Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, and is one of the most important plant sources of alpha-linolenic acid. This fatty acid is converted to DHA and EPA, which have many health benefits. They reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. Flaxseed oil is often used as a salad dressing or in smoothies. It can also improve skin health and promote hair growth.
Other health benefits of flaxseed include its ability to help regulate blood sugar. The fiber in flaxseed can slow the absorption of blood sugar. It also has prebiotic properties, which have anti-inflammatory effects in the gut and are helpful in reducing the risk of digestive issues. Flaxseed also promotes regular bowel movements, and it is also beneficial to the heart and nervous system. So, while it is rich in fiber, it’s also high in protein.
Another flaxseed health benefit is that it may protect against certain types of cancer. Flaxseed contains lignans, which inhibit the growth of tumor cells. A study from the New York Medical College of America found that women who consumed flaxseed regularly had a decreased risk of developing breast cancer. This is consistent with results in many studies. But despite the positive effects of flaxseed, further studies are needed to verify the efficacy of the seeds against breast cancer.
It may help lower cholesterol naturally. The effects of flaxseed on cholesterol levels were studied in a landmark study. In it, a low-fat diet was compared to the effects of a statin drug and a low-fat diet with flaxseed and ground flaxseed. After two months of treatment, cholesterol and triglycerides were measured. Flaxseed and other omega-3 fatty acids may also lower cholesterol.
While flaxseed in its whole form is unlikely to be digested, the benefits of flaxseed supplementation are more easily absorbed through a processed food. Flaxseed in oil and powder form is easier to digest and retain nutrients. Flaxseed is more readily available in food stores. To obtain flaxseed, you can order it from various websites. It is also possible to buy flaxseed in bulk.
Ground flaxseed can be used in many dishes. Flaxseed has a nutty flavor, which makes it ideal for mixing with salad dressings, soups, cereal, and mayonnaise. Flaxseed is also easily added to yogurt or oatmeal. You can also stir a tablespoon or two into your yogurt or cereal. Whether it’s ground or raw, flaxseed has numerous health benefits.
Researchers found that a study of menopausal women who consumed two tablespoons of ground flaxseed two times a day cut their hot flashes in half. In addition, the intensity of hot flashes decreased by 57%. Results were noticeable after a week and the maximum benefit was noticed in two weeks. However, the researchers found that no significant reduction was seen in breast cancer patients or postmenopausal women.
Other research indicates that dietary flaxseed may help protect against ischemic heart disease by enhancing vascular relaxation responses and inhibiting ventricular fibrillation. However, a recent study by Vedtofte et al. (2011) found that higher ALA intake did not significantly reduce ischemic heart disease risk. Although flaxseed is a valuable food source, its net benefits may not be apparent until further research is conducted.