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The Health Benefits of A Flaxseed

Published on Sep 05, 2016 in Natural Ingredients

In recent years, flaxseed has been experiencing a kind of renaissance. Like other new-age popular superfoods such as Goji Berries, Macadamia Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, and Brazil Nuts, Flaxseed combines health benefits and great taste in one package. Many people are interested in this seed, also called by the name of linseed, which is the richest source of plant-based Omega-3. Everyone knows that Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in fish, but for those of us who are not fish eaters, or who may avoid consuming animal products altogether, flaxseed is a surefire way to get all of its benefits, including the high Omega-3 count. Flaxseed has been used as a food and fiber for thousands of years, and it was – and in some areas, still is – a very popular crop. It is worth adding these little seeds to your diet, be they in raw seed form or oil form. More on those two soon, but first, let’s talk about the Health Benefits of Flaxseed!

Flaxseed Nutrients

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Flax Plant

The flax’s seed is an excellent source of Omega-3, and a good source of fiber and protein. It contains large amounts of vitamin B, manganese, phosphorous, and magnesium. It also contains selenium, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, and zinc, all in good amounts. It contains 7 times the amount of antioxidants which are in sesame seeds (the closest runner-up to flax seeds). These are a lot of nutrients, packed into such a small package, which is part of what makes the flaxseed so unique.

Health Benefits of Flaxseed and Effect on the Body

Studies on the flaxseed and its health benefits are still being conducted, and so far it has been linked to clearing up skin, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, reducing sugar cravings by balancing the body’s hormone levels, fighting certain types of cancer, promoting healthy weight loss, and even revitalizing hair and nails. Good things really do come in small packages, like the health benefits of flaxseed!

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Flaxseed

The effect this seed has on the body, and in particular on the body’s digestive system, is significant. Two tablespoons of flaxseed a day can give your body the boost it needs to maintain its health and vitality. Obviously, you should also be eating right and staying in motion, regardless of these amazing seeds. You can’t simply add two tablespoons of flaxseeds to your diet and assume that you can then continue with any self-destructing habits you may have, such as excessive smoking and drinking. Everything needs to be in moderation, and that includes all foods and substances, be they healthy or, well, less healthy. The antioxidants in flax have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Contrariwise, for those who are still experiencing their monthly cycle, the flaxseed can help the cycle regulate itself, and it is all thanks to the phytoestrogens which are present in the seeds. There has been some discussion regarding the long-term effects of phytoestrogen on the body, and the jury is still out on that one.

Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

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Flaxseed Oil

Using the seeds in their natural or oily form is something which can be done daily, and the only recommendation is not to exceed the recommended daily amount. There are rare cases of allergic reactions to flaxseed, so if you plan on adding them to your diet or your beauty regimen, consult with your doctor, shaman, guru, or pharmacist. Seriously though, it can pose a threat to those who have a tendency for allergic reactions, so get your health professional’s okay before incorporating it into your menu. Linseed oil is also edible, and it is used in certain areas of the world as a food. It does not have a long shelf life at all. It can become rancid easily when exposed to oxygen, so your best bet would probably be to place it in the refrigerator. Even so, you need to take care, and place the oil is a vial which is glass or another material which won’t hasten the oil’s breakdown.

Flaxseed Around the World

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Flaxseed is Enjoyed Around the World

Fun fact – the ancient Egyptians really loved the flax plant. The thriving flax can be seen painted on the walls of various temples. The plant was highly cultivated, and it was even made into a fabric and used to create the clothes for the Egyptian priests. The flax textile was also used in the mummification process, and the ancient Romans used it for creating sails for their ships. Currently, the three largest producers of flax are Canada, Chine, and Russia. The oil which is produced from the flaxseed, often titled linseed oil, is somewhat yellow or even colorless sometimes. It has the tendency to become solid at certain conditions, which is why it is widely used in products such as paint binders and wood polishers. It is also used to solidify or harden substances such as clay or putty. Furthermore, it is used in the manufacturing process of linoleum.

Eating and Cooking with Flaxseed

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Flaxseed in Salad

Although the oil can be eaten, it is not generally recommended to cook with it. When it reaches the smoke point, like with other oils, it releases free radicals and may cause more harm than good. Either way, normally, it makes the food taste and smells bad, and that would be enough for you to want to stay away from linseed as a cooking oil. So, while you may not want to cook with it (not unlike certain kinds of almond oil), there is nothing wrong with adding it to various dishes and salads. Some even use it as a substitute for butter.

In cooking, it can also be used in its ground form. Obviously, it depends on the recipe, but it is a good thing to keep in mind. There is a more natural replacement for nearly all animal-based products. The flavor of linseed oil is a nutty (albeit light) one. It is not a heavy kind of oil, and it probably won’t take over any dish’s flavor. If you are interested in use flaxseed as a food or supplement, make sure you get the proper kind. See if your recipe requires oil or actual seeds. The seeds themselves are sold when they are ripe and ready, and they are very tasty in baked goods, in a bowl of cereal, with yogurt, and even in ice creams.

Conclusion

Flaxseed Oil is one of the most helpful seeds you’ll find which can improve your diet and day to day life via the health benefits of flaxseed – try some today and start boosting your lifestyle! Thanks for reading our feature, check back for more on the world’s greatest superfoods here at Maple Holistics!