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Flaxseed

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Flaxseed

The medicinal herb Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil as an alternative herbal remedy - Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant, which is believed to have originated in Egypt. It grows throughout Canada and the northwestern United States. Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds.Common Names--flaxseed, linseed

Latin Names--Linum usitatissimum

What Flaxseed Is Used For

  • Flaxseed is most commonly used as a laxative.
  • Flaxseed is also used for hot flashes and breast pain.
  • Flaxseed oil is used for different conditions than flaxseed, including arthritis.
  • Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been used for high cholesterol levels and in an effort to prevent cancer.

How Flaxseed Is Used

  • Whole or crushed flaxseed can be mixed with water or juice and taken by mouth.
  • Flaxseed is also available in powder form. Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and capsule form.
  • Flaxseed contains lignans (phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens), while flaxseed oil preparations lack lignans.

What the Science Says about Flaxseed

  • Flaxseed contains soluble fiber, like that found in oat bran, and is an effective laxative.
  • Studies of flaxseed preparations to lower cholesterol levels report mixed results.
  • Some studies suggest that alpha-linolenic acid (a substance found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil) may benefit people with heart disease. But not enough reliable data are available to determine whether flaxseed is effective for heart conditions.
  • Study results are mixed on whether flaxseed decreases hot flashes.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is funding studies on flaxseed. Recent studies have looked at the effects of flaxseed on high cholesterol levels, as well as its possible role in preventing conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
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Side Effects and Cautions of Flaxseed

  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil supplements seem to be well tolerated. Few side effects have been reported.
  • Flaxseed, like any supplemental fiber source, should be taken with plenty of water; otherwise, it could worsen constipation or, in rare cases, even cause intestinal blockage.
  • The fiber in flaxseed may lower the body's ability to absorb medications that are taken by mouth. Flaxseed should not be taken at the same time as any conventional oral medications or other dietary supplements.
  • Tell your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including flaxseed or flaxseed oil. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.

News About Flaxseed

Could flaxseed cause low blood pressure?

By Sandhya Raghavan

Not drinking enough water with flaxseed could be causing the problem says expert.

Have you ever had flaxseed chutney or ate a spoonful of the seeds to feel dizzy and nauseous later on? Welcome to the club. Many people feel uncomfortably lightheaded hours after consuming flaxseed. And something tells us the side effects may not be just an unfortunate coincidence. Flaxseed was hailed for its many awesome health benefits, from promoting cardiovascular benefits to preventing cancer. But the infallible flaxseed may not be so great after all.

A few years ago, after losing a lot of hair, someone suggested that I try eating a spoonful of flaxseeds with my breakfast. It is common knowledge that flaxseed is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and lignans, both of which are great for the hair. Unfortunately, I could never find out whether it actually did any good to my hair because I had to quit midway. Just hours after taking a spoonful of flaxseeds, I started feeling dizzy, nauseous and lightheaded, and the feeling lasted all day.

Although I gave flaxseed the benefit of the doubt on the first day (you know, because flaxseed can do no wrong), I pretty much knew that it WAS the culprit because I had the same symptoms the next day after eating a spoonful of the seeds. A quick check on Google revealed that a lot of people ended up having same symptoms as mine after eating flaxseed.

Some websites even mentioned that since flaxseed had a hypotensive effect (lowering blood pressure), the dizziness and nausea could be because of a sudden drop in blood pressure. That added up because I have ALWAYS had low blood pressure and I suspected that all the flaxseed I was eating was worsening it.

Science, unfortunately, didn’t yield any satisfactory answers. A 2013 study published in the PLoS in 2007 said that elderly individuals with underlying health problems might be at risk of low blood glucose1 and low blood pressure2 while taking flaxseed supplements. However, another one published in Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology said that supplements of flaxseed did not cause any episodes of low blood pressure or low blood sugar in healthy individuals between the age group of 49-87.3

Dietician Geeta Shenoy explains what could have probably gone wrong: “Flaxseed is a highly fibrous food, and too much fibre doesn’t agree with a lot of people. If the same people had flaxseed oil instead of seeds, they wouldn’t show any adverse reactions.” Nausea could be because of the fibre overload on the digestive system, which could cause a host of side effects.

“Also, most people don’t realise that a fibre-rich food like flaxseed should be taken with a lot of water. Not having enough water could cause side effects like nausea in people who cannot tolerate high fibre foods,” says Geeta.


Flaxseed Egg Substitute for Baking

By Annie B. Bond (Care2 Green Living Staff)

Using flaxseeds in place of eggs is a great vegan trick for baking, but you don’t have to be vegan to benefit from this great substitution. Flaxseeds are a nutritional powerhouse and sneaking some into baked goods is an easy way to get some of their wonderful nutrients into your diet. Read on for an easy tip on how to substitute flaxseeds for eggs.

Flaxseeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that appears to be beneficial for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and a variety of other health conditions. They also contains a group of chemicals called lignans that may play a role in the prevention of cancer.

With all of this goodness, it seems like a great idea to get flaxseeds into one’s diet in any way possible. One great way is to use flaxseeds in place of eggs in baked goods.

To replace one egg:
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
• tablespoons water (or other liquid)
- Stir together until thick and gelatinous.
You can also use whole flaxseeds:
• 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds
• 4 tablespoons water (or other liquid)
- Process seeds in a blender to a fine meal, add liquid and blend well.

You can make a bigger batch by increasing the ingredient amounts. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


How to Use Flaxseed and Flaxseed Meal

By Laura Dolson (Reviewed by a board-certified physician)

Many people are adding flaxseeds and ground flaxseed meal to their diets as flax is gluten-free and low-carb. The flax seed also carries a big nutrient payload. While it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains and has more fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids than most grains. In addition, it does not contain gluten.

Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars.

Its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance. Some dieters say flaxseed helps keep them feeling satisfied.

Flax, the Seeds, and Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseeds (or linseeds) are the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen cloth. Flax was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent region. Flax was cultivated extensively in ancient Egypt where linen was used in priestly and royal clothing and temple walls had paintings of flowering flax. The Phoenicians traded Egyptian linen throughout the Mediterranean and the Romans used it for their sails.

There are brown and golden varieties of flaxseed and they have similar nutrient composition. Health food stores, specialty stores, and online sources have flaxseed, and most supermarkets stock it. It is sold both in bulk and in packages.

Flaxseed has a pleasantly nutty taste. The whole seeds keep well, but they need to be ground into meal for you to get their full nutritional benefit.

A simple spice or coffee grinder can do this in seconds.

Flaxseed Nutrition and Health Benefits

Flaxseed contains high levels of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, and dietary minerals. Flaxseed is especially rich in thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus. As a percentage of total fat, flaxseed contains 54 percent omega-3 fatty acids, mostly alpha-linolenic acid, 18 percent omega-9 fatty acids, or oleic acid, and 6 percent omega-6 fatty acids, or linoleic acid.

Consuming flaxseed or its derivatives has been found to reduce total and LDL cholesterol in the blood, with greater benefits in women and those with high cholesterol. The health benefits include:

• Flaxseed Is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation may be enhanced it you have too little omega-3 intake (found in fish, flax, and walnuts), especially in relation to omega-6 fatty acid intake (found in oils such as soy and corn oil). In the quest to equalize the ratio of these two kinds of oils, flax seed can be a real help. Most of the oil in flax seeds is alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 that is a precursor to the EPA and DHA fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty cold-water fish. Because not everyone can easily convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it is best not to rely solely on flax for your omega-3 intake. However, ALA also has good effects of its own and definitely helps in the omega-3 and omega-6 balance.
• Flaxseed is High in Fiber: You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber— both soluble and insoluble—than flax. This fiber is probably what is chiefly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar and promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
• Flaxseed is High in Phytochemicals: These include many antioxidants. It is perhaps the best source of lignans which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones.
• Oil: Note that flaxseed oil lacks the fiber and the phytochemicals of whole flax seed meal.
Is Flaxseed Meal the Same as Flaxseeds?

You need to grind flaxseed to release its nutrients, and you can find both the whole seeds and ground flaxseed meal for sale. Whole flaxseed stays fresh for up to a year if stored correctly. However, it will go rancid more quickly after being ground up into meal. For this reason, many people choose to buy whole flax seed and grind it into meal themselves using a coffee grinder.

If you purchase the meal, follow these guidelines:

• Purchase from a source where you’re sure there is rapid turnover.
• Ideally, the meal should be refrigerated at the store.
• The bag should be opaque as light will accelerate spoiling. The quick rancidity is due to the high fat content of flax seeds.
• Vacuum-packed packaging is the best because it prevents the meal from having contact with oxygen before opening.

Buying whole flaxseed eliminates the uncertainty of how long flax meal has been on the shelf. It’s also less expensive this way. Anytime you taste flax meal that is at all bitter, throw it away. It should be mildly nutty tasting and not at all harsh. Grinding Flaxseed Meal and Storing

You can buy an inexpensive coffee grinder to make your flaxseed meal. You only need to grind them for five to 10 seconds as they are not as hard as coffee beans. Depending on the capacity of your grinder, you may have to grind multiple batches to get enough flax meal for a recipe.

Storing Flaxseed and Flaxseed Meal

Whole flaxseed should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place like a refrigerator or freezer to be on the safe side. Flax meal should be stored in the freezer and used up within a few weeks. You can keep the flax in the bag it came in or in a zip-type storage bag.

Tips for Using Flaxseed
• Drink plenty of water. The soluble fiber in flax will soak up water, and if you don't drink enough, constipation may result.
• Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high-fiber diet.
• If you purchase the whole seeds, you need to grind them up to get the benefit.
• Flax is often used as an egg substitute in baked goods. The soluble fiber adds structure to the food.
• About 2/3 to 3/4 cup of flaxseed yields 1 cup of flax meal.
Flax Recipes and Serving Suggestions

If you're not sure how to start incorporating flaxseed into your diet, try the suggestions below:

• Raw or toasted: Sprinkle over cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt, or breakfast cereal. Use it in shakes and it will thicken them somewhat.
• Cooked in a hot cereal: For example, try hot flax peanut butter cereal.
• Cooked into other foods: Try meatloaf, meatballs, or casseroles.
• In baked goods: Add a few tablespoons to any recipe, or try the following, which rely on flax as a flour:
• Flax Seed Focaccia Bread
• Chelsie’s Cranberry Cinnamon Muffins
• Almond Flax “Doughnut” Muffins
• Flax Seed Pizza Crust
• Miracle Brownies
• Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Crackers
Flaxseed Safety and Side Effects

Concerns about flaxseed revolve around four potential issues. However, remember that a lot of research about the wonders of flax show few or no problems from eating it. To the contrary, it has shown many benefits:

• Big Fiber Load: Since flax has such a high fiber content, it's best to start with a small amount and increase slowly; otherwise, cramping and a laxative effect can result. People with irritable bowel syndrome may have an especially strong reaction to it and should be extra-careful
• Oxidation/Rancidity: The oil in flax is highly unsaturated. This means that it is very prone to oxidation (rancidity) unless it is stored correctly. The very best way to store it is in nature’s own storage system—within the seed, which will keep for a year. The meal can only be kept fresh for a few months. The oil must be protected by refrigeration in dark containers and preferably be consumed within a few weeks of opening. The oils inside the seeds are quite stable when the seeds are used in baked foods. Researchers theorize that this is due to the high levels of antioxidants in the seeds.
• Hormonal Effects: Lignans contain phytoestrogens. Although research has shown them to be beneficial so far, it is unknown what effects high doses of phytoestrogens might have.
• Cyanide: Like many other foods (cashews, some beans, and others), flax contains very small amounts of cyanide compounds, especially when raw. Heat, especially on dry flax seeds, breaks these compounds down. However, our bodies have the capacity to neutralize a certain amount of these compounds. U.S. government agencies say that 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (about 3 tablespoons of flax meal) per day are safe. That is probably an effective dose for health purposes. Various researchers who have used up to 6 daily tablespoons of the seed in different studies indicate that the amount they were using was safe.
A Word From Verywell

Flaxseeds and flaxseed meal are excellent sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and can be used on a low-carb and gluten-free diet. Whether you grind it yourself or buy it ground flaxseed meal, explore new recipes and ways to use this healthy ingredient.



The benefits of flaxseeds

By Linda Drummond (bodyandsoul.com.au)

Hailed with burning body fat, being high in omega-3s and charged with fibre, these little seeds can really fire up your metabolism

The seeds from the flax plant can be used whole, ground to make meal or used to create a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil (or linseed oil). Flaxseed is one of the most concentrated plant sources of omega-3 fats. Flaxseeds contain 50 to 60 per cent omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid. Flaxseeds are also rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, dietary fibre, a group of phytoestrogens called lignans, protein and potassium

The seeds' high fibre content is beneficial for heart health, and the fact that they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Findings published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that the seeds (not the oil) can reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol by a significant amount, particularly in post-menopausal women. A study published in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology found that ground flaxseeds slow the growth of prostate cancer tumour.

