The Amazing Facts About Flax Seeds

November 12, 2012

The Amazing Facts About Flax Seeds

The flax seed is similar to a grain in that it shares similar vitamins and minerals, however the flax seed massively out does a grain with its abundance of other nutritional properties including fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It is becoming very popular with intuitionalists who recommend the seed particularly for people dieting. It is low in carbs but high in healthy fat and fibre, which gives dieters and full and satisfied feeling quicker and for longer. Flax seed is not only high in the B vitamins but by covering 3 other nutrient groups by being high in omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and phytochemicals gives the seed many benefits. In order to profit from these benefits flax seeds must be eaten ground, rather than whole, as they will pass straight through or as an oil, as it loses its fibre and phytochemical properties. Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in fighting inflammation within our bodies and helps to reduce the risk of diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Omega-3 should be at a balanced level with Omega-6 fatty acids, provided by soy oil and corn oil, to be the most beneficial for your body. Flax seeds are incredibly high in fibre making them a great food to help lower cholesterol. Fibre is also important to promote healthy and well functioning intestines and to help stabilize blood sugar. Phytochemicals or antioxidants such as lignans are thought to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and can be even more significant in the female body. Lignans are known to balance female hormones and thought to reduce menopausal symptoms, promote fertility and even prevent breast cancer. Flax seeds should be stored correctly otherwise it could succumb to oxidation. When kept within the seed it can be stored a very long time but as an oil or meal it can go rancid. Due to the high fibre levels you should increase the amount you eat slowly or it can have cramping and a laxative effect. Also, although research so far has shown phytooestrogens to be beneficial, it is yet unknown if there are any side effects of having too much. US government guidelines state that 2 tablespoons of flax seed a day is an effective amount, but other researchers say that up 6 spoons a day is still perfectly safe. You can purchase flax seed from health stores and it is advised to buy whole flax seed rather than flax seed meal and grind it yourself as this is cheaper, the flax will last longer and you can be more confident that it is still fresh. Flax seed should taste slightly nutty with no bitter or harsh flavours. If you suspect that it has gone rancid, throw it away. When eating meals using flax products, make sure to drink plenty of water to balance out the fibre content. Remember to grind the whole flax seeds in order to get the most benefits. Try sprinkling raw or toasted flax on yoghurt, cereal or shakes or have a look online for many ideas for recipes using flax seeds.

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