Flaxseeds: Here's How These Tiny Seeds Can Help Manage Different Health Conditions
Flaxseeds are loaded with fibre. They are also known as a popular source of vegan protein. Flaxseeds are also helpful in managing different chronic conditions, let's find out how.
Flaxseeds can help you keep constipation at bay
- Flaxseeds are rich in fibre and carry essential omega 3 fatty acids
- Flaxseeds may help you lose weight
- Flaxseeds can be added to breads, cupcakes, smoothies and shakes
Flaxseeds are considered one of the wonder foods these days, less researched in earlier days, it has now created a buzz in the food industry. It made an impressive entry because of immense benefits it holds. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, alpha linoleic acid, fibre and antioxidants etc. Flaxseeds are available for human consumption in four main forms which are whole flaxseed, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil and partially defatted flaxseed meal. In some countries, a new product has been developed which is Flax Milk which is beneficial for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Flaxseeds are supposed to have a nice nutty smell & aroma, hence considered to be good to be incorporated in different foods but because of very high omega-3 fatty acid content in flaxseed make it liable to become rancid through oxidation, and the propensity for bitterness. The high content of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) renders it highly susceptible to oxidation. So the usage shall be direct or highly regulated.
As per various researches, most commonly they are used in baked goods as exposure to high oven temperature for two hours does not alter its composition and hence flavour. Flaxseeds have been incorporated successfully into snack bars, muffins, bagels, bread, buns, tea biscuits, cinnamon rolls and pasta etc.
Benefits of flaxseeds for different conditions
Flaxseeds and Diabetes: As per studies, flaxseed supplementation reduced blood glucose in subjects with type 2 diabetes and lowered blood glucose in subjects with prediabetes. Flaxseed derived gum and lignan supplement also decreased blood glucose in persons with Type 2 diabetes as per a study.
Flaxseeds and Cardio Vascular Disorders: In the people with cardiovascular disease, dietary flaxseed provides powerful protective effects. According to research, it involves decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Both brachial and central blood pressures were significantly reduced by consumption of dietary flaxseed.
Flaxseeds and Menopause: Dietary flaxseed also exhibits a protective effect in menopausal symptoms. Several studies have examined the effects of flaxseed or its bioactive ingredients on the quality of life and the frequency and severity of hot flashes in post-menopausal women. It has been reported that an ease has been seen in post-menopausal women upon consumption of flaxseeds.
Flaxseeds and Brain: Flaxseeds have a positive effect on brain function is good for memory and brain related functions. Some studies have also reflected an anti-depressing effect and improvement in mind state of people who are undergoing extreme stress condition.
Flaxseeds and Gastro Intestinal Health: Flaxseed consumption improves gut flora. It has shown significant results in improving the bowel movement, and eases constipation. It also aids in weight reduction, regulates fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides and LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. Flaxseed may also be of use in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Also read: 6 Side Effects Of Consuming Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds and Skin: Incorporation of flaxseed in diet has shown significant improvement in skin; also have a healthy effect on aging. It has also been revealed that its inclusion in diet reduces skin sensitivity, decreases the transepidermal water loss leading to increase in skin hydration and smoothness, reduces skin roughness and scaling. So don't miss out on your daily dose of magic.
So it has been clearly indicated above that including dietary flaxseeds in diet has immense benefits and the daily essential dose of 1 Tablespoon can start inducing benefits in the body and positive health. Also keep in mind to have good amount of water when you are consuming the flaxseeds due to scientific reasons.
(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)
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