The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds aren't taken up as well by the human body as the omega-3 in fish oil, which is why greater levels of flaxseed need to be consumed to meet our omega-3 needs. Care needs to be taken with storage, as flaxseeds are an unsaturated fat. Unless they're stored in a sealed container in a cool place, they can go rancid quickly. Flaxseeds, whether ground or whole, have a very high fibre content, so if you're introducing them into your diet, it's best to start slowly and increase the levels gradually to avoid cramping, bloating or an excessive laxative effect.

People with irritable bowel syndrome should speak to their doctor before consuming flaxseeds due to their high fibre levels. Those with a seizure disorder should avoid flaxseed supplements as omega-3 supplements may induce seizures. Blood-thinning medications, blood sugar-lowering medications, topical steroids, cholesterol-lowering medications and anti-inflammatories can all be affected by flaxseeds, so speak to your doctor before taking supplements or increasing dietary levels of flaxseeds.

Flaxseeds are an ideal way for those who don't eat sufficient oily fish to ensure they get enough omega-3. Ideally, buy the seeds whole and grind them in a blender to make the meal. Flaxseed meal can also be used as a binder or egg substitute in baked goods for people who are allergic to eggs. The seeds can be sprinkled on fruit, vegies, cereal and yoghurt, while flaxseed meal can be used in baking or to bulk out meat dishes. This way you increase your omega-3 levels and fibre intake at the same time.


What is flax? Is flaxseed good for you? Health benefits of linseed explained

By Alice Foster

FLAXSEED is one of the trendiest superfoods around at the moment. But what is flax and what are the health benefits of linseed?

As flaxseed becomes increasingly popular as a health food, nutritional therapist Anoushka Davy explains the health benefits of flax.

What is flax?

Ms Davy said: “Flax, flaxseed and linseed are all the same thing - they are names for the seed that comes from the flax plant.”

The flax plant has blue flowers and is cultivated for its nutritious seeds from which linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil, is made.

Linen, yarn and fabric can also be made from the flax plant, which is one of the oldest textile fibres used by mankind.

Is flaxseed good for you?

Ms Davy said: “Flax is very good for you, it is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre and a good source of omega 3 fatty acids for vegetarians and vegans.”

She said that oily fish is still a better source of omega 3 because some people are not able to convert the omega 3 found in flaxseed into the active form very well.

The blogger, who has a private practice in London, said flaxseed is also high in lignans - chemical compounds that can modulate your body's natural estrogens.

She said: “This can lead to a protective and preventative effect against conditions such as breast cancer and heart disease.

“There has been controversy as to whether flaxseed should be avoided or included for women at risk of hormone dependent cancers such as breast cancer due to flaxseed's hormone modulating effect.

“But on the whole research has favoured flaxseed as having a positive effect.”

She said studies show that flaxseed leads the body to improve the ratio between the two main forms of estrogen metabolites.

Flaxseed increases 2-OH estrogen, which is seen as beneficial, but decreases 16-OH, which is linked to breast cancer and estrogen dominance conditions, she added.

“Whole flaxseeds tend to pass through the gut undigested, so can be helpful to aid constipation as it bulks the stool," Ms Davy said.

“Whereas ground flaxseed is where you will get the rest of the benefits from - the lignans, the omega 3 etc.”

You can add flaxseed oil to food after cooking or use it as a dressing for salad but it should not be used as a cooking oil.


If You Eat Only One Superfood, Make It Flaxseed

By Katie McDonough

In recent years, flaxseed has entered the spotlight as a "superfood" -- an edible that has all the characteristics of a superhero, except maybe hotness. (That is, unless Jennifer Lawrence is a blueberry.)

Although its fame is relatively new, flaxseed has been around for thousands of years. Many civilizations have cultivated the flax plant for its fibrous stems, which can be used to make linen cloth. But when it comes to the many gifts of Linum usitatissimum, the seeds may be the greatest of all. Here's why:

They're jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids

While the term fatty acids may not get your mouth watering, they're actually a ridiculously important part of your diet. Why? Because your body can't make them. You need omega-3s for energy, brain function, and routine cell maintenance, but that's just the beginning when it comes to their health benefits. For instance, because they reduce inflammation, omega-3s may help decrease the risk of some of the scariest chronic conditions.

They fight cholesterol like William Wallace fought the English

OK, so there's no sword fighting involved. But high cholesterol -- the waxy, fat-like gunk that builds up in your arteries -- can be a sign that you're at risk of having a stroke or heart attack someday if you're not careful. Those with very high cholesterol may require medication, but flaxseed is a valuable weapon if you want to go au naturel.

They keep things movin' -- if you know what I mean

If you don't know what I mean, I'm talking about your bowels. Flaxseed is full of fiber, which is pretty much a lifesaver in embarrassing situations such as gastrointestinal discomfort and constipation. All clear in the poop department? Good for you, but flaxseed's fiber content can also help in other ways, such as regulating your blood sugar levels and keeping your weight in check. They're absurdly easy to incorporate into your diet

The seeds of the flax plant are teeny-tiny, so it's easy to sprinkle them on or stir them into just about anything without much effort. That said, they do have a nice nutty flavor, which makes them a nice complement to lots of dishes. For breakfast, add them to your oatmeal or yogurt. For lunch, sprinkle them on a salad. For dinner, knead them into bread or pizza dough. You can even use them as an egg replacer when baking.

Pro tip: Go ground

If you want to get the most out of these wunder-seeds, go for the ground version, also called flaxseed meal. The whole seeds can sometimes travel through your system without being digested, robbing you of the full force of their superpowers.



The Power of Flaxseeds

By Leo Galland M.D. and Jonathan Galland

If you are looking for a great source of healthy fat, fiber and antioxidants, take a look at flaxseeds. These little seeds are easy to use, have an appetite-satisfying flavor and some big benefits. Flaxseeds are a great source of the omega-3 fats necessary for optimum nutrition. They might even help you lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. And, with a great nutty taste, ground flaxseeds make a wonderful addition to a healthy recipe. Making fresh and delicious homemade granola or a super smoothie is easier than you think. Or, you can just sprinkle some flaxseeds on your favorite dishes for a quick boost of nutrition, as we indicate below.

As one of the world’s leading authorities on nutritional medicine, Dr. Galland has long championed the benefits of flaxseeds in his lectures, books and interviews.

Studies indicate the powerful nutritional benefits of flaxseeds for general health, as well as weight loss and diabetes prevention.That’s why we included lots of delicious recipes featuring flaxseeds, such as Omega Blast Granola, Blueberry Flax Pancakes and Carrot Raisin Muffins in our book The Fat Resistance Diet.

Seeds of Nutrition

Flaxseeds pack a lot of nutrition inside their hard external shell. That’s why we recommend grinding them fresh. Flaxseeds have potent antioxidants call lignans that can help reduce inflammation. They are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, a beneficial omega-3 fat. And flaxseeds have fiber.

Exciting research indicates that eating flaxseeds might contribute to substantial benefits such as lowered cholesterol, (including LDL-cholesterol), and lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, an important measurement for inflammation. Flaxseeds have been shown to help slow the absorption of sugar from a meal. And for women, flaxseeds can help balance hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone, decreasing cramps.

Simple Solution

Enjoying flaxseeds is a snap, simply find them, then grind them. Finding them is getting easier all the time with natural sections springing up in supermarkets. Try to get organic flaxseeds, because oils can concentrate pesticides. When grinding, remember safety first. You can grind flaxseeds in a clean coffee grinder when ready to use, so they are fresh ground each time.

Toss about one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds:

• Into oatmeal.
• Over breakfast cereal.
• Into smoothies.
• Into yogurts.
• Over salads.

Once you get the hang of using flaxseeds, it becomes a healthy part of your routine.


Do You Eat Flax Seeds Raw?

By Bethany Lalonde

Small, shiny, flat and with a slightly pointed shape, you can eat flaxseeds in a number of ways -- including raw -- and add them to a number of dishes to increase the nutritional profiles. Nutrition experts typically recommend ground flaxseed over whole seeds because grinding makes them easier to digest, notes MayoClinic.com. If the flaxseeds pass through your system undigested, you don't get all the health benefits. Raw flaxseeds do contain some trace amounts of cyanide and cadmium, two harmful elements, which however, do not detract from the overall health benefits. This is primarily because cyanide and cadmium exist in such small quantities they are considered relatively negligible.

Nutritional Profile

A 1-tablespoon serving of ground flaxseeds contains 37 calories. While this may seem like a lot, this small serving is chock full of essential nutrients. It contains 3 grams of fat with only .3 grams of saturated fat. It contains no cholesterol and 1.9 grams of dietary fiber. A single serving also has almost 1.3 grams of protein, as well as 7 percent of your daily magnesium requirement, 4 percent of your daily phosphorus requirement and 2 percent of your daily calcium requirement.

Dietary Fiber

A 1-tablespoon serving of ground flaxseeds supplies you with 8 percent of your daily fiber needs. Dietary fiber not only makes you feel fuller faster, it also helps with digestion and prevents constipation. Fiber also slows down the passage of food through your digestive system, giving it more time to absorb necessary nutrients. Adding flaxseeds to your diet is a simple way of increasing your daily consumption of dietary fiber.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also known as polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids play a role in brain function, growth and development. They are also linked to a host of health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may help lower the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and arthritis, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Keep in mind that the body can only absorb the omega-3s in flaxseeds if the seeds are ground.

Incorporating Flaxseeds

You can easily add flaxseeds to your diet without much complication. Sprinkle them over the tops of salads or casseroles to add a slightly nutty taste. You can purchase powdered flaxseed at specialty grocers or health food stores, or you can make your own by blending raw flaxseeds into a powder. Mix powdered flaxseed directly into baking recipes, soups and stews.


Fabulous health food: Fenugreek and flaxseed

By Dr Aruna Uprety

Studies have shown that flaxseed is also helpful to reduce bad cholesterol as flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber. Nutritionists have suggested that when combined with fluid, fiber from flaxseed helps to reduce the risk of contracting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

Many of us do not have the idea that food that we have in our kitchen has medicinal value.

If we will know that food items that are in the kitchen are not only good for taste but also give us health; maybe we would have used them more and would have got the value for money.

My morning starts with two spoonfuls of flaxseed and one spoonful of sprouted fenugreek and I know that those foods give me energy, minerals, fiber and iron that keep me healthy.

I remember my grandmother used to use rice with fenugreek and chilli and that was a perfect snack in the daytime She used to make sour potato (achar) with flaxseed and we used to lick our plates.

I also remember my grandmother also used to cook fenugreek rice (methi jaulo) if someone in our family suffered from diarrhea and pain in the abdomen. Little did we know that those foods also nourished our body and mind; and those foods were made with a great amount of love .

Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber that helps in slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates that is effective to reduce sugar among the diabetes patients.

In our cultural practice, grandmothers used to make fenugreek pudding with milk (mehti khir) for lactating mother as it increases milk the flow in new mothers.

Fenugreek is also good for adolescent girls as it also contains iron. Girls who have heavy bleeding may suffer from iron deficiency, if they use sprouted or soaked fenugreek that will be good for their health.

In South India after the first menstruation girls are given fenugreek laddu (sweets made of fenugreek seed and sugar) for a whole month as fenugreek has some special properties which help to reduce symptoms associated with menstruation, for example pain and cramps.

Taking fenugreek with lemon also assists for better absorption of iron.

It has been noted that fenugreek also eases some symptoms associated with menopause like hot flashes (sudden feeling of being very hot which sometimes can be very difficult to face) and regular consumption may help to reduce hot flashes.

Green leaves of fenugreek are tasty and beneficial for health and help in the process of digestion. Some people who do not like the taste of green leaves can use dry leaves by using it in soup or with lentils.

Some people have also been using fenugreek tea, boiling the seeds for a few minutes and then using the boiled water with a little sugar /honey and lemon. It helps when someone is suffering from common cold.

Now we know that flaxseed is a very good source of anticancer medicine and studies have shown that the substances that flaxseed contains help in both the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancer, informs Dr. Christiane Northrup, a gynecologist who has written many books on female health.

A few days ago I met a Shanti from Kailai who was complaining of dizziness and weakness and her hemoglobin level was low and she was worried that maybe she had some internal problem that was the reason for her weakness.

I told her to consume sprouted fenugreek every morning as well as to have flaxseed two spoonfuls every day in any form. After two weeks she informed me she felt a little better and informed that she started to eat not only sprouted fenugreek but also sprouted moong, soya, beans etc.

In short, Shanti started to get the much needed materials, calcium, iron and protein from her food and started feeling better.

Many of us start to think of taking medicine (paying a lot of money of course ) when we feel weak and lethargic without knowing that all those medicines are with us. Studies have shown that flaxseed is also helpful to reduce bad cholesterol as flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber.

Nutritionists have suggested that when combined with fluid, fiber from flaxseed helps to reduce the risk of contracting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

It is known that flaxseed is a very good source of omega-3 fats which are essential for the health of each and every cell in our body, including the cells in the human brain and heart. Only a few of us have an idea that deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids

can result in fatigue, dry skin, cracked nails and poor immunity as well as joint pain.

