Flaxseed is quite popular for several reasons, but especially for its ability to provide the body with a significant quantity of Omega-3 fatty acids and the versatility of both its seed and oil. Many are unaware that it is also a form of chicken feed that ensures high-quality eggs and chicken. Clearly, flax seed contains some high-quality nutrients.
So, in this article, we will be discussing the health benefits of flaxseed.
With a variety of methods, Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in improving heart health. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterols and improving HDL levels or “good” cholesterol. As a matter of fact, the consumption of Omega-3 also lowers triglycerides levels in the bloodstream thereby improving heart health.
However, it is important to note that flaxseed only provides the body with a form of Omega-3 called ALA. ALA is less beneficial than the oils gotten from fish and certain animal products. What this means is that, though flax seeds are a good source of ALA Omega-3 acids, they should not be your sole source.
Studies have suggested that consuming flaxseed could be beneficial for people struggling with Type-2 diabetes. Aside from the positive effects of Omega-3 and dietary fiber contained in flaxseed, the Lignans help in the reduction of the number of lipids in the blood and glucose. This helps in reducing the risk of hyperlipidemia blood sugar problems.
Reduced Cancer Risks
Flax seeds contain Lignans that can be very helpful in the reduction of the prostate, breast, and ureteral cancers. This is due to fact that Lignans are phytoestrogens (plant compounds that mimic estrogen). The increased estrogen linked to the consumption these Lignans supports bone health. However, its primary function is the reduction of cancers connected with a reduced estrogen count. This implies that it protects the body against certain cancers that are common to females, such as cancer of the uterus and breast cancer.
Flaxseed is very rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which is essential for digestion and the regulation metabolism as well as blood sugar levels. Fiber is also known for controlling insulin response and reducing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. Evidently, flax seed is an excellent food if you struggle with Type-2 diabetes and need to go on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Flaxseed is rich in manganese which is an essential mineral for blood and bone health. It is made up of more than 100% of the amount of manganese needed by the body daily. Flaxseed is also effective for improving the quality of blood and bone health while combating health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
Although the Lignans in flaxseed generally improve the blood lipid profile, it has also been proven to significantly reduce the development of plaque and hardening of the walls of the arteries. So, it isn’t enough to consume flax seed only – a balanced dietary and medical plan is the best decision in ensuring the prevention and treatment of health problems that affect the arteries.
Helpful for Menopausal/Post-Menopausal Women
The phytoestrogens in flaxseed are great for women health, especially for those currently experiencing menopause or have already passed that stage. The truth is, the loss of a woman’s ovaries can have some negative effect on her body’s ability to produce estrogen, leading to very uncomfortable “hot flashes.” Thankfully, phytoestrogens are able to lower the severity and frequency of these negative effects.
Similar to several plant-based foods that are healthy, flax seed is substantially rich in anti-oxidant components. Well, in case you didn’t know, the Lignans are also an anti-oxidant, making them excellent for protecting the body against cancer and maintaining good health. Flaxseed can especially be helpful for individuals who engage in prolonged and intense exercises.
The Omega-3 acids, Lignans, and phytochemicals contained in flax seeds are anti-inflammatory. For instance, Omega-3 has been linked with general anti-inflammatory processes, Lignans have a subtle effect on minimizing inflammatory processes, and phytochemicals naturally reduce inflammation and support recovery across a number of tissues.
Of course, there are several health benefits connected to the consumption of flaxseed or its oil, but there are also some not-so-pleasant effects linked to taking too much. For instance, when consumed in large amounts, metabolizes the content of compounds called Cyanogenic Glycosides. So, you may want to check the quantity of flaxseeds you consume or simply focus on the oil as it has a smaller risk of health problems.
Phosphorous is found in large amounts in flax seed and is essential for the density of bones and dental health. This mineral is also in most cells and is essential for proper cellular health. The presence of Phosphorous and Lignans make flaxseed a great choice for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, particularly in every woman and those who are in their post-menopausal stage.
Some reports on Phytic acid indicate that this compound found in flaxseeds is capable of reducing the absorption of some vital minerals such as Iron in the short-term. This implies flaxseed is still healthy but should be spread across different meals or snacks alone without other foods high in Iron.
Precautions and Side Effects
Obviously, flax seeds provide a number of health benefits, there have been some concerns about the effect of consuming too much flax seed. For example, eating Omega-3 beyond the required doses can negatively affect people who struggle with thin blood. Evidently, the reduction of glucose and blood lipids may have negative effects on most people with extremely low blood pressure. The phytoestrogens are substantially effective for women, but they may also have some negative side effects in pregnant women and even men. An excessive consumption of flax seed and the conversion of phytoestrogens and Lignans can result in a hormonal imbalance. It is, therefore, advisable to consult a physician before consuming flaxseed in large quantities.
The Bottom Line
You should incorporate flaxseed or its oil in your diet, especially if you consume a plant-based diet and want a high Omega-3 intake. Flax seeds do not benefit everyone equally because of the phytoestrogens in it. However, it is very effective for females and particularly for those experiencing menopause or are post-menopausal.
The list of its health benefits is long but flaxseed is optional and should be taken in small portions for the body’s maximum benefit.
People who are pregnant women and people with thin blood or hypotension should flax seed.