Flax can be consumed as whole seed, or in the milled or oil form. Flaxseeds are tiny, brownish, flat seeds which are very nutritious and if included in the daily diet, could help to keep lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease in check. Flax adds flavour, nutrition, and health benefits to a variety of foods and has a mild, nutty taste.
Flaxseedis a good source of the ‘good fat’ Omega-3 fatty acids, Lignans, rich in antioxidants and estrogen content; and Fiber.
Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of the omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a polyunsaturated fat that keeps the heart healthy.
Lignans reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, slow the aging process, and increase overall wellness. Flaxseeds provide up to 700 times more lignans than whole grains or legumes.
Flax is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, providing three grams of fiber per tablespoon. One tablespoon of milled flax contains as much dietary fiber as one slice of whole wheat bread, one-half cup cooked brown rice, one-quarter cup cooked oat bran, and one-third cup cooked, chopped broccoli.
Fiber in flax is good for the heart, colon, and digestive health, and can relievethe effects of type 2 diabetes.
For people with Type 2 diabetes, lignans present in flaxseed are known to help control blood sugar levels. The fiber in flax helps trap glucose and fat in the stomach, and slows the release of glucose in the body preventing sugar spikes, and improves both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Heart Disease: Antioxidants in flaxseed lower blood pressure and normalize a person’s heartbeat.
They also help to reduce the formation of plaque in the arteries and reduce the hardening of the arteries.
They keep a check on the LDL levels or ‘bad cholesterol’ levels and so they are beneficial in conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Tips to include flaxseed in your diet:
Have one tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder every morning on an empty stomach for maximum benefits.
Or add it to fresh juice.
Or sprinkle one tablespoon of flaxseed powder on any dish you prepare if you want to use it in cooked food but do not put into hot oil, because this can cause taste changes. High heat also reduces the beneficial properties of flaxseed.
Too much of anything is bad, so don’t have more than a tablespoon a day