Flax Seeds Diet & Nutrition : Benefits & Side Effects
Flax seeds are one of the superfoods that the world is going crazy about. Flax seeds, commonly known as alsi ke beej, are a minuscule, flat, brownish-red superfood full of nutritional goodness. More and more nutritionists recommend a flax seeds meal for a range of purposes - arresting hair fall, spurring hair growth, lowering bad cholesterol, managing blood sugar levels, and more.
Ayurvedic Flax Seeds
In Ayurveda, Flax seeds are considered as 'Balya' (health and immunity booster) and 'Medhya' (brain booster). These seeds help balance the 'Vata' element of the body. They are an excellent natural source for boosting muscular strength and vigour. In Ayurvedic circles, flax seeds are referred to as Medhya (brain booster). The omega-3 and omega-6 rich superfood supercharge brain functions and can help treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, hypertension, and other bipolar disorders.
However, be careful not to binge on flax seeds as they can spoil the Pitta (qualities reflecting the elements of water and fire) and Kapha (qualities reflecting the elements of earth and water) doshas owing to their hot and heavy nature. In Ayurvedic medicine, flax seeds maintain the skin’s pH balance, thus protecting it from multiple dermatological ailments like dryness, premature wrinkling, soreness, and more.
Flax Seeds vs Chia Seeds
Another very trending superfood is chia seeds. These seeds share almost the same nutritional profile as that of flax seeds. Both help lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar and strengthen digestion. However, flax seeds are the winners by a slight margin as they have proven to be better at preventing certain types of cancer. Also, as far as weight management is concerned, flax seeds are more effective in regulating appetite. The hard outer coat of flax seeds is not easily digested and hence gives a feeling of fullness. Besides, flax seeds are cheaper, so they become an obvious preference.
Flax Seeds and Oil Benefits
Flax seeds and oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has miraculous health benefits for cardiac and neural health. Besides, flax seeds are rich in iron, vitamin E, B1, B6, calcium, protein, and fibre. Lignans present in flax seeds help prevent the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer due to their antioxidant property.
Flax Seeds for Weight Loss
Many people on a diet are clueless about how to use flax seeds for weight loss. The abundance of fibre in flax seeds makes them an ideal diet food. It not only reduces body fat but also improves gut health. Flax seeds give you a sense of fullness in the stomach, and hence you don't eat at quick intervals. This helps control weight.
Flax Seeds for Hair and Skin
Flax seeds are rich in vitamin E, which is also known as the 'vitamin of beauty’. The essential omega fatty acids, along with this vitamin, help improve the quality of hair follicles and the skin cells by providing ample nourishment to them and controlling the free radical generation. Flax seeds not only improve the hair texture but also boosts the growth of new follicles. You can massage your scalp with flax oil for a DIY hair spa.
How To Eat Flax Seeds: Raw or Roasted?
There is a lot of confusion regarding how to consume flax seeds. There are many ways to eat these super-nutritious flax seeds. Flax seeds should be roasted before eating. Eating raw and unripe flax seeds can be dangerous due to some toxins present in them. However, if you really want to eat them raw, you need to grind flax seeds and mix them in water so that the water-soluble fibres are released, giving the mixture a gel-like consistency. You can also reap the nutritional benefits of flax seeds by using flax seed oil in place of regular oil. You can sprinkle flax seeds on your breakfast cereal bowl, soup, or yoghurt. Flax seed powder adds a distinct nuttiness and texture to any dish. Organic flax seeds grown in India are even richer in nutrients because they do not undergo unnecessary processing.
How To Prepare Flax Seeds?
In order to roast flax seeds, make sure they are clean and devoid of muddy particles. Put them in a skillet over medium flame and roast for 5-7 minutes with regular stirring. If you are using a microwave, roast these for 6-7 minutes at 180-190 degrees. Cool it and eat as and when you please. However, the best time to eat it is during breakfast.
Mostly, the store-bought flax seeds are roasted and ready to eat. Be sure to read the product description.
How To Add Flax Seeds To Diet?
Try healthy flax seeds recipes to make your meal wholesome. You can use the flax seeds powder to smoothies, soups, and raita or can replace your salad dressing oil with flax oil. You can replace your regular oil with flax oil. They are an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are like elixirs for our body and protect our cells from damages of various kinds.
You can have a healthy start to your day by adding flax to regular breakfast items like protein cereal, porridge, pancakes, muffins, omelettes, and wash it down with a flax smoothie. You can sprinkle ground flax over berries and cooked vegetables.
How To Eat Flax Seeds?
- Flax seeds: 15-50 (1 tbsp) gram per day as roasted whole flax seeds or powder.
- Flax oil: 15-30 ml per day
Can We Eat Flax Seeds At Night?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to include flax seeds as a part of your daily diet. Moreover, they boost serotonin secretion, which is great for regulating sleep. They are also rich in magnesium, famous for relieving stress and inducing a peaceful night’s sleep.
How Are Flax Seeds Beneficial For Arthritis?
The fatty acids, lignans, fibres, and flavonoids present in flax seed help in preventing and controlling arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. It has an anti-inflammatory property since it is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Flax Seeds Side Effects
Although flax seeds are full of health benefits, there are some precautions against their side effects.
Some words of caution:
1. Flax seed intake by pregnant or breastfeeding women should be on the physician's advice only. Flax seeds can lower cholesterol levels to a great extent, so if you are already on medication for high cholesterol, you should avoid flax seed.
2. There have been some studies where flax seeds have been shown to enhance the blood sugar lowering action of medicines. Therefore, diabetic people should only eat flax seed under discretion. Also, people on blood thinner medication should not eat flax seeds without the physician's advice as flax seed thins the blood.
3. Flax seed shares proximity with estrogen in terms of effect; therefore if you are suffering from any hormone-sensitive condition, flax seed might worsen the condition.
4. Flax seeds might cause constipation, bloating, irregular bowel movement. So keep in mind to hydrate your body as much as possible so that the fibres are digested well.
Now that you know all about the benefits, dosage, and cautions about flax seeds, it's time you give it a try! Anveshan Flax Seeds are one of the best-rated organic flax seeds procured directly from the local farmers and undergo minimal processing to keep the nutrient content intact. (Know more)