The Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
Flax seeds come from the flax plant which grows up to almost four feet tall. This plant produces seeds that are brown, yellow or gold in color. Flax seeds have been in use since ancient Babylon times. Later on it was introduced to many countries including India, Egypt, Ethiopia and other countries in the Mediterranean region. Today, they are popular throughout the world as, not only a delicious cooking ingredient, but as a household necessity for many health ailments and conditions. When you find about the health benefits of these, you will want to keep them as an addition to your kitchen cabinet.
Flax Seeds Are Good For the Heart
Flax seeds are rich in Omega 3s, which plays a role in lowering blood pressure. When you have too much low density lipoprotein (LDL)-also known as the bad cholesterol, the walls of your arteries get built up with fatty plaque. This will cause high blood pressure. This fatty plaque also restricts the blood flow through the arteries and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. By including flax seeds in your daily, you are playing a role in preventing the hardening of the arteries by reducing plaque buildup.
Flax seeds are also high in fiber. The fiber helps your body eliminate toxic waste by acting as a binding agent by collecting bile, cholesterol and fatty acids, making it easier for your body to get rid of it during elimination. This fiber is also good for your liver and heart since it helps keep your lowet the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. While the bad levels can be lowered, this fiber does not affect the good cholesterol. As a matter of fact it may even raise your levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol. The fiber in these seeds causes a laxative effect and plays wonders if you suffer from constipation. Flax seeds are also a major source of calcium. Not only will these seeds build and maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth, they also play a role in keeping your bad cholesterol at bay.
Flax seeds are a healthy source of Magnesium and manganese. One tablespoon is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health. These are both needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains both of these minerals play a key role in reducing blood pressure.
Magnesium helps keeps your calcium levels balanced. If you do not have enough of this mineral in your body, there can be an imbalance of potassium and calcium levels which can lead to a buildup of calcium in your kidneys. This calcium build up can lead to kidney stones. By including this staple in your diet, you may be able to prevent kidney stones. Manganese helps your body fight against free radicals because it helps stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase which is an enzyme that helps speed up the chemical reactions in the body.
In addition to magnesium and manganese, flax seeds also contain folate which plays a key role in making the cells in the body function properly. When you do not have enough folate in your daily diet, the levels on homocysteine in your blood can increase. Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots. By including these seeds in your daily diet, you may decrease the chance of getting a heart attack by at least thirty percent since these seeds are also loaded with Vitamin B6-Pyridoxine-which also plays a role in reducing levels of homocysteine, lowering cholesterol and unclogging arteries.
Flax Seeds Are Good For Diabetics
With over 25 million Americans being diagnosed with Diabetes, imagine how many people have this devasating disease worldwide. This is not a stand-alone disease because it can lead to other illnesses as well, including heart disease. “Diabetes tends to lower "good" cholesterol levels and raise triglyceride and "bad" cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke” (heart.org). Known as diabetic dyslipidemia, diabetics have a higher chance of dying from heart related diseases than those who do not have diabetes. Since it is already known that flax seeds lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, people with diabetes will have double the benefits of including these seeds in their daily diets. These seeds also play a role in regulating blood sugar levels
Other Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are natural pain relievers because they contain anti-inflammatory properties. These seeds help if you are suffering from joint pain due to arthritis. It is also good for relieving pain from sore muscles after a vigorous workout.
Flax seeds boost the immune system because they contain flavonoids. If you have a cold or the flu, adding a teaspoon of these seeds to a cup tea can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by doing this on a daily basis.
Flax seeds contain expectorant properties. They help with respiratory problems such as:
- Sore Throat
Flax seeds are a complete source of protein. The protein found in this oil provides the same amount of amino acids found in meat and eggs. These seeds are excellent to include in your diet especially if you are a vegetarian. You need protein if you want to lose weight and the amino acids play a role in burning fat. You need to give your body enough protein in your diet not only for a slim body but to protect it from illnesses.
Flax seeds are high in iron. This mineral helps transport oxygen and helps increase the amount of red blood cells in your body. Eating dark chocolate is the way to go if you want to prevent anemia.
Flax seeds are also high in zinc. If you want to maintain good eyesight and prevent conditions such as myocardial infarction include these seeds in your daily diet.
Where To Purchase Flax Seeds
While you can purchase flax seeds at your local grocery or health food store as whole seeds or a ground spice, you can also find them as:
If you can’t find these products locally, you can even find them online at sites such as Ebay or Amazon.
If you are already on blood thinners or are taking medications that lower cholesterol, do not take flax seeds before talking to your doctor.
Because of the laxative nature of flax seeds, avoid taking if you are suffering from diarrhea.
Always talk to your doctor before including flax seeds in your diet. These seeds may cause interactions with other medications and supplements that you may be already taking.
- Cholesterol Abnormalities and Diabetes | American Heart Association
The American Heart Association explains that people with diabetes are more prone to having unhealthy cholesterol levels, which contributes to cardiovascular disease or heart disease.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Lois Ryan