Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Flax seeds are one of man’s earliest cultivated ‘superfoods’, tracing their history to 3000 BC in Babylon. There are tales of King Charlemagne who made it compulsory for his subjects to consume flax seeds daily. Don’t let the small and simple flax seed fool you. It is one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and a whole lot of other essential nutrients. Include this tiny seed into your daily diet and bring new levels of health and beauty into your life.
Flaxseeds have been useful in solving a number of problems since the beginning of civilization. As one of the oldest crops, it was originally used as a fibre for clothing and for wrapping mummies, where it was often called by its alternate name, “linseed.” But flaxseed’s role in history hardly stops at outerwear. Research shows flax cultivation for medicinal uses became a common practice in the Mediterranean region around 4000-2000 BC, while some claim its use dates back even further to the Neolithic Era.
Somewhere between then and now, the seed got pushed to the back shelf. It’s time to bring flax seeds benefits back up front. The seeds contain just the right amount of fibre, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and are excellent for your skin, hair and overall health.
Flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, which can help prevent constipation. They can also act as a laxative to treat constipation due to their high content of mucilage gums (a portion of soluble fibre). Interestingly, these gums become viscous, or flowing, at an optimal pH range of 6-8 (the same range as found in human intestines) which can help prevent constipation.
· Flax seeds can help lower blood pressure, prevent hardening of arteries and also slow down deposition of plaque.
· Diabetics who consumed flax seeds regularly saw a considerable reduction in insulin resistance and also had stabilised blood sugar levels.
· Just 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds can reduce hot flashes by half in peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
· Consuming flax seeds regularly can help fight swelling and inflammation in people who suffer from a deficit in omega-3 fatty acids.
· Flax seeds fight the enzyme that leads to male baldness.
· The antioxidants contained in flax seeds work like armour, protecting you from cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.
· Daily consumption of flax seeds can significantly lower cholesterol levels, keeping a check on heart diseases and obesity.
Benefits for Skin
· Flax seeds help the body secrete more oil, and keep it soft and supple, making it perfect for your winter diet.
· Massaging the skin with flax seed oil prevents moisture from escaping and also keeps wrinkles at bay.
· Flax seeds offer protection against skin damage from sun exposure and prevent skin cancer.
· Flax seeds control the production of sebum that could lead to acne. For acne-free skin, eat 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily.
· A healthy, proper bowel movement prevents skin diseases and encourages newer, healthier skin cells.
· Helps bowel movement. If the inside of your body is performing perfectly, the result will show on your skin.
· The omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds minimise skin rashes, irritation and redness, and also help wounds heal faster.
· Eating flax seeds makes your hair elastic and strong, and prevents hair breakage.
· The high amounts of fibre aid the digestive process by improving the absorption of nutrients, and also keep the stomach full for longer.
· Use flaxseed oil for hair to keep your scalp nourished and moisturised, and prevent flaking and dandruff.
· After applying flaxseed oil use Head & Shoulders Lemon Fresh shampoo for further dandruff reduction.
The only downside is that our bodies cannot digest whole flax seeds. In their powdered form, there are many ways you can add them to your diet.
· Mixed with water, as an egg substitute in baked goods
· In breakfast oats, cereals, raita and smoothies
· Add flax seed powder to bring a new dimension to your curries
· Sprinkle liberally in mayonnaise on your sandwich
· Edible flax seed oil can be used as a salad dressing
Add flaxseeds to your daily health routine. Buy the seeds whole and grind them at home in a coffee grinder. Store in a cool place and consume quickly for the maximum health benefit.