For anyone who’s looking for ways to eat more healthy dishes and lose weight, it always pays to know more about the ingredients you eat on a daily basis. Additionally, knowing that there’s a substitute for these dishes can be a huge help for anyone looking for a healthy treat. One such ingredient you should acquaint yourself with is linseeds, or what is more commonly known as flaxseeds. Its Latin name is Linum usitatissimum, which translates to as “the most useful.” With its rich content of micronutrients, manganese, vitamin B1, dietary fiber and essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, you’ll be sure to get the nutrients you need for your health.
The seeds originate from one of the world’s oldest fiber crops: flax. This crop is believed to have been cultivated in ancient China and Egypt. According to history, it was King Charlemagne of the 8th century who popularized the use of flaxseeds for health. Knowing that flaxseeds contain a lot of health benefits, the King demanded his loyal subjects to consume the seeds. Additionally, he passed laws to ensure this was mandated.
What do flaxseeds contain?
There are a couple of main types of flaxseed—brown and golden. Despite some differences, both have a very similar nutritional profile and also have a similar amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Because these seeds contain healthy fat, fiber, and antioxidants; modern research has discovered evidence on why flaxseed can be good for the health—particularly in lowering the risk for certain cancers, diabetes and heart diseases. As a matter of fact, the American Nutrition Association has already highlighted how important this “neglected food” is.
To get a healthy body, you should include flaxseeds in your diet since these contain the following:
Among the major classes of phytoestrogens, which contain antioxidant qualities. As a result, they are able to hunt down the free radicals in the body.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Considered as “good fats,” omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the heart. Since the human body is unable to produce these essential acids, they may only be obtained from the right types of food. Flaxseed is one of the rich sources of this.
Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseeds are helpful in a number of ways. Because of its soluble fiber content, it is able to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels by creating a gel-like substance. On the other hand, its insoluble fiber content is able to add bulk to the digestive tract so that things get helped to move through quickly.
Additionally, flaxseed contains a very low amount of sodium and cholesterol.
Health benefits of flaxseed
To obtain the most number of advantages from flaxseeds, they need to be broken down into ground form. The reason behind this is because whole flaxseeds have a tendency of passing through the digestive tract without being digested by the body. By opting for ground form, you get to make the most out of the health benefits it provides.
Here are some of the health benefits of consuming flaxseed:
Prevents Hot Flashes
Postmenopausal women experience an uncomfortable condition known as hot flashes. With the regular intake of flaxseed, the sensation of hot flashes can be reduced to a great number. It not only helps alleviate these but also does a good job to improve one’s overall health and psychological needs.
Protects against Radiation
A diet inclusive of flaxseed can help protect the skin tissues from getting damaged by radiation. This is because of the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties found in flaxseeds.
A recently concluded Japanese study showed that by including flaxseeds onto your diet, you will get to increase the levels of eicosapentanoic and docosahexaenoic acids usually found in walnuts, fish and flax. By including this ingredient onto your diet, you can reduce the risk for depression attacks.
Researchers have found that those who include flaxseed on their diets are able to lower their cholesterol levels over those that eat a normal diet.
Improves Blood Sugar Levels
Based on evidence found on research, the intake of flaxseed on a daily basis can help in improving the glycemic control on men and women who are obese and candidates for diabetes.
Protects against Liver Disease
For anyone who drinks alcohol regularly, this can lead to some problems in the future. Apart from alcoholism, it can also put you at risk for liver diseases. Thanks to flaxseed, you can lower your risks of contracting the disease. By regularly consuming flaxseeds, this can be prevented.
Protects against Cancer
Flaxseed has been known to contain properties that help protect the body against certain types of cancer—specifically skin, colon, prostate and breast cancers. Thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, the growth of cancerous cells in the body are prevented by disrupting the malignant cells from clinging onto the other healthier body cells. Additionally, the lignans found in flaxseed contain anti-angiogenic properties; which are known to stop tumors from forming on new blood vessels.
Precautions of consuming flaxseed
Pregnant women are recommended to avoid consuming flaxseed so that they can have a healthy pregnancy period. This is because flaxseeds have an estrogen-like property that can affect pregnancy. Apart from pregnant women, individuals with bowel obstruction problems should also avoid consuming flaxseeds for its high content of fiber.
Side effects of consuming flaxseed
Some of the known side effects of consuming flaxseed include the following:
- Stomach pain
If you encounter any of these side effects, you may stop your intake of flaxseeds until you have sought the advice of your physician. He will know whether or not you are suitable to take flaxseeds and include it in your daily diet.
Where to buy flaxseeds in Singapore
In Singapore, you can purchase flaxseeds from a local health food supplier or a grocery store. These are usually readily available in the health food section and are typically sold in its ground form for easy digestion. Some places to buy flaxseeds in Singapore include Giant, Bukit Timah Plaza, NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice Xtra, and many more.