Are Flax Seeds Good For Health-Reaping the Health Perks of Powerful Flax Seeds
Are Flax Seeds Good For Health
Among all the trendy superfoods cluttering market shelves promising improved wellness from their consumption, humble flax seeds remain one of the most legitimately nutrient-dense options backed by mounds of research. These tiny brown wonders overflow with heart-helping omega fats, fiber, protein and protective compounds documented to benefit nearly every organ. Read on to understand why you should be incorporating flax into more meals and are flax seeds good for health.
Defining Flax Seeds
Flax seeds come from flax plants (Linum usitatissimum) first cultivated over 7,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia but still grown prolifically across the northern hemisphere today. Their attractiveness stems from both utilitarian needs and nutritional merits.
Several components of the flax plant prove useful for textiles and manufacturing needs:
- Seeds/Oil processed for nutritional consumption
- Fibrous stalks woven into linen fabric
- “Flax straw” pulp material for paper, biofuels, building materials
This article focuses specifically on the wondrous health bonuses derived from consuming flax seeds whole or processed into flaxseed oil which brims with beneficial nutrients explaining their popularity through the ages and tells are flax seeds good for health.
What exactly accounts for flax’s extraordinary nutritional resume and are flax seeds good for health? For such tiny packages (measuring just 5mm long by 2mm wide), flax seeds overflow with:
- Protein – 5g per 2 Tbsp serving, providing essential amino acids
- Fiber – 8g per 2 Tbsp, half soluble/half insoluble for balanced gut health
- Omega-3 ALA fats (essential) – 6g per 2 Tbsp, providing anti-inflammatory benefits
- Lignans – 6 times more than any other food source, supplying potent antioxidants
- Minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, zinc, copper and calcium
Alongside boasting this stellar macro and micronutrient content, flax also leads the produce pack containing global highest levels of phenolic anti-oxidants offering natural disease protection. Now let’s explore some top health perks accessible simply by ingesting more flax…
Digestive Wellness Support
With both soluble and insoluble fibers present in the mix, flax seeds support smooth digestion and healthy elimination. The mucilaginous gel quality of flax fibers helps regulate intestinal motility, reduce blood sugar spikes after eating, removes waste and toxins efficiently plus decreases nutrient absorption issues.
For those struggling with chronic constipation, flax seed fiber helps retain moisture in stools for easier passing while also feeding gut probiotics to balance microbial populations. It’s gentle enough even for those suffering from conditions like IBS, Crohn’s or diverticulitis.
Thanks to phenomenal fiber, plant protein, omega-3 and lignan phytonutrient content, numerous studies confirm flax benefits cardiovascular wellness in complementary ways.
To start, flax fiber again helps modulate blood glucose control after eating to prevent sharp insulin spikes. The anti-inflammatory ALA fats lower inflammation involved in plaque formation while improving vascular elasticity. Lignans and other antioxidants also relax arteries while lowering blood pressure.
According to connected findings published by the European Journal of Nutrition 2013 analysis, studies demonstrate consuming just 25 grams daily of milled flax seed for a minimum of 12 weeks significantly decreases both systolic and diastolic readings as well as regulating blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides for improved circulation.
Cancer Risk Reduction
With sky-high antioxidant and phytochemical profiles, adding flax into regular diets associates with lower risks of developing certain hormone-related cancers. The lignans in particular (alongside fiber and protein components) appear key to reducing breast, endometrial, ovarian and prostate cancer prevalence per findings of several meta-analyses encompassing thousands of patients.
Proposed mechanisms behind cancer protection involve:
- Hormone modulation lessening stimulation factors promoting proliferation
- Antioxidant activity reducing inflammation
- Fiber binding to waste hormones like estrogen, encouraging elimination
- Alterations in cell growth regulators like IGF-1 preventing excessive proliferation
While no single food serves as a silver bullet, smart dietary choices accumulation evidence of cancer prevention over time.
Brain Boosting Perks
The anti-inflammatory omega fats EPA/DHA receive well-deserved praise for benefitting cognitive health and mood regulation. However plant-derived ALA omega-3s like that found in flax seeds also play important roles since the body can (modestly) convert ALA into DHA/EPA over time given adequate stores.
Neurological components affected by omega deficiency include:
- BDNF levels: Key growth hormone dictating neuron health
- Immune-modulation: Controlling neuroinflammation
- Neurotransmitter activity regulation: Via phospholipid stores affected by fatty acid status
Though more studies continue investigating the mechanisms involved, linseed/flaxseed oil supplementation demonstrates particular promise for improving mood disorders like depression, anxiety and ADHD in multiple studies. Again no panacea yet positive accumulative effects exist according to accumulated research.
Skin, Hair and Nails Beautification
Anecdotal beauty hacks encourage applying flax oil directly to hair and skin as a nourishing face mask or conditioning hair treatment due to thick mucilaginous consistency. And indeed when consumed internally too, the dense nutrition better supports glowing locks, strong nails and youthful skin regeneration too for improved aesthetics.
In particular the fiber and Omega 3s foster regrowth and luster for both damaged hair and nails while the phenomenal antioxidant profile combats acne plus dreaded signs of aging. The abundance of B-vitamins also kickstarts cellular regeneration for faster repair and turnover revealing renewed radiant beauty inside and out!
Weight Management Aid
Between the hunger-squelching fiber keeping you satiated for hours on just a spoon or two of whole/ground seeds plus the metabolism optimizing protein content, incorporating flax allies effective weight loss efforts.
Lignans may also help by balancing hormone signaling associated with fat accumulation and distribution particularly in abdomen and hips. By keeping blood sugar stable, flax likewise prevents energy crashes and excessive hunger pangs thwarting many dieters best intentions! Adding bonus anti-inflammatory assistance too for body wide benefit, flax seeds support healthy sustainable weight management in multiple complementary mechanisms.
Humble flax seeds indeed deserve the pedestal they stand upon as nutritional rockstars benefitting nearly every organ system safely and affordably. They versatility as both food and homeopathic medicine across millennia still relevantly resonates today with abundant research backing observed benefits spanning:
✓ Digestive regularity ✓ Heart health optimization ✓ Lowered cancer risks ✓ Brain boosting sharpness ✓ Skin/hair/nails beautification ✓ Sustainable weight management
So whether sprinkling flax into your morning oats, blending into post workout smoothies or whipping up homemade seed bars, adding just two tablespoons daily provides profound advantages. Reap the perks flax offers!