Are you a vegetarian or vegan who wants natural Omega-3, not from fish? Linum usitatissimum, commonly known as flaxseed or linseed, is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from this, flaxseed has many medicinal properties, which are helpful in the prevention or treatment of many diseases.
Did you Know?
Flaxseeds are considered one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. The earliest record dates back to the paleolithic era. Some pieces of evidence are the bible and mummies in Egypt. So, we can say that the use of flaxseed is as old as man.
In India, they are commonly known as alsi, tasi, jawas, and Atasi in Sanskrit. Today, in this article, we will tell the benefits, uses, and side effects of flaxseed.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
Nowadays, everyone is too busy with their jobs, affecting their diet and sleep and making their body a home of diseases.It is essential to include healthy food in your diet to take care of yourself.
Flaxseed is one solution that one should consume for the following health benefits:
Reduce weight & Cholesterol level
Cholesterol level and weight have a direct connection. Oily food, lack of physical work, and a balanced diet increase weight and cholesterol levels.
Studies show that flaxseed contains 35% dietary fiber. These fibers are non-soluble and give bulk to your food and fill up your intestine. As a result, your stomach remains full for a long time, reducing hunger and reducing weight.
Furthermore, a regular intake of flaxseed helps you get rid of harmful fat and bad cholesterol healthily and quickly.
Note: Consume one or two small spoons of flaxseed powder each day. It will be enough to reduce weight and cholesterol levels.
Helpful in Diabetes
Every family has someone with diabetes these days, right? It is crucial to control diabetes at the initial level.
Recent studies have shown that flax seeds can prevent diabetes. It contains a fiber called mucus and a compound SDG that reduces Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes risk.
Good for Kidney and Liver
Busy lifestyles and problems such as drinking less water, bad caffeine, and diabetes can cause kidney and liver diseases.
To prevent such diseases and infections, add flaxseed to your diet. The presence of Alpha-Linolenic Acid in flaxseed helps in reducing the risk of kidney and liver infections.
Effective in Cough, Cold, and Fever
Cold and fever are typical when a change of weather takes place. Flaxseed’s antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties work to cure and prevent cough, cold, and fever. Even ayurvedic medicines for fever include flaxseeds.
Prevention of Cancer
There were days when cancer was a sporadic disease. But now, cancer is no longer rare; it is one of the common diseases prevalent in India. Daily consumption of flaxseed can reduce the danger of cancer to a lesser extent.
Also, with the help of flaxseed, the growth of the tumor can get reduced in cancer patients.It includes omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of many types of cancer.
Recent studies claim that the lignans found in flaxseed have anti-cancer properties, especially for breast cancer.
Women should add flaxseed to their diet to reduce the risk of breast cancer after menopause.
Swelling in the Stomach
Many people get irritated by stomach problems caused due to not eating on time or eating spicy and oily foods. Although they are prevalent, you should not ignore your stomach’s voice.
Therefore, it is necessary to include flaxseed in your diet. It helps in fixing the inflammation in the stomach that can reduce the swelling caused due to stomach discomfort.
Solves Hair and Skin Problems
Flaxseeds’ medicinal properties also help in taking care of hair and skin problems. They are a rich source of Vitamin E (nature’s anti-aging vitamin), which helps solve skin problems such a s acne, rashes, and skin irritation.
All hair problems including, hair loss, rough hair, and dandruff on the scalp,have one solution—Flaxseed. It makes your hair shiny and strong with the removal of dandruff.
Beneficial in Asthma
The problem of asthma can be to anyone. Some home remedies are beneficial in asthma, and one of them is flaxseed. You should have known till now that flaxseed is a treasure of medicinal properties.
One with asthma can soak a teaspoon of flaxseed powder in the morning in a glass and drink it in the evening.
Note: Remember to soak the powder in glass glasses only for getting nutritional benefit.
Eases Menopausal Symptoms
Post-menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and hormonal balances are tough to handle for most women. Flaxseed eases these symptoms; however, there is no solid proof, and still, research is going on.
Furthermore, the University of Maryland Medical Centre has suggested that women take 2-3 teaspoons of flaxseed powder 2-3 times to promote fertility and keep the menstruation cycle regular.
Protects against Heart Diseases
Maintaining a healthy heart is necessary, but now the lifestyle has become a luxury rather than a necessity. Flaxseed is an easy way to protect the heart against heart diseases and is considered healthy for the cardiovascular system.
A study in the USA says that consumption of ALA present in flaxseed reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. But do not depend on flaxseed; try to change your lifestyle as well for better effects.
Reduces Ear Pain
Ear pain is expected due to dirt, ear infections, and soap while bathing. Many people use ear drops to get relief from the pain. But there is a natural solution also available.
One with ear pain can put flaxseed oil in their ear to reduce the ear pain for some time. We do not suggest you leave ear drops. However, in case you do not have them, then flaxseed oil will help you.
