Also known as the linseeds their plants have been long used for making clothes. More recently it has become apparent that the seeds of this blue flowering plant are very nutritious. Flax is cultivated mostly in Canada, Russia and the Ukraine as they require loam and fertile soils for successful growth.
There are two types of flax seeds: golden and brown which both have very similar beneficial properties.
Flax Seeds Nutrition
Flax seeds are mainly known as a rich source of dietary fibre. It has been found that it regulates the increase of lipids in the blood after a meal. It is causes more balanced rise and decrease in triglyceride levels thus controls the appetite of an individual. This might have a slimming effect for some people as the metabolic processes are slowed down thus the body require less energy.
Phytoestrogens found in flax seeds more commonly known as lignans have antioxidant properties. Not just they bind free radical but also might hold cancer preventing benefits. This chemical is put under research to confirm or reject any health claims. The results have shown the lignin role in binding to estrogen receptors thus reducing risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. An improvement in menopause health has also been found.
Flax seeds are rich in most B complex vitamin except B12 and B9. B vitamins are essential for a normal metabolism and are need for normal functioning of nervous and cardiovascular systems. Especially B1 which is the most commonly found B vitamin in flax seeds possibly enhances brain function. However lack of B vitamin will lead to general metabolic abnormalities and deficiencies. Insufficient intake of vitamin B might even worsen other severe illnesses like HIV/AIDS and diabetes cause optical neuropathy for alcoholics.
Like Chia seeds and Walnuts these seeds also contain high amounts of minerals. Most high they are in Magnesium and Phosphorus although also contain Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium. Magnesium has been used for muscle relaxation and treating hypertension. Magnesium positive ions cause the Calcium ion channels in nerve cells close thus blocking further conductivity of nervous impulse. It is also present in almonds. On other hand Phosphorus intake might protect against tooth decay and prevent soft bones.
Benefits of eating flax seeds:
- Balance the hunger and satiety feelings
- Contribute to weight loss
- Reduce cholesterol levels in blood
- Prevent cardiovascular illnesses
- Potentially prevent different cancers
- Improve immunity
- Protect the nervous system
- Prevent osteoarthritis
- Enhance brain functions
- Might help against spasms and muscle pain
- Contribute to treating hypertension
- Protect skeletal system from degeneration
- Boost metabolism
- Improve general health