What are Flax Seeds: Benefits, Side Effects & Recipes
Flaxseed – the superfood of the world is not a new discovery. In fact, it is one of the oldest cultivated crops under the sun. The Latin name Linum usitatissimum of flax seed means “very useful”. Indeed, it is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids in plants. It also contains many other essential nutrients.
Historians say Flax seed was a known crop in Babylon in 5000BC. It was one of the essential foods of Aztec warriors. King Charlemagne passed a rule to consume flaxseeds daily in his kingdom. Even people from India, China, and many other Asian countries are consuming flax seeds from ages.
Now, after many scientific researches, scientists say that flax seed is helpful in reducing the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, strokes, and cancer. It is one of the useful foods to reduce inflammation and improve gut health.
Nutrition in Flax Seed
Enriched with fiber, linoleic acid (LA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed is an excellent source of many nutrients.
USDA recommends taking 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds (2.5g) daily that contains:
|Energy (Calorie)||13.4 kcal|
|Total fat||1.05 g|
|Vitamin B6||0.012 mg|
Also, every 100 g of flaxseed contains 49.0g mg of phytosterols.
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flaxseeds have numerous health benefits and they have some great health effects in many diseases (some are discussed below):
Recent researches recommend that the lignans in flaxseed may provide some amount of protection against cancer. Studies on animals state that the plant omega-3 (ALA) in flaxseed has subdued tumor growth.
Some studies also suggest that flaxseed may protect against colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. The researches and studies on flaxseed are in a primary stage. In upcoming years, more facts will be there to prove the certain effects of flaxseed against cancer.
However, the benefits of the exposure of flax seed at adolescence cannot be ignored. Some studies suggest that flaxseeds decreases the risk of breast cancer and also increases the survival rate in breast cancer patients. Lignans also balance the hormones and hence reduces the risk of endometrial cancer as well as ovarian cancer.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
According to a recent research, plant omega-3 helps in lowering the blood pressure, normalizing the heartbeat, and controlling anti-inflammatory actions. Studies also suggest that omega-3s in flaxseeds keep the arteries smooth. Also, Lignans in flaxseed help to reduce atherosclerotic plaque by almost 75%.
Studies also revealed that daily intake of flaxseed controls cholesterol levels. In menopausal women, the flaxseed decreases the low-density lipoprotein level. The studies were done on women who consumed 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed every day for a year.
According to PubMed, flaxseeds reduce blood pressure. A Canadian research states that the consumption of 30g of flaxseeds daily for six months can lower the systolic pressure by almost 10mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mmHg.
Just a reduced blood pressure by 2 mmHg can also reduce the death from stroke by up to 10%. Also, it reduces the risk of heart diseases by 7%.
ALA and lignans perhaps reduce the inflammation. It also helps to block the release of a few pro-inflammatory agents. Flaxseeds is beneficial in Asthma and Parkinson’s diseases as well.
Side-effects of Flaxseeds
Although flaxseed is a magical crop with a bounty of health benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. Let’s see who cannot consume flax seeds.
- People suffering from low blood pressure must avoid flax seeds. Flaxseed reduces the blood pressure and it may fatal for low BP patients.
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid flax seeds.
- If you have a medical condition and you are taking medicine, consult your doctor for the right dose of flaxseed daily.
- Flaxseed is hot in nature. It can cause diarrhoea, stomach ache, constipation, bloating, and intestinal obstruction.
Described below are a few recipes that you can prepare at your home easily:
1. Spicy Ground Flax Seed
- 1 small bowl flax seed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- One teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon tomato powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (or as per taste)
- Half teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder
- Roast the flax seed on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Rest aside the roasted seed and let it cool.
- Once the roasted seed is completely cooled down, grind it into a mixer and make a fine powder.
- Now add all the spices and mix well.
- Put the spicy flax seeds powder in an air-tight jar.
You can eat the powder with either vegetable, rice, and lentils, or any other fluid of your choice. Squeeze a lemon before eating and enjoy the power food.
2. Healthy Flax Seed Muffin
- Roughly ground flax seeds: 2 cups
- Natural sweetener: ¼ cup
- Baking powder: 1 tablespoon (you can use gluten-free baking powder also)
- Rock Salt: ½ tablespoon
- Water: ½ cup
- Eggs: 5 larges
- Coconut oil or any refined oil: 1/3 cup
- Vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
- Dry fruits: 2 tablespoons (whatever you like)
- Ground cinnamon: 1 tablespoon
- Preheat the oven at 350°F.
- Line the muffin pan with a non-bleached paper.
- Mix flax seeds, dry fruits, sweetener, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon powder in a bowl.
- Mix eggs, water, oil, and vanilla extract into another bowl. Blend them until it becomes foamy.
- Now add the mix flax seed into the foamy structure and mix well with a spatula. Let the mix sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour mixture into muffin pan. Make sure each muffin cavity is filled almost ¾.
- Now, bake it for 15 minutes. You can do the toothpick taste to check if the muffins are baked properly.
- Once baked, remove the muffins from the oven and also from the muffin cavity immediately.
- Let it cool. Once it is cooled, relish the keto muffin.
- You can keep the muffin for 3 months in the freezer or eat it within three days.
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