Though fish oil, egg yolk, salmon are also very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids but to buy those foods requires more money than the flaxseed.

If the flaxseed is freshly ground it is the best source of omega-3 fatty acid. But one has to understand that flaxseed oil should not be boiled, and it should be kept refrigerated or it will turn rancid.

Maybe this is the reason that old people in the Tarai region are not very keen to use flaxseed oil.

Flaxseed is also useful for women of menopause age as it may lessen hot flashes from which many women may suffer.

I have been asked by many women how to consume flaxseed and my suggestion would be that it can be taken with yogurt, soup or can be sprinkled on any food or salad and should be chewed well.

This is helpful for pregnant women and lactating mothers as it has calcium as well.


Amazing Ways To Add Flaxseeds To Your Diet For Weight Loss

By Rima Chowdhury

Flaxseeds have been considered as one of the healthiest foods all across the globe and hence it is important to know the health benefits of this healthy seed. Flaxseeds are also known as alsi in Hindi and are extremely beneficial for the human body. Apart from treating several health problems, these seeds have proved to be effective in dealing with overweight issues.

These humble looking seeds can help to deal with underweight or overweight issues which are generally due to the bad metabolism function of the body or a poor diet. While flaxseeds are beneficial for everyone, it is especially known for its property to melt down the extra fats from the body.

1. Add it to milk

Flaxseeds contain a lot of fibre which helps to boost the metabolism of the body and also aids in weight loss. In order to include flaxseeds in your daily diet, you can sprinkle the powder over a cereal or milk for a little crunch and taste. If not powder, you can add flaxseeds directly to the milk and consume it raw.

2. Yogurt

Take some flaxseeds and roast them for 5-7 minutes. Now grind them to make a fine powder and add them to yogurt. Mix properly and have the yogurt every day before going to bed. Consuming flaxseeds mixed with yogurt at night can help to speed up the digestion process of a person.

3. To Smoothies

Grind a few flaxseeds in a grinder and make a fine powder of it. Now add it to smoothies and drink it. However, if you are wondering about the taste of flaxseeds, let me tell you that flaxseeds are tasteless but it can surely add a lot of protein to your drink. So, drink it whenever possible.

4. As An Egg Substitute

Take some flaxseeds and make a fine powder of it. Now add this powder to water and allow the water to stand for some time. Once this acquires a gelatinous consistency, you can use this as a substitute for eggs in baked items. Many believe in baking cakes and cookies with flaxseed gelatin.

5. Add It To Your Batter

You can add flaxseed powder to the batter of rotis, cookies, bread or pancakes. Although this is a tasteless ingredient, you can surely enjoy the benefits of these brown seeds. It is good to sprinkle some flaxseeds on your dal or salad.

6. Add It To Chicken Or Starters

If you love having roasted chicken or prawns, you can add some flaxseed powder to it. It is basically tasteless and hence you can add it to any food item to enjoy the benefits of it. Make sure you add the flaxseed powder to the batter of the food and then allow it to roast for some time.



What Are the Benefits of Milled Flaxseed?

By Sylvie Tremblay

Milled flaxseed, sometimes labeled as ground flaxseed in grocery stores, proves versatile in the kitchen. The seeds have little effect on the flavor of a dish, but add texture and nutritional value. Your body can't properly digest whole flaxseed, so choose milled flax to gain the most nutritional benefit from the seeds. Add milled flaxseed to juices and smoothies as a natural thickener, or try adding flax to hot or cold cereals, as well as baked goods like homemade bread or muffins.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Milled flaxseed provides a source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat you need to get from your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids make up a part of your nerve cell membranes. Getting enough omega-3s in your diet promotes healthy nerve function, while low omega-3 fatty acid levels decrease cognitive function and increase your risk of depression. Eating sources of omega-3 fatty acids also benefits your cardiovascular system, reducing inflammation linked to heart disease. A tablespoon of milled flaxseeds contains 1.6 grams of ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Just a single tablespoon provides the entire daily recommended omega-3 fatty acid intake for men, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, and almost 1.5 times the recommended daily intake for women.

Vitamin B-1

Eating milled flaxseeds also boosts your intake of vitamin B-1, or thiamin. Vitamin B-1 plays a role in energy production -- it activates enzymes that you need to convert nutrients into useable energy, and therefore helps you get energy from the foods you eat. Thiamin also activates enzymes you need to make new DNA molecules, helping you produce the genetic material needed for new cell growth. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 0.115 milligrams of thiamin -- approximately 10 percent of your daily thiamin requirements, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Phytoestrogens

Milled flaxseed contains phytoestrogens, a family of beneficial plant compounds with a similar chemical structure to human estrogen. Phytoestrogens might mimic the effects of estrogen in your body, or they might hinder estrogen function by preventing your body’s natural estrogen from communicating with your tissues, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Since too much estrogen can contribute to disease, such as breast or ovarian cancers, eating phytoestrogens that block estrogen function could potentially offer health benefits for preventing disease. However, the Institute indicates that more research is needed to know what specific effect flax phytoestrogens have on your body.

Preparation and Storage Tips

Store your flaxseed properly to ensure you get the best nutritional value from the seeds. The omega-3 fatty acids in the seeds begin to oxidize when exposed to air, so simply storing milled flaxseed at room temperature quickly leads to rancid flax. Instead, try milling your own flaxseed using a coffee grinder, making small batches in the morning to use throughout the rest of the day. For a more convenient method, store your milled flaxseed in the freezer -- it will keep for several months, according to North Dakota State University.


Flaxseed & Phosphorus

(San Francisco Gate)

Flaxseeds add phosphorus, as well as fiber, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and several other minerals to your diet. You require a set amount of phosphorus each day to support strong bones and teeth, but some of the phosphorus in your system also has a role in energy production, genetic coding, cell functions and activation of enzymes. By mixing flaxseed into your recipes, you’ll be on your way to getting the phosphorus you need.

Amount in Flaxseed

It’s always better to grind flaxseeds, ideally in a coffee grinder, rather than eating them whole. Grinding breaks them up, making them easier for your body to utilize. Otherwise, whole seeds may pass through your gut without being broken down at all. You’ll get 45 milligrams of phosphorus from 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. If you choose to leave them whole, you’ll wind up with more than 65 milligrams from the same serving size, although you most likely won’t be able to absorb much of it.

Your Required Amount

Phosphorus is one of the few nutrients that doesn’t have various recommendations for every different stage of life. Once you reach the age of 19 and throughout the rest of your life, you should get 700 milligrams of phosphorus each day, the Linus Pauling Institute reports. Even if you’re pregnant or nursing, your recommendation doesn’t change. That small 1-tablespoon portion of ground flaxseeds has almost 7 percent of your needs for the entire day.

Using Flaxseeds

Virtually any breakfast food gets a flavor boost – as well as a phosphorus increase – from ground flaxseeds. Stir them into plain nonfat yogurt, which already has 385 milligrams of phosphorus in an 8-ounce cup. Mix ground flaxseeds with your morning bowl of oatmeal or sprinkle them on a bowl of cold cereal. Ground flaxseeds also make a perfect topper for salads, blend seamlessly into any baked-goods recipe and add a little nutty flavor to the bread coating you use on your fish entrees.

Poor Intake

Having a phosphorus deficiency isn’t common in healthy adults, since the mineral is in so many foods. Anything from milk to meat and even nuts and whole grains, are all packed with the mineral. However, if you don’t get enough phosphorus in your diet, one of the first things you’ll experience is muscle weakness. You won’t be able to make it through your workout and as the deficiency worsens, and you’ll have a difficult time performing your everyday tasks. Additionally, you’ll lose your appetite, bones will soften, you’ll be more open to infections and you may experience numbing and tingling in your hands and feet.


Does Flaxseed Expire?

By Meg Campbell

Long before its health benefits were confirmed by science, flaxseed was considered a medicinal food -- it was a choice laxative in ancient times. With its high fiber content, flaxseed is still helpful in preventing and treating constipation. It’s also a significant source of plant-derived omega-3s, the anti-inflammatory fatty acids associated with cardiovascular health. Because these polyunsaturated fats deteriorate rather quickly, however, flaxseed has a relatively short shelf life. Short Shelf Life

One reason refined grain products are such a ubiquitous part of the food supply is that they’re far more shelf-stable than whole-grain products. Grain kernels contain unsaturated fatty acids, which are stripped away in the refining process. Unsaturated fats oxidize fairly quickly, so the foods that contain them -- including whole grains, plant-based oils, nuts and seeds -- tend to spoil more rapidly. Ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil turn rancid faster than whole flaxseed, as their unsaturated fats are far more exposed to oxidation.

Hidden Dangers

While the stable polyunsaturated fatty acids in fresh flaxseed are considered anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective, the oxidized fats in rancid flaxseed may have the opposite effect. A 2012 "Chicago Tribune" article on the potential heath risks of consuming rancid food reports that oxidized fats are pro-inflammatory and potentially toxic. Oxidation not only destroys the vitamins in fat, but it also fosters the development of harmful compounds that have been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological problems and advanced aging.

When to Toss It

Fresh flaxseed has a mild, nutty flavor, whereas rancid flaxseed is marked by bitterness and a sharp, unpleasant aftertaste. Because it’s possible to grow accustomed to the off flavor of oxidized fats, however, you also should smell flaxseed to assess its freshness. Spoiled flaxseed -- whether whole, ground or in the form of oil -- is typically described as smelling like oil paint or a box of crayons. Any flaxseed products tinged with such odors are past their prime and should be discarded, notes the book “Wellness Foods A to Z: An Indispensable Guide for Health-Conscious Food Lovers.”

Storage Conditions

Air, heat and light are the main perpetrators of fat oxidation. This means flaxseed left on your kitchen counter in a loosely closed, clear plastic bag will go bad far faster than the kind stored in a tightly sealed, nontransparent container that’s kept cold. Fresh, whole flaxseed generally lasts for up to a year in an opaque, airtight container kept in the refrigerator. In the same type of container, ground flaxseed usually lasts for about six months in the freezer. You should always keep flaxseed oil in an opaque bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Less Is More

Whether you sprinkle ground flaxseed on your oatmeal every morning or drizzle flaxseed oil over your salad greens every evening, avoid buying large quantities of any flaxseed product. Buying only the amount of flaxseed you can consume in a month or two helps minimize waste, as does investing in a small coffee grinder -- whole flaxseed that’s ground just before it’s consumed is generally fresher than the prepackaged variety.



Chia Seeds Vs Flaxseeds

By Sylvie Tremblay

As America becomes increasingly health conscious, many consumers seek to add nutrient-dense superfoods to their diets to increase their nutrient intakes. Two such superfoods are flax and chia, both of which are small seeds whose mild flavors lend to easy incorporation into a variety of meals and snacks. Flax and chia both offer a number of nutritional and health benefits, but they differ slightly in their nutrient contents.

Calories

Both chia and flax seeds provide a rich source of energy to fuel your metabolism. Each ounce of chia seeds contains 138 calories, or 7 percent of the daily intake for someone following a 2,000-calorie diet. Flax seeds contain slightly more energy; an ounce of whole seeds contains 151 calories, or 7.5 of the daily caloric intake for a 2,000-calorie diet. If you’re looking to cut calories from your diet, choose chia seeds over flax.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content

One of the nutritional benefits of both chia and flax seeds is their omega-3 fatty acid contents. These essential fatty acids help maintain healthy skin and hair, benefit your cardiovascular health and contribute to healthy brain function. Chia and flax seeds both contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. Flax seeds provide a richer source of ALA, offering approximately 6.5 grams of ALA per ounce, compared to 5 grams in an equivalent serving of chia seeds. If your dietary goal is to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake, select ground flax seed. Avoid whole flax seed as a source of omega-3 fatty acids; your digestive tract cannot access the seeds’ healthy fats unless the seed is ground before eating.

Fiber Content

Chia and flax seeds provide a source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, which help fill you up after a meal and prevent blood sugar spikes after eating and constipation. Each ounce of chia contains almost 12 grams of dietary fiber, 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for a woman and 40 percent of the recommended intake for a man, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Flax provides slightly less fiber – 7.7 grams, or 40 and 27 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and men, respectively. Since both chia and flax are high-fiber foods, incorporate these seeds into your diet gradually, since suddenly increasing your dietary fiber intake can lead to digestive upset.

Micronutrient Content

Adding chia or flax to your diet boosts your micronutrient intake, and both seeds provide sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Flax and chia both contain moderate amounts of B vitamins and vitamin E, as well as essential minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. There are a few nutritional differences, however; chia provides significantly more iron, calcium and selenium per serving than flax. On the other hand, flax provides a source of choline – a nutrient important for brain function that is not found in chia. Due to their varied micronutrient contents, consider adding both chia and flax to your diet for a wider range of vitamins and minerals.


Are These 10 Trendy Health Foods Worth The Hype?

By Amanda L. Chan

Whether via your Facebook news feed, the juice store around the corner, or even in articles about healthy living, chances are you’ve heard of buzzword-y health foods like acai, spirulina and wheatgrass. You know these foods are healthy. But have you ever stopped to think about why they are — and whether it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for them?

