Flaxseeds are one of the most powerful superfoods today. If that’s not enough of a reason for you to include them in your diet, Yamini Walia tells you about a few important benefits
Good things come in small packages, and with flaxseeds, it couldn’t be more true! These tiny seeds may seem inconsequential, but they can really pack a punch in terms of the health benefits that they offer. Since flaxseeds are found in most ready to eat foods these days, anything from your waffles to your oatmeal can contain them. This is probably because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your heart healthy; lignans, which contain both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities; and soluble and insoluble fibre. Here we tell you why you should include them in your diet.
Recent studies have shown that flaxseeds have a protective effect against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. Their lignan provides content protection against cancers by blocking out enzymes that boost the growth of tumour cells.
Protect your heart
Research suggests that plant-based omega-3, which is present in flaxseeds, boosts your cardiovascular health through several different mechanisms including anti-inflammatory action and maintaining normal heartbeat. So, including flaxseeds in your diet keep your heart healthy.
Cure or reduce the risk of diabetes
Flaxseeds are good for diabetics, primarily because of their lignan content. Lignans can modestly improve blood sugar levels, lowering the risk of diabetes.
Two constituents of flaxseeds, ALA and lignans, may reduce inflammation that can result in certain illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and asthma. These components block the release of certain inflammatory agents.
Help with hot flashes
For women, a diet that includes flaxseeds is the cure to every hormonal problem — well, almost! A study of menopausal women, published in 2007, reported that 2tbsp ground flaxseed by mixing it into cereal, juice or yogurt, twice a day, can cut hot flashes in half. The intensity of the hot flashes also reduces by 57%. The women noticed the benefits after consuming flaxseeds for just one week and achieved the maximum effect within two weeks.
According to Greek researchers, flaxseed oil helps control blood pressure. In their 12-week study, conducted on 59 middle-aged men, they discovered that the consumption of flaxseed oil resulted in significantly lowered blood pressure readings. So, add flaxseed oil to your diet and you will be saving yourself from the headaches associated with hypertension.