Use in Arthritis and Knee Pain
Earlier, joint pain was a sign of aging, but now middle-aged people also have knee pain and arthritis. Many times, people ignore it, and later pain becomes trouble.
You can eat flaxseed or apply it with mustard oil on your knee. The omega-3 fatty acid is anti-inflammatory which can provide relief through knee pain and arthritis.
Relieves Carpal Tunnel Pain
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by constant pressure on a nerve in your arm. It has symptoms like numbness, pain, swelling of the wrist, palm, and fingers.
A recent study on a group of 96 people has concluded that flaxseed gel can effectively relieve carpal tunnel pain. However, flaxseed gel is not available on the market, so you have to make it at your home.
To make flaxseed gel, you can apply the following steps:
- Take a pan and then boil one cup of water with two tablespoons of flaxseed (high heat)
- After some time, you will notice a gel-like consistency
- Slow down the heat and let it boil for a while
Note: Keep stirring the mixture well
- When flaxseed start to float on top, take the pan and strain the gel into a container
- Now, please keep it in the refrigerator, and congrats! Your homemade flaxseed gel is ready.
Types of Flaxseeds
Two types of flaxseeds are grown all over the world:
- Brown Flaxseed: Brown flaxseed is highly beneficial for heart diseases and also reduces fat cholesterol levels.
- Golden or Yellow Flaxseed:The amount of protein present in golden flaxseed is higher than brown flaxseed.
You can find both types of flaxseeds in the market effortlessly.
How To Consume Flaxseed?
Both types of flaxseeds are available in the superstores and food stores in the following four forms:
Whole flaxseed can be consumed alone or with other items. Keep in mind that while eating whole flaxseed, try to chew it properly. If you don’t chew it, then you will receive no nutritional value.
Ground flaxseed is easy to consume as you can use it in cooking. Most people prefer ground flaxseed or milled flax. This form is very beneficial as, during the grinding process, nutrients in flaxseed are released.
Basically, it is easier than chewing whole flaxseed. It can last upto 4-5 months but make sure to keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
You can take it as a powder in the morning or soak in water and drink it. Another way to make it delicious is to eat it with yogurt, rice, salad, pasta, etc.
Flaxseed oil is a commercial way to get the nutrients of flaxseed. Most people prefer it as an ingredient in cold preparations like smooth salad dressing.
Generally, three tablespoons of ground flaxseed are equal to 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil. However, we suggest you not use flaxseed oil in frying foods as it can make the stomach unstable.
Note: Flaxseed oil does not contain much fiber or protein. Also, it can expire in 7-8 weeks so, make sure to keep it in the refrigerator.
Flaxseed pills works same as flaxseed oil as it contains oil only. So, it comes with the same drawbacks as oil thus needs to be kept in the refrigerator.
Flaxseed pills provide all the benefits of whole flaxseed. But a person needs to take several capsules in a day to maintain the same benefit level.
Flaxseed Recommended Dosages
|Flaxseed Forms||Preparation||Dosage per day|
|Oil||Directly before meal||1 time|
|Powder/ Ground Flaxseed||½ teaspoon taken with 1 glass of lukewarm water after meal||2 times|
|Capsule/ Pill||1 or 2 capsules with lukewarm water||2 times|
Did You Know?
Have you ever thought about which fibergets used to make painting canvas? The stem of the flax plant is used to make fiber commercially used to paint canvas, threads, and linen fabrics. Surprisingly, the automobile industry is taking the place of carbon fibers.
Side Effects of Flaxseed
Anything in excess creates problems and side effects. No matter how much benefits flaxseed provide, if consumed excessively, then it comes with the following side effects:
- Eating flaxseed in excess, especially without drinking much water, can make the stomach unstable.
- All the medicinal properties of flaxseed are hot; therefore, it can be dangerous to consume it in pregnancy.
- Sometimes it can cause severe irritation, rashes, and itching.
- People with low blood pressure should always consult their doctor before consuming flaxseed.
- Women with excessive bleeding problems during menstruation and children are not allowed to consume flaxseed. Flaxseed can imbalance the hormones.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can we eat raw flax seeds?
Yes, but chew it properly to retain all the nutritional benefits.
Does flaxseed help you lose belly fat?
No, flaxseed cannot help you reduce fat in any specific body area. Also, focusing on one bodyspot can be unhealthy.
Are raw flaxseeds poisonous?
No, it is not poisonous, but it’s better to consult a doctor if you have any doubt.
After reading all the advantages of flaxseed, you must be eager to consume it. However, we suggest you consult your doctor if you are:
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Allergic to something
- Consuming drugs such as Antidiabetic drugs, Antiplatelet Drugs, or Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Having bleeding problems while menstruating
- Taking any contraceptive pills
So, yes, there are numerous advantages of flaxseed, and you have to be patient for seeing effects as it may take time. Eat flaxseed daily and let us know your experience.