We talked to Keri Gans, R.D., author of “The Small Change Diet,” to walk us through some of the more trendy health foods to explain what they are exactly, why we eat them, and whether they’re actually worth the hype.

They’re hard to pronounce, so they must be good for you, right? Sure, acai (pronounced ah-sah-YEE) berries — which are usually found in a processed form, such as a powder, or found in yogurts or smoothies — are a boon to health because of their high levels of antioxidants. But ... so are other berries. “Blueberries and raspberries are also high in antioxidants,” Gans notes. So sure, go ahead and try out products with acai berries if you want to, but local berries — especially when in season — are probably a cheaper and more readily accessible way of obtaining antioxidants. (It’s also important to note that any claims about acai berries having special weight loss powers have not been backed up by research.) Bottom line: Acai berries are a good source of antioxidants, but you’d be just as well off buying regular berries/berry products.

Wheatgrass

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a juice or smoothie shop, you’ve probably seen the option to add a shot of wheatgrass to your concoction. Wheatgrass is a young grass from the wheat family, and is typically seen in capsule or liquid form. And while it’s certainly packed with nutrients — it’s got iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, C and E — it doesn’t really provide anything that special that other vegetables can’t also provide, Gans says. “It’s not going to cause any harm to do a shot of wheatgrass, but is it going to do much more than just having a healthy snack?” she explains. “It is good for you, and it is nutrient-packed,” but you could also just opt to put in a handful of spinach or kale into your smoothie. Bottom line: Wheatgrass does have health benefits, but other veggies could probably provide you with similar ones.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny, edible seeds that are packed with big benefits — in fact, just 1 tablespoon has 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. They also don’t have much of a taste — which makes them a great way to amp up the nutrients of of a salad, smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal, Gans says. They can also help keep you full because they’re such a good source of fiber. Bottom line: Chia seeds are a good way to sneak some extra fiber and protein into your dishes.

Quinoa

Quinoa may be known as an “ancient grain,” but it’s technically a seed. And it’s probably one of those healthy foods you’ve heard buzz about in the last few years — but is it actually worth the hype? Gans calls it a “great addition to an already hopefully varied diet.” It’s high in protein — it’s actually a “complete protein,” with all nine essential amino acids — and also contains fiber and iron. Bottom line: Quinoa is a great way to get protein.

Spirulina

Spirulina is a dark green algae that is most commonly found in dried powdered form. It’s very high in protein — making it an option for vegans who have fewer protein options available to them, Gans says. An ounce of dried spirulina gives about 15 grams of protein, which is around the amount in two jumbo eggs. And spirulina also has beta carotene — an antioxidant — and iron. But for those who eat animal products, you can likely get all these nutrients through cheaper, more readily accessible foods. “So if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, do you need to start spending money and running to the health food store to buy spirulina? I don’t necessarily think so,” Gans says. Instead of adding spirulina powder to a smoothie, you could instead add milk or yogurt to get the protein. Bottom line: Spirulina is a good way to get protein particularly if you’re a vegan. But if you’re not a vegan, there are other more accessible ways to get protein.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is often fortified with vitamin B12, which is a vitamin that many vegans are deficient in because they don’t eat animal products. So just like spirulina, nutritional yeast is a great way of getting B12 — but there’s not really a reason for a consumer of animal products to seek it out if they’re getting B12 from other sources, Gans says. Because of its cheese-like taste, some people sprinkle it on foods in place of cheese — which Gans says is completely fine, if you want to get creative culinarily. Bottom line: Nutritional yeast is a good way to get vitamin B12 particularly if you’re a vegan. But if you’re not a vegan, there are other more accessible ways to get vitamin B12.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the inner-most layer of wheat. It’s high in fiber, and also has monounsaturated fats and protein. It can be added to foods like oatmeal or salad, or used as a breading for meat. Basically, wheat germ is “another hidden way to add nutrients to something in areas where most people are lacking,” Gans said. Bottom line: Wheat germ is a way to add extra fiber to your dishes.

Tempeh

Tempeh is similar to tofu in that both are made from soybeans. However, tempeh is made from cooked soybeans that have been fermented, that are then put into a mold. It’s mostly sold prepackaged in stores, and flavors or spices are added to it. Tempeh is high in protein — providing around 18 grams of it for a 3.5-ounce portion, which is comparable to protein provided by chicken. Tempeh is a good option for people wanting to go meatless — even if not full-time, but just one day a week — since it can be used in place of meat in many dishes, Gans says. Bottom line: Tempeh is a good meat alternative for people looking to eat a plant-based diet.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is another great way to sneak extra nutrients into your smoothies, cereal or baked goods. It’s high in fiber, and also contains omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Like chia, it doesn’t really have much flavor. But unlike chia, it needs to be ground up in order for the body to digest it fully. Bottom line: Flaxseed is an excellent way to add extra fiber, protein and omega-3s to your dishes.

Seitan

Seitan is made of wheat gluten, which is the main protein of wheat, and is often used as a meat replacement in dishes. It’s — not surprisingly — high in protein. However, unlike tempeh or tofu which are also commonly used as meat replacements, it actually has a similar texture and flavor to meat. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so keep in mind that commercially prepared versions of seitan may be high in sodium or other extra ingredients. Gans notes that seitan is another good meat alternative if you’re looking to go meatless or more plant-based, or just wanting to get creative with your protein sources — just keep in mind how it’s prepared. “Just because it’s seitan, if it’s a fried version, thats not making it any healthier,” she says. Bottom line: Seitan is a good meat alternative for people looking to eat a plant-based diet; just beware of hidden ingredients added to it to give it flavor.


4 Important Health Benefits of Flaxseed

By Maggie McCracken

Many health gurus and personal trainers recommend sprinkling flaxseed into your smoothies and over your salads, but a lot of us are left wondering why. What, exactly, is it about flaxseed that makes it such a healthful addition to your diet? Actually, there are a lot of reasons why it’s so beneficial to include flax in your meals. Here are just a few of this tiny seed’s health benefits.

Contains Omega-3s

The most frequently touted health benefit of flax is that it contains abundant levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for Westerners, primarily because we normally don’t get enough of them. Omega-3s are a group of essential fatty acids, meaning that we cannot manufacture them within our own bodies, so we need to get them from our diets. This is a trait they have in common with omega-6 fatty acids.

The difference is that we typically get plenty of omega-6s already. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Americans often get 14 to 25 times more omega-6s (commonly found in meat and vegetable oils) than omega-3s (often found in fish and nuts). The natural ratio should be closer to 3 or 4 omega-6s to 1 omega-3, and this imbalance puts us at risk of inflammation. Left unchecked, inflammation can lead to chronic diseases such as arthritis, skin issues and even heart disease and cancer.

In a nutshell, getting that ratio closer to 3 or 4 to 1 is increasingly important. Because flax contains high levels of omega-3s, it’s a great way to help tilt the scale back into balance.

Prevents Cancer

Probably because of omega-3s’ ability to combat inflammation, flax is suspected to help prevent cancers of the breast, prostate, ovaries and colon. According to Dr. Axe, another possible reason that flaxseeds may help prevent cancer is because they have hormone-balancing effects. If you’ve ever tried seed cycling, you’ll know that flaxseed is part of a helpful hormone-balancing regimen. Hormonal imbalances contribute to the cancers mentioned above, which is one of the potential reasons why flaxseed may be helpful for preventing cancer.

Contains Lignans

Lignans are one of the primary hormone-regulating nutrients found in flax. In addition to hormone regulation, lignans have a strong antioxidant effect, which does double duty in helping prevent cancers and diseases. Antioxidants can also help fight signs of aging, both on the surface and inside the body.

“Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health,” explains Dr. Axe. “Polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body.”

Contains Fiber and Promotes Digestive Regularity

Finally, flaxseed is packed with a whopping 27.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams of flaxseed, according to the USDA. This high fiber content makes it great for promoting good digestion. Fiber helps to keep you regular by moving through the digestive tract (it’s indigestible itself), cleansing and eliminating foods that may be causing blockages. In fact, eating a lot of fiber is one of the most surefire ways to maintain a healthy body weight, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


Benefits of Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal

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The seeds of the flax plant are a rich source of carbohydrates, oils and phytochemicals that can benefit your health. Flaxseed meal, made from ground-up whole seeds, is more readily digested than the intact seed. It also offers advantages over consuming only the oil extracted from the seed, because the seed solids carry a significant proportion of flax’s dietary benefits. Including ground flax in your daily nutrition plan supplies you with fiber, essential fatty acids and lignans.

Fiber

Fiber is a type of plant-based carbohydrate your body is unable to digest yet contributes to your gastrointestinal health. Ground flaxseed meal contains fiber that can act as a laxative and help reduce your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. Adding fiber to your diet might lower your chances of developing heart disease or digestive cancers, and, because its bulk gives you a feeling of fullness after you eat, it may help you manage your weight. When incorporating ground flax into your diet, you may want to begin with a small amount – one-half teaspoon or so – and slowly work your way up to a tablespoon each day. This progression, along with drinking plenty of fresh water, can avoid the digestive upset or intestinal blockages associated with an abrupt increase in dietary fiber.

Essential Fatty Acids

Fat is critical to your diet because it provides essential fatty acids, fat molecules your body cannot synthesize on its own. These omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids incorporate into cell membranes, eye tissue, nerves and chemical messengers, and keeping an optimal balance of essential fatty acids in your diet is important to good health. Most Americans consume far more omega-6 than omega-3 fats, and the oils in ground flaxseed meal contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flax can therefore help restore the balance of these nutrients in your body. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and may lower your risk of chronic inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.

Lignans

Phytochemicals are plant-based compounds that can bolster your health or help ward off disease. Ground flaxseed meal is rich in phytochemicals called lignans. They demonstrate antioxidant activity that may help protect your cells from environmental damage and potentially defend against cancer. Similar to fiber, lignans are found in the solids of flaxseed, so consuming the ground meal is preferable to flax oil alone.

Considerations

You can purchase flaxseed preground, or you can grind your own flax meal by pulverizing whole seeds in a coffee or spice grinder. The rich oil content of flax causes it to become rancid fairly quickly, but refrigerating or freezing flaxseed meal can help avoid this problem. One tablespoon supplies you with the recommended daily dose of 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, states registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic. Mixing it into your morning cereal, sprinkling it on yogurt or incorporating it into baked goods are easy ways to add it to your diet, or you can simply consume a spoonful of it each day.


Benefits of Ground Flax Seed

By Sylvie Tremblay

Ground flax seeds make for a flavor-neutral addition to many dishes, adding essential nutrients without affecting the taste of the meal, and can be a healthy ingredient substitute in vegetarian and vegan baking. Flax seed also contains several essential nutrients that can benefit your health.

Fiber

Eating ground flax significantly contributes to your daily fiber intake. The seed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, each of which offers health benefits. Soluble fiber absorbs water to form a gel in your digestive tract to help fill you up, and also helps control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps prevent constipation. One ounce of ground flax seed provides approximately 30 percent of your total daily fiber requirements.

Essential Fatty Acids

You can use ground flax as an alternative to fish oil as a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which is especially helpful to vegetarians and vegans. Omega-3 fatty acids integrate into your cell membranes and play an important role in blood and nerve cell function. Choosing ground flax seed over whole seeds makes it easier for you to reap these benefits because your body can only absorb omega-3s from whole flax seeds after thorough chewing. One tablespoon of ground flax contains 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, providing your entire day’s recommended intake.

Vitamin B-1

Vitamin B-1, or thiamin, is abundant in ground flax seeds. Getting enough thiamin each day supports your metabolism, helping to activate enzymes your body needs to derive energy from your diet. Thiamin also helps your body produce new DNA, an important process for cell growth. Each ounce of ground flax contains 0.47 milligrams of niacin, or 39 percent of the daily intake requirements for men or 43 percent for women.

Cooking with Ground Flax

Store ground flax in an airtight container in the freezer, or grind your flax shortly before consumption -- omega-3 fatty acids exposed to air begin to break down and go rancid, sacrificing nutrient content. Add ground flax to your hot and cold cereals, or blend a tablespoon of ground seeds into your smoothies or juices. Alternatively, use ground flax as an egg replacement for vegan cooking: Simply mix the ground flax with water until the mixture forms a gel, then use a quarter-cup of the mixture for each egg in your recipe.


6 reasons flaxseeds are great for your health

By Pavitra Sampath

Read how flaxseeds can help lower cholesterol and be great for your heart health. Click on the link to read more...

Flaxseeds or Alsi are not commonly included in our daily diet, but those tiny, brown seeds pack a lot of health benefits that you might not know about. Containing Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as ‘good fat’), lignans (rich in antioxidants and estrogen content) and fiber, flaxseeds are great for your health, here’s why.

Can help control diabetes:

Lignans present in flaxseed, are known to improve the blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. having flaxseed on a daily basis can help maintain your blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Apart from having flaxseeds, there are other natural ways to prevent diabetes too, Here are some of them.

