7 Healthy Reasons to Eat Flaxseeds Every Day
Humans have been using flaxseed for 30,000 years and it still offers some amazing health benefits today. Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of lignans which are the compounds responsible for many of the health benefits associated with adding flaxseeds to your daily diet.
Lignans are unique fiber type compounds that offer antioxidant benefits, provide vital fiber for the diet, and mimic natural estrogen within the body. Flaxseeds contain an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, they are also high in vitamin B1, selenium, and they are an excellent source of copper.
Flaxseed is also one of the superfoods mentioned in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition and weight loss goals.
Some of the health benefits associated with adding flaxseeds to your daily diet include:
Flaxseeds for Heart Health
Cholesterol has become a vital indicator of overall cardiovascular and heart health. Managing your cholesterol levels is vital for ensuring a healthy heart. A clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that individuals who consumed 30 g of milled flaxseeds as part of their diet had lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who consumed cholesterol lowering medication on its own.
The cholesterol lowering effects of flaxseeds may be attributed to the increased fiber in flaxseeds and to the fact that flaxseeds are high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linoleic acid.
Flaxseeds for Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome has been identified as one of the underlying causes of the development of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and an excess of body fat around the waist, metabolic syndrome poses a threat to your overall health.
Metabolic syndrome can rob you of energy, leave you feeling fatigued, and can threaten your health in the long term.
The Journal of Nutrition published a trial showing that lifestyle counseling and the addition of flaxseeds to your daily diet can help you to manage and reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome by reducing central obesity.
Flaxseeds Help to Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is becoming a huge problem for health. The inflammatory process is a natural part of the healing process, but diet, toxins, and free radicals result in too much inflammation in the body. Inflammation can damage the body, the arteries, the joints, and the tissues if you don’t regulate the process efficiently. It is therefore becoming vital to learn to control inflammation and to include nutrients in your diet that can help to reduce inflammation in your body.
Flaxseeds are not only high in lignans, but are also an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. PloS ONE reports a study that shows that the addition of dietary flaxseed to the daily dietary intake of individuals suffering from hypothalamic inflammation, helped to reduce the inflammation and fat deposits in those individuals. You can also consume these foods that reduce inflammation.
Flaxseeds Increase your Antioxidant Protection
The need to protect yourself from the damage caused by oxidation and free radicals is becoming more and more important as researchers identify inflammation and free radical damage as the underlying causes of diseases like ovarian cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.
Oxidants and free radicals damage your body, cause premature aging, increase the inflammation in your body, and may play a role in the development of various forms of cancer. With the added toxins in our diets and environment, ensuring your diet is high in natural antioxidants has become a vital part of supporting overall health (read more about antioxidants in my article about 9 amazing antioxidants for great health).
The Journal of Gynecologic Oncology published a study indicating that a flaxseed enriched diet decreased the incidence of ovarian cancer in poultry hens by reducing the production of prostaglandins.
Flaxseeds Improve Digestive Health
Digestion is often the first key to supporting optimal health. The food you eat and the supplements you take all begin in the digestive tract and it is only through efficient digestion that your body can absorb these nutrients.
Flaxseeds are high in healthy fiber which ensures that the nutrients you eat remain in the GI system long enough to ensure the healthy absorption of nutrients. Fiber also supports bowel health and plays an important role in reducing or relieving constipation. You can also try these 8 natural methods to treat digestive problems, or these 10 herbal teas to improve digestion or this delicious digestive detox smoothie.
Flaxseeds Help Reduce Menopausal Symptoms
The active ingredients in flaxseeds are classified as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant based compounds that mimic the functions of estrogen in the body. Flaxseeds can therefore be helpful for allowing you to supplement your natural levels of estrogen in the body.
In a study on the efficacy of flaxseeds for reducing menopausal symptoms, researchers found that the consumption of flaxseeds helped to reduce menopausal symptoms when compared with a placebo. You can also read about these 10 herbs and nutritional supplements for menopause.
Flaxseeds and Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the major factors in metabolic syndrome and arteriosclerosis and it is the main underlying cause of diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when cells no longer accept insulin and glucose. This means your cells cannot produce the energy you need to be healthy.
In another trial on flaxseeds, the Journal of Nutrition found that the consumption of flaxseeds decreased insulin resistance in obese glucose intolerant individuals.
How to consume Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds come in two varieties, golden or brown. Both types offer similar health benefits, but it is important to realize that flaxseeds need to be ground in order to take full advantage of all they have to offer, as when eaten whole they are more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. You can grind the flaxseeds using a coffee or spice grinder.
The recommended daily intake is 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. To take advantage of the benefits of ground flaxseeds, add them to yogurt, smoothie, salad, sandwich and baked goods to increase your daily intake of these healthy seeds. Baking flaxseeds in your bread or muffin does not change the health benefits offered by these tiny seeds.