Health Articles - Flaxseed benefits


  Flaxseed benefits

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linacea. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt. Flax is an annual plant, 18 -36 inches tall, with small and thin leaves and blue flowers. Flax is cultivated both for seed as well as for fiber. It is an ancient plant with variety of uses. The different portions of the plant have been utilized to produce fabric, medicines, paper, dye, fishing nets in addition to soap. A vegetable oil known as linseed oil or flaxseed oil is produced by the seeds. In addition to this flaxseed meal is used as animal feed. According to researchers, there is an evidence that flaxseed is good for improving overall health or preventing diseases.

Flaxseed Nutritional Value:

Whole flax seed –Ground meal: contains 28% dietary fiber, (7 – 10% soluble fiber, 11 - 18% insoluble fiber), 40% fat (73% of it being polyunsaturated fatty acids), and 21% protein.

Flax seed is nutritious seed packed with all vital vitamins and minerals. Flax seed nutrients include vitamins E and B,it has a very good levels of vitamin b6 and vitamin b3,vitamin k is also found in good amounts in addition to Riboflavin(vitamin-b2) , and mineral nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, phosphorous and potassium, and excellent source of manganese and magnesium.

More than 50% of the fat in flax seed is an essential fatty acid called omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA), which makes flax seed the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acid. Flax seed oil obtained from the seeds also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acid.

Flax seeds have high levels of fiber content which are useful for weight loss.

Flax seed is rich in antioxidants, such as lignans and other phenolic molecules.

Unlike the ground meal and powder, flax seed oil contains no dietary fiber.

Health Benefits of Flax seed:

Flax seed has excessive quantities of the essential fatty acids like Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Linoleic acid and arachidonic acids. Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon .Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Research studies have suggested that n-3 fatty acids by their asset of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, eye disorders  and even some cancers like breast , colon and prostate cancers. According to research studies , regular intake of small portions of flax seeds in the diet helps to lower total cholesterol  and LDL(bad cholesterol) levels and helps in increase of HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the blood.

Flax Seed as a rich source of Fiber both soluble and insoluble form helps in lowering cholesterol. The high dietary fiber in flax seed helps stabilize blood sugar, and helps in relieve constipation and other irritable bowel syndrome.

Along with alpha linolenic acid, flax seed is richest plant source for Lignans, a class of phytoestrogens having antioxidant and cancer preventing properties. These potent antioxidants work all over the human body to eliminate the free radicals. Lignans are also associated with lowering serum cholesterol and blood glucose levels and improving insulin tolerance. 

Flax seed is often used food to stimulate milk in lactating mother.

Intake of flax seed may increase bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Tips to include Flax seed in diet:

  • You can add flax seeds before baking bread, buns, cookies and muffins.
  • You can add tea spoon of flax seed powder to yogurt while you eat.
  • Tea spoon of ground flax seed can be added to breakfast cereal.
  • A tea spoon of flax seeds can be added to mayonnaise or mustard while making sand wiches.
  • Sprouted flax seeds can be added to soups and vegetable salads.
  • Adding flax seeds to baking products add flavor.

  Diet Topics


 Ask Doctor  

  Health Info

  Find a Doctor