Helps prevent the onset of heart disease:

Flaxseeds are great for your heart health. Not only do they help prevent the formation of plaque within your arteries, but they also prevent atherosclerosis (when the arteries become stiff and less elastic), reduce blood pressure, heart rate and beat oxidative stress (due to its antioxidant properties). Apart from that flaxseeds can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol (or LDL cholesterol) in check, protecting your heart.

Can prevent the onset of cancer

The high content of antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids protect against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. The lignin content in flaxseed especially protects against tumours that are hormone sensitive eg: estrogen-sensitive breast tumours.

Can help reduce inflammation:

The omega 3 fatty acids, lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) present in flaxseeds are known to block the release of inflammatory agents and are especially beneficial for patients who suffer from diseases such as arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Can help relieve hot flashes

Hot flashes is a problem that is commonly associated with menopausal women. If you suffer from this condition then flaxseeds can help. The antioxidant properties of flaxseeds help regularise the hormonal imbalnce responsible for hot flashes and a study found that women who had a spoon of flaxseeds regularly experienced a 57% drop in the intensity of hot flashes they experienced.

How to use flaxseeds

You could start off by having one tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder every morning on an empty stomach with a glass of warm water. Alternatively, you can even add it to your energy drink or fresh juice or include it in your meals by sprinkle one tablespoon of flaxseed powder on the dish you cook.

Remember to not put the powder directly into hot oil, as the excess heat tends to deactivate the beneficial properties of flaxseed and may add a bitter taste to your food. Also do not have more than 2 tablespoons per day, as it can be detrimental to your health.


This Type of Flaxseed Is Better at Preventing Belly Bloat

By Jenny Sugar

Not a fish fan but you know you should be getting your omega-3s? Look to the amazing flaxseed in order to get your daily recommended amount of 1.1 grams. When perusing the aisles of your local supermarket or health food shop, you'll see they come in two forms — whole and ground. Is one more beneficial than the other? The chart below shows how they compare nutritionally.

-------------------------1 tbsp. whole flaxseed--------1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
Calories --------------------------55----------------------------37-----------
Total Fat (g)-----------------------4-----------------------------3-----------
Saturated Fat (g)-------------------0-----------------------------0-----------
Carbs (g)---------------------------3-----------------------------2-----------
Fibre (g)---------------------------3-----------------------------2-----------
Protein (g)-------------------------2-----------------------------1-----------
Calcium (mg)-----------------------26.1--------------------------17.9---------
Iron (mg)----------------------------.6----------------------------.4---------
Omega-3s (g)------------------------2.3---------------------------1.6---------
Omega-6s (g)-------------------------.6----------------------------.4---------
Folate (mcg)------------------------8.9---------------------------6.1---------

As you can see, they're pretty similar, but it's recommended to consume ground flaxseed because whole flaxseeds just pass right through the body undigested. Eating ground flaxseed allows your body to get the omegas as well as the phytochemicals called lignans, which may have antioxidant actions and may help protect against certain cancers. What about flaxseed oil, you ask? It also contains omegas and lignans, but it has no fibre, so go for the ground flaxseed to keep you regular and to help prevent bloating caused by constipation.

Since the RDI of omega-3s is 1.1 grams a day, just one tablespoon of ground flaxseed added to your smoothie, oatmeal, cereal, or sprinkled in your soup or on your salad is way more than enough. You can also bake with it as an egg substitute in recipes like this protein banana bread.


Try flaxseeds for silky and thick hair

By Bhakti Paun Sharma

Flaxseeds are your super food for hair growth.

Did you know you could have amazing, lustrous hair with flaxseeds? These crunchy seeds are a power house of nutrients beneficial for not just your body but for hair too.

Also known as Alsi or linseeds, flaxseeds are the richest source of Omega 3 fatty acids or the good fats and lignans. From lowering cholesterol, improving heart health to aiding weight loss, these seeds have proven to be beneficial for the body.

How do flaxseeds encourage hair growth?

Hair loss, dandruff, itchy scalp, damaged hair are all attributable to a poor diet, exposure to pollution and excessive use of chemical treatments. When hair follicles do not receive sufficient nutrition, your hair appears dull, dry and lifeless.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds are one of the essential nutrients for your hair follicles. The Omega 3 acids improve the elasticity of your hair thus reducing breakage of hair and making it strong and healthy.

Lignans present in flaxseeds exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and help in treating dandruff. Lignans also help heal inflammations caused due to dandruff or an itchy scalp thus promoting hair growth and healthy scalp.

According to Ayurveda, unhealthy diet and indigestion issues can also lead to hair problems. Ayurveda thus recommends a high fibre diet to ease bowel movements and thus promote hair health. The lignan and high soluble fibers of flaxseeds boost metabolism and enhance the digestive process thus regularizing your bowel movements and thus prevent hair loss. Good gut health also aids proper absorption of nutrients in the body which in turn will help hair grow well.

Flax seeds are rich in minerals and vitamins especially, Vitamin E which is a super food for hair. Hair follicles need regular nourishment if you want your hair to be strong and healthy. While you can use Vitamin E oil for a scalp massage, consuming foods rich in Vitamin E will help retain the natural moisture of your hair thus reducing the brittleness of your hair. Vitamin E also prevents premature greying of hair and split ends. To know more on how Vitamin E is beneficial for your skin and hair, read here.

How to use flaxseeds for hair growth?

A spoonful of flaxseeds can be eaten every day for best results. You can also add them your daily cereal during breakfast or sprinkle some on your salad. You can add flaxseed powder to whole wheat flour or multi-grain flour used for making rotis.


Study Suggests Flaxseed Oil Prevents Fatty Liver Disease

By Michael Fin

A study on fatty liver disease has been published recently, noting some interesting discoveries about the role of flaxseed oil in the prevention of the alcohol induced disease. The research paid particular attention to the compound α-linoleic acid abundant in flaxseed oil.

In the fatty liver disease study, the researchers discovered that mice exposed to ethanol consumption had a surge in the use of fatty acids in their liver that result in hepatic steatosis. Thereafter, α-linolenic acid rich in flaxseed oil was increased and the reversion of the accumulation of the fatty acid was observed. The process by which this happened was reported to be somewhat due to lesser endoplasmic reticulum stress in the liver cells.

The development of the fatty liver disease is connected to the fat accumulation in the liver. This type of disease is reported to be the leading cause of death, as the post-mortem analysis of alcoholics reveals extremely large fatty liver. Although not all liver diseases are related to alcohol, the alcohol itself has been indicative of inducing such disease with chronic consumption, Liver Support reported.

Based on previous studies, it was found that alcohol-induced fat accumulation in the liver includes processes that encourage a stress response from ER and different gene-regulating transcription features found in lipid synthesis tracks. Of specific note is the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase as well as the protein adiponectin - both have been discovered in abnormal concentrations in people who suffer from alcohol-induced liver diseases.

However, a previous research indicates that flaxseed oil could also become a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent specifically in the brain.

The fatty liver disease study appears to show that flaxseed oil has the potential to slow down or prevent alcohol-induced hepatic steatosis, but it may also be the instance that other multiple plant oils aside from flaxseed oil have the same effects. The outcomes are, nonetheless exciting, and the researchers are expected to conduct human testing soon to determine if these reported benefits of flaxseed can be validated, according to Nature.


What is better – having whole flaxseed or ground flaxseed? (Query)

By Anuradha Varanasi

Dr Jagmeet Madan clears the doubt about the best way of consuming flaxseeds for reaping its various health benefits.

I’m 25-year-old and have read about the numerous health benefits of flaxseeds and decided to have it every morning. I have been regularly having whole flaxseeds but was advised by a friend to switch to ground flaxseeds. Is it true that having whole flaxseeds means not reaping any of its health benefits? What is the best way to consume flaxseeds?

Dr Jagmeet Madan, Nutritionist & National Vice President of the Indian Dietetic Association and Principal Professor, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous), SNDTWU, Mumbai, answers this query.

Flaxseed is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, estrogen and fiber. It is known to prevent the onset of heart diseases, cancer, reduce inflammation and also fight against constipation. There are many different ways to add flaxseeds to your diet, which includes roasting, grinding and adding it to warm water, milk or even food items to reap its benefits. Most people prefer roasting flaxseed as it improve its taste and add a crunchy flavour.

However, most commonly, there are three different ways to add flaxseeds to your diet – whole form, grounded, or in the form of oil. However, the major difference between having whole flaxseeds and in the powder form comes down to only one thing — digestion. While it is packed with fiber, consuming it in the whole form could actually result in the seeds passing through your body without actually getting absorbed by your system. ‘It is important to chew the seeds very well so its active components are released in your body. However, a far better option is to just have fresh flaxseed powder every morning. Remember that you shouldn’t store flaxseed powder for more than a week at a time and it should also be refrigerated to avoid any risk of it turning rancid,’ says Dr Madan.

How is flaxseed powder better?

An important point to remember is that there are two different types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Dieticians say that whole flaxseeds mainly consist of insoluble fiber because of the outer shell of the seed. However, what actually fights against constipation is insoluble fiber as it can stimulate your bowel movements. So the best way to consume flaxseeds is to roast and then grind it either to a coarse or fine powder. Unfortunately, flaxseed powder doesn’t taste as good as whole roasted flaxseed. So, an effective way would be to add it to your chapati dough, salads, milkshakes or smoothies.


Flaxseeds – a natural remedy to deal with PCOS

By Debjani Arora

You can treat your painful periods and symptoms of PCOS with just a scoop of flaxseed powder!

PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition where a woman’s hormonal balance goes for a toss. Women suffering from this condition have to deal with painful periods, irregular menstrual cycle, problems in conception, weight gain, acne and excess body and facial hair among other problems. Since it’s a hormonal problem, women suffering from PCOS reportedly have high levels of androgens or male hormones in them. It is the presence of these male hormones that leads to problems like obesity, amenorrhea, hirsutism and other problems. In most cases, medical help is needed to restore the hormonal issues. While medicines and treatments can do their job, some natural remedies can also come to one’s rescue, like using flaxseeds.

How does flaxseed help in dealing with PCOS?

Flaxseed is a rich source of lignan, a type of chemical compound found in plants and plant products. Apart from lignan, flaxseed is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that the lignan in flaxseeds helps reduce the androgen levels in men suffering from prostate cancer. So when flaxseed supplementation is offered to women suffering from PCOS, it also helps reduce the androgen or male hormones to control the condition. A study showed that consuming 30 gm of flaxseeds over a period of four months helps reduce the testosterone level and improves lipid profile. So flaxseed not only works on reducing androgen levels but also improves the cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, the study concluded that more clinical data would be needed to establish the link between consumption of flaxseeds and controlling PCOS.

Is it safe to consume flaxseed to treat PCOS?

The study reported that unlike another form of treatments like anti-androgens, combination pills, insulin-lowering agents which have side effects like menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal symptoms, weight gain and other such issues, flaxseeds reportedly had none, barring the laxative effect it has on regular consumption. However, we suggest that before going the natural way, it is always better to have a word with your doctor regarding the same.

What is the right way to include flaxseeds in your diet?

Flaxseeds cannot be consumed on its own, and you might need to mix it with various foods to reap its benefits. You can add a scoop of flaxseed powder to juices, milkshakes or even your curries. Else sprinkle them on salads, yoghurt and cereals. Prescribe flaxseed supplement by your practitioner can also be helpful.


ADM develops non-GMO flaxseed oil for boosting omega-3 in food

(FoodsBev Media)

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has introduced a fully refined, non-GMO flaxseed oil that it said “provides a cost-effective solution for customers looking to add an on-trend, heart-healthy ingredient to their latest food innovations”.

Onavita flaxseed oil features non-GMO plant-sourced omega-3 – polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for humans. Because the body does not produce omega-3, it must be consumed, driving the trend for food formulators to look for ways to include it in food and beverages.

The amount of omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) found in Onavita flaxseed oil exceeds the 160mg considered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be “a good source”, ADM said.

The flaxseed oil is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and can be used in a variety of products from supplements to pasta sauces and dressings.

“By leveraging this portfolio and our deep technical expertise, we can help customers transform their products by adding nutrition while maintaining product quality and taste,” ADM said.


Flax Seeds Have Profound Effect on Hypertension

By: Dr. Michael Greger

A recent article in the journal, Meat Science, acknowledged that a sector of the population perceives meat as a food that is detrimental to their health because of studies associating meat consumption with heart disease and cancer. So, meat consumers may look for healthier food alternatives as a means to maintain good health, which represents a good opportunity for the meat industry to develop some new products. The industry felt that natural foods could be added to meat to reach those health-oriented consumers by boosting antioxidants levels, for example. Foods like flax seeds and tomatoes are healthy, associated with reduced risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. So by making flax-y tomato burgers, they figure they can reduce saturated fat intake and maybe eat less sugar somehow. Wouldn’t it be easier to just cut out the middle-cow and eat flax seeds ourselves?

