The flax plant is native to the Mediterranean and India. There are two main types of the flax plant oil and seed variety and fiber variety. Different parts of the flax plant are used to make things like soap cloth paper and medicine. Flax seeds and oil (also known as linseed oil) extracted from the seeds have numerous health benefits. The flaxseed is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids lignans (a type of antioxidant) and fiber. Linseed oil does not contain lignans and fiber but only Omega-3 fatty acids.
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The diet that most Americans follow gives them the necessary amount of Omega-6 but not enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids helps the immune system fight inflammation caused by various bacteria and viruses. These inflammations are precursors to conditions such as asthma cardiovascular disease diabetes arthritis and some cancers. A person can reduce the likelihood of contracting such diseases by including flax in his or her normal diet. Research has shown that anti-inflammatory properties flaxseed is also effective in reducing intestinal inflammation related to Crohn’s disease.
Flax seeds are rich in lignans (about 800 mcg per mg) which is a powerful antioxidant. The lignans found in flax seeds called secoisolariciresinol glucoside (SDG). The SDG in flax seed helps to keep the level of female hormones balanced. It also increases fertility in women reduces the chances of breast cancer and reduce the symptoms that appear before menopause.
A healthy flaxseed diet can help keep arteries clean and reduce blood pressure which is important in preventing the onset of heart disease. Research conducted at the University of Toronto has shown flax to be very effective in controlling cholesterol levels. The study showed that cholesterol was lowered by 9% in a group of women who consumed 50 grams daily for a period of 4 weeks.
A proper intake of flaxseed can also help people manage their weight because flax seeds help control the level of sugar in the blood. Eating flaxseed about 30 minutes before a meal will stop you from eating too much because flax seed increase by 5 times when ingested. You can easily take flaxseed in your meal by sprinkling of powdered (grounded) form of the food. Flax seeds also help with weight loss by improving the metabolic rate.
The nutritional content of flax seeds can help alleviate various health problems and conditions such as osteoporosis lupus gout constipation hemorrhoids attention deficit disorder (ADD) eczema psoriasis and. Flax seeds can also improve energy levels and reduce physical and mental stress.