The Multiple Benefits of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, derived from the flax plant known as Linum Usitatissimum, happen to be one of the oldest plant crops, dating back to sometime around 10000 BC, during the Neolithic Era. The crop with attractive bright purplish blue blooms offers mainly two types of flaxseeds- brown and golden – that are available as whole/ ground and in oil form. Below you can read about some amazing nutrition facts of flaxseeds and how they contribute to our health.
Rare Nutritive Components in Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of essential omega3 fatty acids comprising of Alpha Linoleic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid. Besides these, the seeds hold ample quantities of fibre-rich polyphenol substances known as lignans– a naturally occurring component, possessing the qualities and richness of both antioxidants and plant estrogens. A rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, flax seeds also make up a healthy combination of vitamin B1, copper, selenium, magnesium and phosphorous. Apart from these, they are yet another unique source of mucilaginous gums, the water-soluble gel forming, galactoxylans and arabinoxylans, which make them rather remarkable.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
The special nutrients of flaxseeds, consisting predominantly of omega3 fatty acids, lignans and the mucilaginous gum offer multiple benefits for health.
1. Prevents Oxidative Stress
An amazing source of polyphenol compounds like secoisolariciresinol, along with potent antioxidants, and manganese, these have a proven record of scavenging the destructive disease-causing free radical elements, thereby decreasing oxidative stress in the body, a primary factor for overall well being
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
A group of amino acids compounds combined with the Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) present in flaxseeds helps regulate blood pressure in hypertensive patients. However, according to Researchers, there are not enough conclusive documents to support this claim.
3. Stabilises Blood Cholesterol
Owing to the profuse dietary fibre, flaxseeds help stabilise blood cholesterol levels by elevating the apoliprotein A1 factor, a chief protein found in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL- Good Cholesterol) and cutting down the bad cholesterol or the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood.
4. Prevents Inflammatory Diseases
The lignans that exist in the seeds offer anti-inflammatory effect on the body. They impede the platelet activating factors (PAF) in the blood vessels, which when produced in excess, creates potential risk of inflammatory damage. Furthermore, decreased PAF further hinders the production of C – reactive protein (CRP), a major culprit in the occurrences of inflammatory diseases, particularly relating to the heart. On the other hand, the omega3 fatty acids spike the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) in the blood offering utmost protection from inflammation.
5. Stalls Cardiovascular Disease
A valuable combo of Alpha linoleic (ALA) acids in omega3 fatty acids and lignans present in the seeds prevent plaque build-up, clumping of blood vessels, arrhythmia, heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, flaxseed consumption enhances the ALA factors in the blood stream thereby decreasing risk of cardiac-related symptoms.
6. Provides Insulin Resistance
Containing dietary fibre in abundance flaxseeds with a low GI (glycemic index) prevents frequent hunger pangs thus restricting the urge for unwanted snacking. This factor lowers blood glucose levels by offering insulin resistance.
7. Offers Anti Cancer Benefits
The tiny wonders provide anticancer benefits owing to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory elements. Apart from this, the ALA and lignans play an important role in protecting hormone-related cancers of the breast and prostate and colon. The healthy elements block certain enzymes responsible for the formation and growth of cancerous tumours. Above all, flaxseeds protect the body from oxidative stress by destroying the free radicals and flushing out unwanted toxins, with a potential risk of cancer owing to their carcinogenic nature.
8. Enhances Digestive Health
The mucilaginous soluble and insoluble fibre facilitates absorption of nutrients enabling better digestion, preventing constipation and regulating bowel movements.
Side Effects of Flaxseeds
Be Healthy and Keep Smiling!