Flax seeds have been described as a “miraculous defense against some critical maladies.” I’m a fan of flax, but this title seemed a bit over-exuberant; I figured something just got lost in translation, but then I found a prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial—you know how hard that is in a nutrition study? For drugs, it’s easy: you have two identical looking pills, one’s active, one’s placebo, and until the end of the study, neither the researcher nor the patient has any idea which is which, hence “double blind.” But people tend to notice what they’re eating. So how did they sneak a quarter cup of ground flax seeds into half of the people’s diets without them knowing? They created all these various flax or placebo containing foods, and even added bran and molasses to match the color and texture, so it was all a big secret until six months later when they broke the code to see who ate which.

Why test it on hypertension? Because having a systolic blood pressure over 115—that’s the top number—may be the single most important determinant for death in the world today. If you take a bunch of older folks, most of them on an array of blood pressure pills, and don’t improve their diet at all, despite the drugs, they may start out on average hypertensive and stay hypertensive six months later. But those who were unknowingly eating ground flaxseeds every day, dropped their systolic blood pressure about ten points, and their diastolic, the lower number, by about seven points. That might not sound like a lot, but a drop like that could cut stroke risk 46 percent and heart disease 29 percent, and that ten point drop in the top number could have a similar effect on strokes and heart attacks. And for those that started out over 140, they got a 15-point drop.

In summary, flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects ever achieved by a dietary intervention. In other words, the magnitude of this decrease in blood pressure demonstrated by dietary flaxseed, is as good or better than other nutritional interventions and comparable to many drugs, which can have serious side effects. And they’re not exaggerating about the comparable to drugs bit. The flax dropped systolic and diastolic up to 15 and 7. Compare that to powerful ACE inhibitors like Vasotec, which may only drop pressures five and two, and calcium channel blockers like Norvasc or Cardizem which drop pressures eight and three. Side effects of these drugs include a large list of serious medical issues (as seen in the video below), compared to the side effect of flax seeds, “its pleasant nutty flavor.”

During the six-month trial there were strokes and heart attacks in both groups. Even if the flax seeds can cut risk in half, though, any avoidable risk is unacceptable. Isn’t high blood pressure just inevitable as we get older? No – the prevalence of hypertension does increase dramatically with age, but not for everyone. People who eat more plant-based diets or keep their salt intake low enough tend not to exhibit any change in blood pressure with advancing age. It’s always better to prevent the disease in the first place.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

What Are the Benefits of Oat Bran and Flaxseed?

By Sylvie Tremblay

Oat bran, the outer hull of the oat grain, and flaxseed occupy a similar niche in a healthy diet. There are nutritional differences between them -- oat bran is a better source of selenium, while flaxseed provides you with omega-3 fatty acids not found in oat bran -- but they also share several nutritional similarities. Adding either flaxseed or oat bran to your diet offers health benefits and boosts your intake of essential nutrients, including minerals and fiber. Fiber

Adding oat bran or flaxseed to your meals increases your fiber intake. Fiber makes your meals more filling -- it keeps your stomach full for longer after your meal, so you're less likely to indulge in an unplanned between-meal snack. Getting enough fiber also protects against constipation and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. A quarter-cup serving of ground flaxseed contains 7.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 9 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 20 percent for men, according to the Institute of Medicine. Oat bran contains slightly less fiber, at 3.6 grams per quarter cup.

Manganese

Cooking with either oat bran or flaxseed helps you reach your recommended daily intake of manganese. Your body relies on manganese to help metabolize nutrients, including carbohydrates and fats, and to support energy production. It also activates enzymes you need for healthy cartilage and bone, and it boosts collagen production to aid in wound healing. A quarter-cup serving of oat bran boasts 1.3 milligrams of manganese, which is approximately 57 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 72 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. An equivalent serving of ground flax provides 0.7 milligrams.

Magnesium

Flaxseed and oat bran offer health benefits thanks to their magnesium content. Your body incorporates magnesium into new bone tissue to keep your skeleton strong, and it also relies on magnesium to maintain healthy cell membrane. It aids in cell migration, facilitates cell communication and helps your body produce DNA. A quarter cup of ground flax contains an impressive 110 milligrams of magnesium, while an equivalent serving of oat bran offers 55 milligrams. Each serving of flax provides 34 percent of the daily magnesium intake requirement for women and 26 percent for men, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Consuming Oat Bran and Flaxseed

Oat bran and flaxseed both have a range of uses in the kitchen. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of oat bran or flaxseed over hot or cold cereal, use them to add texture and nutritional value to baked goods, or add them to fruit and yogurt for a filling snack. Oat bran cooked in water also makes a nutritious porridge -- use healthy additions, such as fresh berries and chopped almonds, to enhance its flavor. Use flaxseed mixed with water as a substitute for eggs in vegetarian or vegan cooking and baking.


What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed Lignans?

By Sylvie Tremblay, MSc

Flaxseeds are rich in a number of nutrients that benefit your health, including dietary fiber -- a type of carbohydrate important to digestive health -- and omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat essential for brain function. They also provide phytoestrogens -- plant compounds with a chemical structure similar to human estrogen -- in the form of lignans. Flax lignans offer several potential health benefits and may help prevent disease, however, many of these benefits are not yet fully understood.

Effect on Cardiovascular Disease

The lignans in flaxseed may have beneficial effects on your cardiovascular system. Diets rich in lignans may reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as blood pressure -- three risk factors for heart disease -- according to a review of literature published in "Nutrition Reviews" in 2010. Overall, this leads to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the study notes that the connection between lignans and heart disease is not yet fully understood, and more research is needed to determine just how well flax lignans maintain your cardiovascular health.

Effect on Breast Cancer

Flax lignans may also play a role in preventing breast cancer due to their estrogen-like effects. Some breast tumors contain receptors that respond to estrogen, and the presence of estrogen triggers cancer cell growth. A test tube study, published in "Anticancer Research" in 2010, found that exposure to high levels of lignans causes breast cancer cells to decrease the amount of estrogen receptors located within each cell. This might prevent breast cancer cells from responding to estrogen and slow cancer growth. An additional study, published in "Cancer Causes and Control" in 2013, found that consuming flaxseeds reduces breast cancer risk.

Other Possible Benefits

Consuming lignans may lower the risk of endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women, and it might also help reduce the severity of osteoporosis, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Lignans might also act as antioxidants, protecting your cells from dangerous free radicals that would otherwise mutate your DNA and damage your cell membranes. However, further investigation is required to better understand their role in fighting disease and preventing free radical damage.

Considerations

While dietary lignans might offer health benefits, you should consult your physician before you start taking flax lignan supplements. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid lignans, since the supplements have not been confirmed safe for expectant or breast-feeding mothers, notes the Linus Pauling Institute. Increasing your flax seed intake might also cause side effects. Each tablespoon contains almost 3 grams of dietary fiber, and rapidly boosting your fiber intake by consuming large amounts of flax seeds can lead to diarrhea. Gradually increase your fiber intake, and stop short of consuming 45 grams of total fiber daily to avoid digestive upset, recommends the Linus Pauling Institute.


Flaxseeds: 8 surprising reasons you should eat more of it!

(Zee Media Bureau)

New Delhi: Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are one of the world's healthiest foods packed with micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. Of late, flax has widely drawn attention of nutritionists as well as health researchers alike owing to massive health benefits that it gives.

Here are some fascinating reasons why you should be eating more flaxseeds:

• Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered good for your cardiovascular health.
• Lignans found in flaxseeds act as antioxidants, and thereby preventing cancer.
• Flaxseed is a low glycemic food and helps stabilize blood sugar levels for longer.
• Flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that helps improve digestive health or relieve constipation.
• The ALA fats in flaxseeds also benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as b-vitamins which reduce dryness and flakiness.
• The soluble fiber content of flaxseeds reduces your cholesterol levels.
• Flaxseeds are also an excellent diet for those trying to lose weight because of its high fiber content. Research has shown that high-fiber diets are more satiating while making you to eat fewer calories which may lead to weight loss.

From Weight Loss to Digestion, All the Reasons You Should Be Eating Flaxseeds

By Jenny Sugar

Are you noticing flaxseeds added to just about everything these days? It's for good reason — they're insanely healthy — but do you know why? Check out the reasons you should be eating flaxseeds (if you're not already).

1. Walnuts and fish are excellent sources of omega-3s, but so are flaxseeds. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3s is around one gram a day, and one tablespoon of flaxseed offers 2.3 grams (one tablespoon of flaxmeal offers 1.6 grams).

2. The omega-3s in flaxseed can help reduce inflammation that leads to conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.

3. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one kind of omega-3 fatty acid that is found in flaxseeds, and this fat helps promote bone health.

4. Flaxseed is known to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, and it may lower blood pressure — all essential elements to having a healthy heart.

5. Whole flaxseed is a great source of fiber. One tablespoon contains three grams of fiber, which can aid in digestion, help prevent constipation, and aid in weight loss.

6. Lignans, the fiber found in flaxseed, promotes regular digestion and are thought to have a role in breast cancer prevention.

Here are some creative tips on how you can get more flax into your diet.

• Sprinkle seeds or ground flaxseed on your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salad, or sandwiches.
• Add flaxseed to your recipes. They make the perfect high-fiber egg replacer — one tablespoon flaxmeal mixed with three tablespoons water equals one egg. Try it in these gingerbread "buttermilk" pancakes or this protein-packed banana bread.
• Add flaxmeal or flaxseeds to your blender when making your breakfast smoothie — the healthy fats and fiber will keep you feeling full longer.
• Look for products that have added flax such as cereal, bread, and crackers.

The Nutritional Benefits of Flaxseed

By Leah Rocketto

From cayenne pepper cleanses to shake-weights, the health world has seen several trends come and go. But one fad seems to have stood the test of time: flaxseed. Besides its high fiber content, several studies have tentatively linked this omega-3-rich seed to lowered cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease.

The Need-to-Know

Derived from the blue flax flower, flaxseeds are slightly larger and darker than sesame seeds. And, due to their dense fiber content, flaxseeds are perhaps most commonly used to aid with constipation and other digestive issues (kind of like Scrubbing Bubbles for the stomach). The seeds also contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels. And one recent study found that consuming 3 tablespoons of flaxseed lignans (compounds in the seed also linked to cancer prevention) every day for three months lowered cholesterol by between 10 and 20 percent (though only in male subjects).

But, despite its potential cardiovascular benefits, flaxseed has only been scientifically shown to have a temporary effect on cholesterol, which can quickly wear off if daily consumption stops. Furthermore, while flaxseed oil is marketed as a heart-health supplement, it's the the seed’s lignans—which aren't present in the refined oil—that might actually be more effective at keeping cholesterol in check.

Your Action Plan


While more research is needed to fully understand flaxseed’s effect on cholesterol, its high fiber content and potential link to heart health make it a welcome addition to nearly any daily routine. Just remember: In order to get the maximum benefit, skip the oil and go for the whole or ground seed. Grinding the seeds is a great way to incorporate all the components into those favorite foods and might even help the body digest more of their nutrients.

In order to keep the lignans and omega-3s from oxidizing (which means they can lose their nutritional value), it's best to grind them fresh. Just try sprinkling some fresh-ground flax into a protein shake or morning oatmeal. Your digestive system (and maybe your heart) will thank you.


Why Flax Seeds are Important For Your Heart, Hormones and Body?

By Deblina Biswas

With the rising emphasis on fitness and healthy eating, a tiny seed has come in to much prominence- Flax or Linseed, also known as “Alasi” in Hindi. The benefits of Flax seed are numerous and this tiny brownish seed is packed with micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy cholesterol that help fight several ailments such as, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hot flashes. A single table spoon of ground flax seeds contain 2 grams of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, 2 grams of fiber and 37 calories. What’s even better is flax seed helps in losing weight and keeps the heart cholesterol free.

Benefits of Flax Seeds:

The history of Flax seeds as a food crop goes back to prehistoric Babylon as early as 3000 B.C along with Georgia, China and ancient Egypt. Although flax is a power house of nutrients, the basic health benefits of flax are as follows:

• Omega 3 fatty acids: These are essential poly unsaturated fatty acids that are crucial for healthy heart functioning and protection against cancer. Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily found in sea fishes and eggs, therefore flax is a great alternative source of this “good” fat for the vegans.
• ALA: Alpha-linolenic acid that protects the body against inflammation, that is especially beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, and joint pain.
• Lignans: Flax is the richest source of lignans, that has estrogen and antioxidant qualities that helps regularize hormonal imbalance in women.
• Fiber: The high fiber content and low carbohydrate content in flax makes it a great option for weight loss, because the fiber expands in the stomach by absorbing fluids and gives us a fuller feeling, and checks hunger for a long time.
Antioxidants That Fight Cancer:

The high level of omega 3 fatty acid and Lignans present in flax combats prostate cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. Three types of Lignans found in flax seed are-secoisolariciresinol, matairesinol and pinoresinol that has capacity to affect the hormonal workings and control hormone related cancers and hormone dependent tumors.

Shields the Heart:

The positive impact of flax on human heart is boundless. About 50% of the calorie contained in flax comprises of fats, which is a mixture of several fatty acids such as, poly-unsaturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, and very little saturated fats.

Most of the poly-unsaturated fats remain in the form ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Now, ALA is a “miracle” fatty acid that helps to reduce bad cholesterol, while leaving the good cholesterol in the blood intact. It also reduces blood-pressure and chances of stroke.

