Flax Seeds Diet & Nutrition : Benefits & Side Effects
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) seeds are one of the superfoods that the world is going crazy about. In Ayurveda, Flaxseeds are considered as 'Balya' (health and immunity booster) and 'Medhya' (brain booster). These seeds help balance the 'Vata' element of the body. (know more)
What makes flaxseed and flaxseed oil so healthy?
Flaxseeds are a rich source of dietary fibre and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids have a profound effect on cardiac and neurological health. Thus flaxseed and flaxseed oil help in treating conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer's disease.
Flax Seeds Vs Chia Seeds
Another very trending superfood is chia seed. These seeds share almost the same nutrition profile as that of flaxseed. 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, flaxseeds are more effective in regulating appetite. The hard outer coat of flaxseed is not easily digested and hence gives a feeling of fullness. Besides, flaxseeds are cheaper, so they become an obvious preference.
How To Eat Flax Seeds: Raw or Roasted?
There is a lot of confusion regarding how to consume flaxseed. There are many ways to eat these super-nutritious flax seeds. Flaxseed should be roasted before eating. Eating raw and unripe flaxseed can be dangerous due to some toxins present in them. However, if you really want to eat them raw, you need to ground flax seeds and mix it 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 flaxseeds by using flaxseed oil in place of regular oil. You can sprinkle flax seeds on your breakfast cereal bowl, soup or yoghurt. Flax seeds 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 flaxseeds, 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.
Flax Seeds Meal and Recipes
If you've been consuming flaxseed, chances are you might have been bored. Try healthy flaxseed recipes to make your meal wholesome. You can use Flaxseed powder to smoothies, soups and raita or can replace your salad dressing oil with flaxseed oil. Before replacing your regular oil, you might ask what the benefits of flaxseed oil are? The answer lies in the abundance of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are like an elixir to our body and protect our cells from damages of various kinds.
How to eat flax seeds
- Flaxseed: 15-50(1 tbsp) gram per day as roasted whole flax seeds or powder.
- Flax oil: 15-30 ml per day
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, flaxseeds are rich in iron, vitamin E, B1, B6, calcium, protein and fibre. Lignans present in flaxseed 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 flaxseed for weight loss. The abundance of fibre in flaxseed 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
Flaxseeds 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 flaxseed oil for a DIY hair spa.
How Are Flax Seeds Beneficial For Arthritis?
The fatty acids, lignans, fibres and flavonoids present in flaxseed 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 on flaxseed side effects.
Some words of caution:
- Flaxseed intake by pregnant or breastfeeding women should be on 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 flaxseed.
- There have been some studies where flaxseeds have shown to enhance the blood sugar lowering action of medicines. Therefore, diabetic people should only eat flaxseed under discretion. Also, people on blood thinner medication should not eat flax seeds without the physician's advice as flaxseed thin the blood.
- Flaxseed shares proximity with estrogen in terms of effect; therefore if you are suffering from any hormone-sensitive condition, flaxseed might worsen the condition.
- 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)
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