Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
Is flaxseed the new wonder food? Preliminary studies show that it may help fight heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.
preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected.
Flaxseed is found in all kinds of today’s foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal.
One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains the following:
- Protein:3 grams
- Carbs:2 grams
- Fiber:9 grams
- Total fat:3 grams
- Saturated fat:3 grams
- Monounsaturated fat:5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat:0 grams
- Omega-3 fatty acids:1,597 mg
- Vitamin B1:8% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6:2% of the RDI
- Folate:2% of the RDI
- Calcium:2% of the RDI
- Iron:2% of the RDI
- Magnesium:7% of the RDI
- Phosphorus:4% of the RDI
- Potassium:2% of the RDI
The Health Benefits of Flax
Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids
“Good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.
If you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, flaxseeds can be your best source of omega-3 fats.
They are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a mostly plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.
Although Lilian Thompson, PhD, an internationally known flaxseed researcher from the University of Toronto, says she wouldn’t call any of the health benefits of flax “conclusively established,” research indicates that flax may reduce risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease.
Flaxseeds contain a group of nutrients called lignans, which have powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties. They may help in preventing breast and prostate cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
Interestingly, flaxseeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
In fact, Charles the Great ordered his subjects to eat flaxseeds for their health. So, it’s no wonder they acquired the name Linum usitatissimum, meaning “the most useful.”
Flaxseeds Are Rich in Dietary Fiber
Just one tablespoon of flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 8–12% of the daily recommended intake for men and women, respectively.
What’s more, flaxseeds contain two types of dietary fiber — soluble (20–40%) and insoluble (60–80%).
This fiber duo gets fermented by the bacteria in the large bowel, bulks up stools and results in more regular bowel movements.
The high fiber content of flaxseeds can help lower cholesterol and may play an important role in improving heart health.
Flaxseeds May Lower Blood Pressure
Studies on flaxseeds have also focused on its natural ability to lower blood pressure.
While that might seem insignificant, a 2-mmHg reduction in blood pressure can lower the risk of dying from stroke by 10% and from heart disease by 7%.
They Contain High-Quality Protein
It’s likely both the animal and plant protein meals stimulated hormones in the gut to bring about the feeling of fullness, which resulted in eating less at the next meal.
Flaxseeds are a good source of plant-based protein and can be an alternative protein source for people who do not eat meat.
Flaxseeds May Help Control Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem worldwide.
It’s characterized by high blood sugar levels as a result of either the body’s inability to secrete insulin or resistance to it.
A few studies have found that people with type 2 diabetes who added 10–20 grams of flaxseed powder to their daily diet for at least one month saw reductions of 8–20% in blood sugar levels
Flaxseeds Keep Hunger at Bay, Which May Aid Weight Control
If you have the tendency to snack between meals, you might want to consider adding flaxseeds to your beverage to stave off hunger pangs.
Flaxseeds’ dietary fiber content may aid weight control by suppressing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness.
Having said that, these reasons are enough to rightly justify why we should consume more of it!