Controls Diabetes:

Lignans present in Flax seeds work effectively in controlling Type 2 Diabetes. Research shows that a daily intake of flax builds up insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people. This is because of the high level of soluble fibers in flax. Consumption of a table spoon of ground flax seeds for a month has shown to improve fasting blood sugar levels.

Protect against Inflammation:

Two specific agents present in flax seeds, namely ALA and lignans have the capacity to check the flow of certain pro-inflammatory agents that are responsible for arthritis pain, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, joint pain, etc.

Controls Hormonal Imbalance:

The antioxidant property of Flax seed has been shown to reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as, hot flashes and night sweat in post-menopausal women. Research has shown that a daily intake of about 40 grams or 2 table spoons of ground flax seed helps to improve moderate hormonal problems as well as overall psychological health.

Responsible for Flawless Skin and Shiny Hair:

The omega 3 fatty acids helps treat skin diseases like acne, allergies and sun sensitivity. In addition, it rejuvenates the skin, regenerates the skin tone and makes it smooth, supple and glowing. It fights the problems of hair fall, dry scalp, dandruff, brittle hair and supplies nourishment to the hair follicles to make the tresses healthy and strong.

Flax Seeds and Weight Loss:

Flax seed is an excellent addition to the diet if you are looking to shed some extra pounds and stay healthy. The high fiber content in flax makes it heavier as it absorbs fluids and expands in volume that keeps the tummy fuller for a longer time and check cravings and over-eating. This is highly favorable for weight loss.

Although, calorie counters might feel a bit taken aback by the high calorie content of this seed, research shows that those calories come from “good fats” such as poly-unsaturated fats, and mono-saturated fats in the form of omega 3 fatty acids.

How to eat Flax Seeds?

It is better to grind the flax seeds rather than eating them whole, because the lignans are better absorbed by the body if it is consumed in the ground form. Make it a point to take plenty of water with the flax seed powder.

Get a food processor or blender, even your coffee grinder will do. Get a packet of regular whole flax seed available in the market, but remember that once you open the packet, the seeds must be stored inside an airtight container because flax seeds have a tendency to turn rancid.

Grind one cup of flax at a time and refrigerate the powder immediately and try to use it up with in a week. Start slow and take about 2 table spoons every morning in empty stomach for a few weeks and let your body get accustomed to it, and look out for any side effects such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and stomach pain. If things seem fine, then start adding it to your fruit salads, fruit smoothies and yogurt.

How to Include Flax Seed in Your Daily Meal:

Don’t go for the whole seeds because it becomes too complex for the body to break it down and so it tends to pass through your system. Make it a point to grind the seeds before adding it to dishes.

• Add to your favorite juice, energy drink and smoothie.
• Sprinkle on dishes and salads.
• Mix it with breakfast cereals.
• Mix it with mayonnaise while making sandwiches.
• Use flax seed power to bake cookies, bread, cakes, and muffins.

While adding flax seed powder to any dish, keep in mind not to put the powder directly in to the oil, as it tarnishes the nutty flavor of the powder and excess also destroys the valuable properties of the seeds. There are no serious side effects of flax seed as such, and it’s a food that has been with us since prehistoric times.


3 Reasons Why Flax Seeds Are the Duct Tape of Health

By Diane Vukovic

Three of the leading health issues in the United States are heart disease, depression and diabetes. Every year, trillions are spent to treat these diseases. According to the CDC, heart disease alone costs the USA nearly $1 billion per day in medical costs and lost productivity. The irony is that many of these conditions could be treated much more safely and affordably with flax seeds, along with a diet full of whole foods and exercise.

1. Flax Seeds for Treating Heart Disease

Heart disease occurs when blood vessels are blocked or narrowed. The result can be heart attack, stroke or angina. Other problems, such as problems affecting the muscles in the heart, are also considered heart disease. As the American Heart Association says, many cases of heart disease are caused by plaque buildup in the arteries.

The reason that flax seed is so powerful against heart disease is because it contains a type of fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). As the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM) points out, people who eat foods rich in ALA are less likely to get a heart attack. There are numerous ways that flax seed may be helpful for heart disease, such as by reducing hypertension, reducing inflammation, promoting blood vessel health, and making platelets less sticky.

2. Flax Seeds for Depression and Anxiety

There is no shortage of studies (such as the ones listed here) that suggest low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids can lead to depression, and that supplementing with Omega 3 can improve mood, depression and anxiety. And guess what is a good source of Omega 3? Yes, flax seeds!

The mental health benefits of flax don’t stop there. Flax seeds are also rich in vitamin B6. As UMM points out here, your body needs B6 to make serotonin, which in turn is used to regulate mood. Some researchers, like the ones behind this study, believe that low levels of B6 might even cause depression. Flax seeds are a good source of B6, so go ahead and add them to your breakfast cereals or smoothies.

3. Flax Seeds for Type-2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes is a disorder in which people have trouble metabolizing glucose. Normally, the body produces insulin to help turn glucose from food into energy. People with type-2 diabetes are able to produce insulin; their bodies just aren’t able to use the insulin effectively. To prevent dangerous spikes in their blood sugar, people with diabetes need to be very careful about how much sugar they consume.

One solution for keeping blood sugar levels in check may be flax seed. As Dr. Michael Gregor talks about here, a study found that taking ground flax seed every day for a month had a positive effect on blood sugar levels in diabetics and even reduced insulin resistance. Flax seeds are also rich in fiber, which helps slow down digestion (keeps blood sugar from spiking) and can improve type-2 diabetes. This article talks more about natural ways to prevent diabetes.

Flax Seeds Alone Aren’t Going to Cure You of Disease

Of course, simply adding flax seeds to an otherwise-bad diet isn’t going to magically cure you of disease. However, in addition to a healthy diet with many plant-based whole foods, flax seeds can help you prevent and fight off all of these common health conditions. In this way, flax seeds really are the all-purpose “duct tape” of health!

Do you eat flax seeds or use flax seed oil? What’s your favorite way to consume them?


Tiny flaxseeds offer big nutritional boost

By Lisa McCoy (Shirley Charm, Aramark dietetic intern, contributed to this column)

Good things come in small packages.

That is true for the tiny flaxseed. The small seed has been called the most powerful plant food because of its many health benefits.

It has been a staple in diets across Africa, Asia and Europe for centuries but only recently gained attention in Canada and the United States. More than 300 new flax-based food products were launched in the United States and Canada in the past five years.

Not only has consumer demand increased, but its use as feed for animals. In fact, flaxseed is used to feed chickens that are laying eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseeds come from flax, the same plant used to make linen. The health benefits of flaxseed are derived from three main components: omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

Omega-3 fatty acids are among the “good” fats that might be helpful in preventing heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Other dietary sources of these essential fatty acids are canola oil, soybean oil, fatty fish, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. One study found the addition of flaxseed to a low-fat diet lowered the levels of total blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. Other studies have suggested that omega-3s and lignans help prevent hardening of the arteries and plaque deposits in the arteries.

The lignans in flaxseed also have phytoestrogen and antioxidant qualities. That might help prevent certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate. However, individuals with cancer should consult their physicians before adding flaxseed to their diets.

Flaxseeds contain very high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber forms a gel-like structure when mixed with water to add bulk to the stool. That helps it move more quickly through the intestines and promote regular bowel movements.

The insoluble fiber found in flaxseed might help slow the release of sugar in the bloodstream, resulting in better glucose control for people with diabetes. Individuals with bowel obstruction, inflamed bowels or a narrowed esophagus should consult their physicians before using flaxseed.

Flaxseeds can be purchased in bulk, whole or ground, at grocery and health-food stores. To get the full health benefits of the omega-3s and fiber, use ground flaxseed instead of whole. You can grind flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Flaxseeds have a nutty flavor. Try sprinkling a tablespoon of ground flaxseed in breakfast cereal, smoothies or yogurt. Add a teaspoon to mayonnaise or mustard when making a sandwich. You can also add it to meatloaf, muffins, breads and cookies.

When adding flaxseed to your diet, start slowly and be sure to drink extra water.

Flaxseed oil is another product of flaxseed. The oil can be used in salad dressings and for stir-frying. Store the oil in the refrigerator and be mindful of the expiration date.

Add flaxseed to your diet to boost overall health.

Lisa McCoy is a family and consumer-sciences educator with University of Maryland Extension in Washington County.


5 reasons how flaxseeds contribute to your good health

By Shruti Saxena (Zee Media Bureau)

New Delhi: Yes, the small little seeds can have multiple health benefits. Adding flaxseeds to your diet will not only help improving your heart's health but will also aid in bettter digestion.

Flaxseeds are high on protein and its best to consume them in a powdered form as it increases the amount of nutrients absorbed.

Here are a few health benefits of flaxseeds:

-Flaxseeds help in weight loss as they are low in calories and rich in fibre content.

-Including flaxseeds in your daily diet also helps lower blood pressure, cure headaches and fights several cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

-Flaxseeds are a rich source of antioxidants and help protect against the damaging effects of radiation.

-Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids which can contribute to heart health and help reduce inflammation.

-Due to the presence of omega 3 fatty acids and lignan, adding flaxseeds to juice, salads, cookies and muffins can help ward off prostate cancer risk.

• Warning: Pregnant women or breast feeding mothers should not consume flaxseeds


Flaxseed May Relieve Hot Flashes

BY KATHLEEN DOHENY (HEALTHDAY REPORTER)

(HealthDay News) -- Flaxseed may be one way to reduce the bothersome hot flashes of menopause, Mayo Clinic researchers report.

A small pilot study found that postmenopausal women not on estrogen who used dietary flaxseed daily reported a 50 percent reduction in hot flashes over the course of six weeks.

"Flaxseed worked very well," said Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, director of the Mayo Breast Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "The women who used it said it really helped them."

But another expert, Dr. Wulf H. Utian, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, cautioned that the study was too preliminary to prove that flaxseed is effective.

While hormone replacement therapy, particularly estrogen, is effective against hot flashes, its long-term use has fallen out of favor since the large study known as the Women's Health Initiative found an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and other problems with long-term HRT use. So, Pruthi and her team were looking at options for women who suffered from hot flashes but didn't want to take estrogen.

They enrolled 29 postmenopausal women, median age 55, in the study. To join, the women had to have at least 14 hot flashes a week for at least one month.

"Flaxseed has some natural phytoestrogens," Pruthi said, explaining how it, like the hormone estrogen, could possibly have an effect on hot flashes.

Over the course of the study, the women sprinkled 40 grams of crushed flaxseed daily into yogurt or cereal or mixed it with orange juice or water.

In the end, 21 women completed the study; others had dropped out because of side effects. Of those who finished, the researchers said, the frequency of hot flashes declined 50 percent, and the hot flash score -- a combined measure of a flash's severity and frequency -- was found to have decreased about 57 percent.

"By the second or third week, most women noticed improvement," Pruthi said, adding that she is now planning a larger study to compare flaxseed to a placebo.

Until those results are in, Utian is not convinced the flaxseed is a proven treatment for hot flashes.

"This reduction [in the pilot study] could fall into the placebo effect," he said.

The study was also relatively brief, he added. And many women experiencing menopause suffer many more hot flashes than 14 a week. (Fifteen of the Mayo study women reported 10 or more a week, but 13 reported 2 to 9 a week.)

Utian added, however, that he was not aware of any harm in eating flaxseed.

And Pruthi said that because the fiber content gave some women in the study abdominal discomfort, those that find it hard on the stomach should consider starting at a lower dose and working up.

Her research was just published in the summer 2007 issue of the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology.

More information

To learn more about hot flashes, visit Breast cancer.org.


5 Ways To Use Flaxseed In Hair To Get Healthy Hydration

By Kristin Collins Jackson

There is no doubt that I owe my newly hydrated hair twists to the hair benefits of flaxseed oil. With just a week of my trusty flaxseed oil spray, I've seen a vast difference in the moisture of my twists. I still continue to boast about castor and shea butter benefits for hair growth and moisture, but using heavy oils in my hair can promote breakouts leaving me wondering if hydrated locks was worth the eyesore that has become my hairline. Flaxseed oil has given me moisture and nutrients sans breakouts.

When I first wrote about flaxseed oil I was completely focused on its ability to heal wounds and less on the fact that it is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. According to sources at Black Hair Planet, lack of these essentials can lead to a weakened scalp making hair growth next to impossible. The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed are actually going to promote a healthy environment for hair growth in your scalp. Choosing the right flaxseed oil can make or break a natural hair treatment, cold pressed flaxseed oil preserves nutrients such as vitamin E, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

You can make your own flaxseed oil or purchase your own oil. I personally find that straining out seeds in flaxseed gels can be incredibly annoying and you definitely don't want those tiny seeds ending up in your strands.

1. Flaxseed Hair Spritz A homemade flaxseed hair spritz can make all the difference between drying locks and hydrated tresses. Wearing my hair in protective styles for multiple days can dry out my hair because it doesn't get its usual dose of moisture as it does when my hair is out. I made a hair spritz with one part water, one part flaxseed oil, one part sunflower oil, and a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. I added lavender oil and clary sage to make my mix smell scrumptious and less oily. Spritz your hair when you're feeling dry and let the amino acids work their magic.

