What Are Flaxseeds & What Are Its Benefits?
What are Flaxseeds?
Flaxseed also known as Linum usitatissimum, it is a well-known member of Linum that depicts its genus and in chronology, it belongs to the family Linaceae. It is popular for the food and fibre crop, which is cultivated in cooler countries and continent of the world. The industry is really popular for textiles made from flax and which is known in the Western countries as linen, which are traditionally used for daily houseware stuff and bed sheets, underclothes and table linen.
Flax plant gives us flaxseed and this grows annually and has the capability to grow to a height of 1.2 meters. Flax plant has slender stems and pretty leaves, which measures about 30 to 40 millimetres in length and 4 to 5 millimetresin breadth. Flax plant has a pale blue flower that measures around 15 to 20 mm in diameter and consists of fruit, which is rounded and rough to touch and has sparkling brown seeds of about 4 to 5 millimetres in size.
Flaxseeds are normally chemically stable, but on exposure, flaxseed may go rancid or rot to brown when they are left exposed to air at room temperature for a time period ranging from as little as one week to any amount of days and this process occurs due because of oxidation of the seeds. Flaxseeds can be protected by either refrigeration or by storing them in sealed containers. This will protect ground flax from becoming rancid on exposure for a longer period. Flaxseeds are considered non-toxic except in conditions of excessive consumption.
What are the Benefits of Flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds Are High In Nutrients
Most of the flaxseeds have similar nutritional properties and also equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential requirements for our body’s fat metabolism.
Going on to the nutritional profile of flaxseeds, so when we take 100-gram portion of ground flaxseed, it provides our body about 534 calories, 41 g of fat, 28 g of fiber, and 20 g of protein.
Flaxseeds are a Source of Edible Vegetable Oil
Flaxseeds are also known for their production of vegetable oil popularly known as flaxseeds oil or linseed oil, which is till date one of the oldest and well known commercial and edible oil that can be obtained by the process of expulsion and press and sometimes followed by solvent extraction method of the flaxseed.
Solvent-processed and extracted flaxseed oil has its use dated to ancient times where it was being used for many centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.
Flaxseeds are Beneficial in Keeping Cholesterol in Check
One study of researchers have published an article stating that consuming flaxseed in any of its form may reduce total and LDL-cholesterol that is low-density lipoprotein in the blood, which provides great amount of benefits to women and those patients who are suffering from high cholesterol.
Flaxseeds Make a Healthy Snack!
Flaxseed can also be used as sprouts, which are edible and have a slightly spicy flavour, but when there is excessive consumption of flaxseeds along with inadequate amounts of water then it may cause bowel obstruction.
Weight Loss Benefits of Flaxseeds
According to daily national food consumption surveys, intake of more than 30 grams of flaxseed daily by a person for more than 12 weeks seems to be help in reduction of body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference for persons with a body mass index greater than 27 which falls in the category of obesity; thus concluding consumption of flaxseeds can lead to nice amount of inch loss.
Flaxseeds Help Control Blood Pressure
According to yet another survey, it has been recorded that people who have been consuming flaxseed for more than 12 weeks seem to have small reductions in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Flaxseeds are High in Fiber & Prevent Constipation
Being high in fiber content and low in carbs, flaxseeds help in proper bowel and bladder movements and hence leads to proper evacuation of bowel and prevent constipation.
Flaxseeds are Full of Healthy Fats
The presence of alpha-linolenic acid fats in flaxseeds benefits our skin and hair by providing these essential fats as well as other nutritional ailments like B vitamins, which can help in reduction of dryness and flakiness of the skin and scalp. It also helps in improving symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema and lastly, flaxseeds benefit in reduction of eye health syndrome.
Cancer Prevention Benefits of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, apart from all the benefits, are recently being known for providing to people fighting and suffering from cancer and these include fighting breast cancer, prostate cancer or benign prostate hypertrophy, ovarian cancer and lastly colon cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research, it is stated consumption of flaxseeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. The three lignans that are found in flaxseeds can be converted and acted upon by intestinal bacteria to form a product called enterolactone and enterodiol and these products naturally balance hormones, which act as a reason why flaxseeds reduce the risk of breast cancer. According to yet another study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it was given that the lignans which are found in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
The Lignans in Flaxseeds Help with Hormonal Irregularities in Women
The lignans which are present in the flaxseeds have shown to have numerous benefits for menopausal women. Thus, they can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans have estrogenic properties, which help in the provision of the estrogen and complete the deficiency of the body’s hormone. Provision of estrogen can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis as they allow calcium to get deposited on bones and decrease its absorption. Flaxseeds can even help menstruating women by helping maintain cycle regularity and reduces the chances of oligomenorrhea or dysmenorrhea.
Thus, the benefits of flaxseeds can easily be utilized by including its daily consumption in our diet, either in form of oils or in form of sprouts or baked seeds likewise. Flaxseeds are considered non-toxic except in conditions of excessive consumption.