, there’s nothing to worry about – there’s plenty of special offers online you can use. You may use a Kohl’s coupon or find some Kohl’s printable coupons and you’re in for the lowest prices.
Speaking of Flaxseed benefits, they are numerous, but the most relevant ones include the following:
They lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Flaxseed contains a soble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol, working towards preventing the buildup of plaque that clogs arteries and leads to high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. It is believed that fiber lowers blood sugar levels, an important thing for Type 2 diabetics to monitor.
Reduce bone loss
Diabetic rats were fed flaxseed as part of a clinical study and the results showed a delay in bone loss due to the fatty acids it contains.
Helps with weight management
You may want to munch some flax about thirty minutes before meals because it expands when ingested, meaning that you feel fuller and can control your appetite.
Improve digestive health
Flax is a high source of fiber meaning that it can help your digestion stay regular and relieve constipation
Preliminary research has suggested that flaxseed may help relieve autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus thanks to its high concentration of ALA that is known to decrease inflammation.
Based on its high concentration of lignans which are believed to inhibit the growth of tumors, studies are showing that flaxseed may be effective in fighting cancer, although this mainly applies to colon and breast cancer.
Incorporating flaxseed in your diet is not at all difficult and there are hundreds of ways to add it to every meal. So if you want to get the most out of every meal, boost its nutritional profile by finding a way to include flaxseed. And if you need some inspiration then search online because there are literally hundreds of recipes and suggestions just sitting there!
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