Well, we have tried nearly every fruit, nut, leaf and seed to maintain our health or to turn healthier. But have you tried flaxseeds yet? If you are answering with a negative, you have been doing something wrong, all this while! Want to know why? Read further.
Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The best form to consume flaxseeds is in its ground-form. Sometimes, eating the linseeds as whole could pass through the digestive tract, undigested.
The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fibre crops in the world – known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. It’s a great source of healthy fat, antioxidants and fibre. If we are to go by what modern research says, evidence suggests that flaxseeds are a solution to lower the risk of chronic ailments like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
#FlaxTrivia: It was King Charlemagne of the 8th century who believed strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed, which made it famous as an essential nutrient in everyone’s diet. He demanded his loyal subjects eat the seeds regularly and also passed laws to make sure that the same happens.
Though flaxseeds contain everything that is essential for your body’s development, there are certain components that you could consider before buying flaxseeds online in India:
- Fibre: Linseeds contain both, soluble as well as insoluble fiber which is necessary to function the body system from within.
- Lignans: Flaxseeds contain both, plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities that is almost 5-7 times more than most other plant foods.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Each tablespoon of flaxseed provides nearly 1.8 grams of plant omega fatty acid which are the “good fats”, much required for our physical functioning.
As far as various ailments are concerned, flaxseeds can help reduce the risk of many fatalistic ailments from occurring such as:
Today most people are under high risk of suffering from cancer and since this disease does not have any form of cure, and tends to bring a person only closer to death, through pain; it is a sad sight.
Although, consuming flaxseeds can help drastically since they have a protective effect against breast, prostate and colon cancer. There are two essential components, i.e., Omega Acids and lignans in flaxseeds which contribute for this to happen.
- Cardiovascular Diseases
Omega 3s is helpful for the body’s different mechanisms, especially to normalise the heartbeat and anti-inflammatory actions as well as lowering the blood pressure levels. Also, the amino acid content in the flaxseeds contribute towards hardening of the arteries and help to keep the WBC’s from sticking towards the walls of the blood vessels.
Eating flaxseed daily may also help your cholesterol levels. The level of LDL or “bad “cholesterol in the bloodstream has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
For people who suffer from diabetes, it is best advised to have a good intake of lignans. To ensure this takes place, anyone who has diabetes, if includes flaxseeds in their regular diet do not have to worry. Essentially since, Lignans help in improving the blood sugar on modest levels that are good for Type 2 Diabetes patients.
But Then, Flaxseeds aren’t your Magic Pills! Why?
After reading all of the above, do not rush to get your flaxseeds, available online and across various stores. You may want to believe that Flaxseeds are the mystery food solution to every health problem you face. And though we do not want to disappoint you, it is necessary to realize that there is no such one foodstuff that can guarantee good health.
It can majorly contribute in the improvement of your health, if you keep your diet conditioned in a favourable manner. But a healthy lifestyle also counts while making smart dietary choices!
Though there are no specific side effects about consuming flaxseeds in your diet, it is often advised for pregnant and lactating women to avoid any supplements.
Buy it ground, or grind it yourself. Flaxseed, when eaten whole, is more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested, which means your body won’t get all the healthy components. If you want to, you could grind flaxseed yourself, and the little coffee grinder could help best!
Milled = ground = flax meal. Don’t be confused by the different product names for ground flaxseed such as “milled” or “ground flaxseed” is the same thing as “flax meal”.
Buy either brown or golden flaxseed. Golden flaxseed is easier on the eyes, but brown flaxseed is easily available in most supermarkets. There is very little difference nutritionally between the two, so the choice is really up to you!
Find it in stores or on the Internet. Many supermarket chains now carry ground flaxseed (or flax meal). It’s usually in the flour or “grain” aisle or the whole-grain cereal section and is often sold in 1-pound bags. In India, it might be difficult to find it in supermarkets at certain places, although flaxseeds are available online in India.
You can buy flaxseeds online at www.naturalmantra.com
Check the product label. When buying products containing flaxseed, check the label to make sure ground flaxseed, not whole flaxseed, was added. Flaxseed is a featured ingredient in cereals, pasta, whole grain breads and crackers, energy bars, meatless meal products, and snack foods.
Add flaxseed to a food you habitually eat. Every time you have a certain food, like oatmeal, smoothies, soup, or yogurt, stir in a couple tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Soon it will be a habit and you won’t have to consciously do anything about it!
Use it in baking. Substitute ground flaxseed for part of the flour in recipes for quick breads, muffins, rolls, bagels, pancakes, and waffles. Try replacing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flour with ground flaxseed if the recipe calls for 2 or more cups of flour.
Keep it in the freezer. The best place to store ground flaxseed is the freezer. Freeze pre-ground flaxseed in the bag you bought it in or in a plastic sealable bag if you ground it yourself. The freezer will keep the ground flax from oxidizing and losing its nutritional potency.
Whole flaxseed keeps longer. The outside shell in whole flaxseed appears to keep the fatty acids inside well protected. It’s a good idea to keep your whole flaxseed in a dark, cool place until you grind it. But as long as it is dry and of good quality, whole flaxseed can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.
Hence, Flaxseeds are the best option to incorporate as a part of your everyday diet, and also make some good changes towards your lifestyle. Making your life healthy ensures longevity of your life and keeps you away from the pain of the diseases and the related money swallowing hospital bills!