2. Flaxseed Oil Scalp Treatment Scalp treatments are great for stubborn hair that has trouble growing, whether you're transitioning from chemical treatments to a natural routine or suffering from hair loss, massaging flaxseed oil directly on your scalp in the evening and rinsing out in the morning can help your scalp promote healthy hair growth. I blended flaxseed oil, aloe vera oil, chia oil, and few drops of lavender oil together to make one amazing hair growth mask.

3. Flaxseed Oil Hair Gel Making your own flaxseed hair gel is growing in popularity, I like to mix chia and flaxseed oil with a tiny bit of aloe vera. Flaxseed gel gets its thickness when left overnight while chia seeds seem to get thick in consistency when water is added. Regardless of if you choose to make your own or purchase your oil, this is one hair gel that won't leave you with product build-up. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.

4. Flaxseed Treatment For Dead Ends Making your own flaxseed hair gel is growing in popularity, I like to mix chia and flaxseed oil with a tiny bit of aloe vera. Flaxseed gel gets its thickness when left overnight while chia seeds seem to get thick in consistency when water is added. Regardless of if you choose to make your own or purchase your oil, this is one hair gel that won't leave you with product build-up. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.

5. Flaxseed Treatment For Dead Ends Nothing says hydration and hair growth like a spa-like hot oil treatment. Whether you choose to use a hot towel, a blow dryer, or a hair dryer, be sure to use the right oils. A combination of flaxseed oil, jojoba oil, and a few drops of sandalwood applied to wet hair for about 20 minutes should get your tresses drinking in some serious moisture.

There's no need to spend a ton of money on hair products when you can just open your kitchen cabinet and go to town, am I right?


Flaxseed linked to lower cholesterol

By Georgia Clark-Albert(Special to the BDN)

For a food product to be granted the approval to associate it with a health-related claim is the pinnacle for food marketing. The Flax Council of Canada has been granted such a correlation. Ground whole flaxseed has been linked to lower cholesterol by Health Canada’s Food Directorate. This opens the floodgates for development of and potential demand for consumable products incorporating flax.

The claim has been substantiated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and states that consuming 40 grams, or about 5 tablespoons, of ground flaxseed daily will help reduce cholesterol levels.

This is of significant pride for Canada, since it is the first country in the world that has been allowed a health-related claim for flaxseed for use on food labels. Health Canada has rigorous scientific criteria, and this claim is one of only a dozen that has been able to meet the required standards.

It shouldn’t go without mention that Canada is the largest producer of flaxseed in the world, with 40 percent of the international production. China, the U.S. and India grow the remaining flaxseed. In 2012 the U.S.’s value of flax was $78.3 million for the 5.8 million bushels of flax produced, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

So you are wondering what exactly is this flax seed or is it flaxseed? It is seen written both ways. Flaxseed (my preference) is a blue flowering plant, grown on the western prairies of Canada, for its oil rich seeds. The natural oil, you may know it as linseed oil, is considered nature’s richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, approximately 50 percent more than you would get from taking fish oil, without the fishy aftertaste. In additional to omega-3’s, flaxseed oil contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium, fiber, protein, zinc, lecithin and potassium.

The Flax Council of Canada is recommending that manufacturers make the following claims on food labels:

— Ground (whole) flaxseed helps reduce/lower cholesterol;

— high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.

Flaxseed is available in whole seed and ground seed forms. By milling or grinding the seeds, the nutrients are more available for digestion, since whole unmilled flaxseeds cannot be digested by humans. Flax has a mild flavor that does not negatively impact the taste of most foods so it is a great product to be added to fortify baked goods. Flax ingredients can help improve volume, sheetability and shelf life of products. Very finely milled flaxseed ingredients can provide a smooth texture for ready-to-drink or ready-to-mix fortified beverages or nutritional supplements.

If you haven’t tried flaxseed before, here is a simple recipe to introduce you. If you feel more daring, the cookies are great.

Crunch Breakfast Topping

1 cup sliced almonds (try cocoa almonds)

1 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the almonds into a blender cup, cover and blend on chop for 30 seconds until it looks like a fine cornmeal. Put into a bowl. Add the flaxseed and cinnamon. Whisk together to combine. Put in a covered jar or sealed plastic container and store in the refrigerator.

This makes 2 cups. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on your morning cereal or yogurt or add it to a smoothie. It is also good added to oatmeal or ice cream.

Flaxseed Cookies

Makes 50 cookies. Each cookie contains 1/2 teaspoon of flaxseed.

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup soy flour (I prefer whole wheat)

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 F.

Cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla, and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, soy flour, oatmeal, ground flaxseed, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture.

Add almonds and chocolate chips. Mix until blended. Place a heaping teaspoon on a greased cookie sheet, leaving two inches between cookies.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.


The magic of flaxseeds: Healthy hair, improved digestion and reduced hypertension

(IndiaToday.in)

These little seeds have more qualities than you could have ever imagined.

Flaxseeds, or the brown-coloured tiny seeds of health you might have been ignoring till now, could just be the cure for the high cholesterol levels in your body or for those extra kilos that have piled on due that summer holiday and you have been trying hard to get rid of.

Referred to as linseeds at time, flax seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that are of extreme help to your overall health. The seed and its oil is often used for medicinal purposes including the cure of constipation, coronary artery disease among others.

Some other benefits of flaxseeds are as follows.

Reduces hypertension: Needless to say that the high-blood pressure levels, or hypertension in individuals is extremely harmful for the healthy functioning of ones' body. Flaxseeds are said to be useful in lowering the blood-pressure levels in individuals. In a research conducted by the journal Meat Science, it was revealed that the regular consumption of flaxseeds can lead to a significant fall in blood-pressure by a whopping 10 points.

Improves digestion: The tremendous benefits of flaxseeds aren't merely limited to your blood flow, but also branch out to the other important bodily functions including digestion. Flaxseeds are a brilliant source of dietary fibre which are in turn a must for the bowel movements to be in your favour. You do not have to necessarily consume these seeds in their raw form, the option of adding them to your diet in form of oil and flaxseed flour is also available.

Lowers cholesterol: The kind of lifestyle most of us have today is scarred with the irrational consumption of unhealthy, fat-laden food and little or no exercise. It therefore becomes almost natural for the levels of cholesterol to shoot up. The high levels of cholesterol in ones' body can result in the clogging of arteries, which may ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. The consumption of flaxseeds on a regular basis have been known to have a significant hand in lowering the levels of cholesterol. Whether you want to sprinkle flaxseeds on your food or crush them and consume their oil is completely up to you.

Healthier skin, nails and hair: A vegetarian alternative for the intake of the very healthy fish oil, flaxseed oil is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Food items rich in Omega-3s are said to provide hydration, lock moisture and lend a healthy appearance to the skin and hair. Using flaxseeds in forms such as flaxseed gel, flaxseed facial or simply applying flaxseed oil to your hair will reap wonderful benefits for you.

Rich in fibre, low on carbohydrates: Many a times, food items that are rich in fibre are also potential sources of carbohydrates. The right amount of fibre intake by one ensures that his or her body has a normal glucose level, a fully-functional digestive system, and cholesterol levels that aren't unhealthy. Flaxseeds are one of the few food items which are rich in fibre, but low on carbohydrates. According to healthyeating.sfgate.com, "a tablespoon of whole flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fibre, which is 11% of the daily recommended value of fibre for both men and women."

The benefits of flaxseeds mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. These tiny seeds of goodness have also been known to act as the instrumental change in helping with menopausal symptoms like hot sweats, and in the reduction of depression.



What the Role of Flaxseed in Preventing Heart Disease?

By Linda Gilmour Kessler, RD

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Canada and the United States. There are many things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease: • Know your blood pressure and keep it under control • Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep them under control • Exercise regularly • Don't smoke • Get tested for diabetes and if you have it, keep it under control • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables • Maintain a healthy weight

The Role of Flaxseed in Preventing Heart Disease

Flaxseed can promote heart health by lowering total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and protecting the blood vessels from damaging inflammation. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre – components that are known to protect against heart disease.

Flaxseed Health Claim

Health Canada has approved a health claim for flaxseed based on evidence that linked ground (milled) whole flaxseed with reductions in blood cholesterol. Flaxseed decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels enough to significantly reduce the death rate from heart disease by 8.5%.

The health claim states that eating 5 Tbsp. (75 mL) of ground (milled) whole flaxseed per day over three meals helps reduce cholesterol. Other permitted health claims for ground flaxseed include:

• 16 g (2 tablespoons) (30 mL) of ground flaxseed supplies 40% of the daily amount shown to help lower cholesterol
• Ground (whole) flaxseed helps reduce/lower cholesterol
• High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease
• Ground (whole) flaxseed helps reduce/lower cholesterol, (which is) a risk factor for heart disease

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed contains heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that may help lower blood pressure and heart rate, decrease blood clotting, improve blood vessel function, lower triglycerides and lower inflammation.

Soluble Fibre

Flaxseed is a good source of total dietary fibre, containing 2 g of fibre per tablespoon (15 mL). Flaxseed contains a high amount of soluble dietary fibre that may help to lower serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation to reduce the risk of heart disease. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease. Healthy eating, active living, having a healthy weight, not smoking and keeping health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes under control are all important to protecting your heart. Including ground flaxseed as part of your heathy eating plan is an easy way to help protect your heart!


Could Flaxseed Compound Prevent Mesothelioma?

By Alex Strauss

There is new evidence that an antioxidant compound found in flaxseeds may help in the fight against malignant mesothelioma.

Approximately 2,500 new cases of the asbestos cancer are diagnosed in the US each year and tens of thousands more around the globe, yet there is still no cure.

Now, researchers in Pennsylvania say flaxseed lignans may hold the key to helping prevent mesothelioma. What are Flaxseed Lignans?

Lignans are polyphenols found in plants, including flax, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

According to research at Oregon State University, lignans are the principal source of dietary phytoestrogens, plant compounds that can mimic some of the effects of estrogen in the body, in the Western diet.

Flaxseed lignans are rich in a compound called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, an antioxidant which has been shown to slow the growth of human breast cancer in mice. Testing Lignans for Mesothelioma Prevention

To test whether flaxseed lignans could help prevent malignant mesothelioma, researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia used two groups of mice.

One group of 16-17 mice was fed a standard diet while the the second group was fed a diet supplemented with flaxseed lignan compound.

After one week, the mice were injected with asbestos fibers, the number one cause of mesothelioma worldwide. Defending Against Asbestos

One of the ways asbestos is thought to trigger mesothelioma is by causing chronic inflammation. But the Pennsylvania team found that mice who ate the flax-enriched diet experienced much less of the kind of inflammation that can lead to mesothelioma.

“Flaxseed lignan component also significantly blunted asbestos-induced nitrosative and oxidative stress,” the team reports in the journal Carcinogenesis.

Because this kind of cellular “stress” can also influence the development of mesothelioma, the team concludes that flaxseed lignans “may prove to be a promising agent in the chemoprevention of malignant mesothelioma.”


Flattering Flax seeds: Health benefits of the wonder seed

(FPJ Bureau)

The other day, I saw something new in my kitchen- brownish, flat seeds. I had not seen it before. On enquiry, I was told they were roasted flax seeds, something that one of my mom’s friends had suggested that she consume it every day in order to reduce joint pains. Wow! Another home remedy; I grinned.

On further research, here’s what I got to know and I would like to thank the lady who introduced flax seeds to our family.

Protective against cancer

Flax seeds may reduce risks of certain cancers, along with lung and cardiovascular diseases.By interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells, it is said to increase the survival of cancer patients thanks to the presence of lignans. It has a protective effect against colon, breast and prostate cancer and also melanoma tumor.

Regulates blood pressure

According to Greek researchers, adding flax seed oil to your diet would help reduce hypertension (high blood pressure). With that, you may be saved from the terrible headaches that accompany high blood pressure.

Fights depression

At a time when our stress levels compete every day, depression can sometimes follow like an uninvited guest. According to a Japanese study, eating flax seeds could rectify the imbalances in the body. Smile, while you still have teeth and after that, of course you have flax seeds.

Helps against liver degradation

After downing jugs of alcohol, even after your body tells you to go slow, there are chances that your liver’s functioning would have started going for a toss. Flax seeds could help lower the risk of contracting liver disease. But then, in order to completely be safe from alcohol’s detrimental effects, you do have to say goodbye to it sooner!

Relieves hot-flashes

In post-menopausal women, flax seeds seem to alleviate hot flashes. Also, it helps in maintaining their overall health.

Note: Some of the side effects of consumption of flax seeds include bloating, constipation, stomach pains, flatulence, nausea and diarrhea.

Sources:

www.webmd.com

www.mensfitness.com

Photo Gallery of Flaxseed

<gallery> File:Flaxseed for rye bread.jpg|Flaxseed used for Rye Bread File:Flax-plant.jpg File:Flaxseed golden yellow.jpg </gallery.

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