Flax Seeds - Health Benefits
Flax seeds are tiny seeds that have many health benefits. They are rich in nutrients, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and plant compounds that may help prevent and treat various diseases. Here are some of the main health benefits of flax seeds and how to include them in your diet.
Flax seeds are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is good for your heart. ALA may help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Flax seeds also contain lignans, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lignans may help protect your blood vessels from damage and prevent the buildup of plaque.
To improve your heart health, you can add ground flax seeds to your smoothies, oatmeal, salads, or baked goods. You can also use flaxseed oil as a dressing or a cooking oil.
Flax seeds are high in fiber, which can help improve your digestion and prevent constipation. Flax seeds have both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can feed your good gut bacteria and add bulk to your stool. Flax seeds also have mucilage gums, which are sticky substances that can form a gel-like layer in your intestines. This can slow down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol, and help you feel fuller for longer.
To support your digestive health, you can soak whole flax seeds in water overnight and drink the liquid in the morning. You can also sprinkle ground flax seeds on your yogurt, cereal, or soup.
Flax seeds may help lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Flax seeds have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar after eating them. Flax seeds also contain lignans, which may improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
To control your blood sugar levels, you can eat flax seeds before or with your meals. You can also mix ground flax seeds with water and drink it as a beverage.
Flax seeds may help protect against certain types of cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Flax seeds have lignans, which may act as phytoestrogens or antiestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. Antiestrogens are substances that block the action of estrogen. Both phytoestrogens and antiestrogens may modulate the growth and development of hormone-sensitive tumors. Flax seeds also have omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which may prevent inflammation and oxidative stress that can damage your DNA and trigger cancer.
To reduce your risk of cancer, you can eat flax seeds regularly as part of a balanced diet. You can also take flaxseed supplements or oil after consulting with your doctor.
Flax seeds may help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Flax seeds are high in fiber and protein, which can keep you satisfied for longer and reduce your appetite. Flax seeds also have a low energy density, which means they provide fewer calories per gram than other foods. Flax seeds also have lignans, which may regulate your hormones and metabolism.
To achieve your weight goals, you can eat flax seeds as a snack or add them to your meals. You can also replace some of the flour or oil in your recipes with ground flax seeds or flaxseed oil.
Flax seeds are small but powerful seeds that have many health benefits. They are easy to incorporate into your diet and can improve your heart health, digestive health, blood sugar levels, cancer prevention, and weight management. However, flax seeds also have some potential side effects and interactions with certain medications. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before consuming large amounts of flax seeds or taking flaxseed supplements or oil.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456