Flaxseeds -Health Benefits
Flaxseeds have been consumed for at least 6,000 years, making them one of the world’s first cultivated superfoods.. What does flaxseed do for you that makes it one of the most popular “superfoods”? Flaxseeds contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (although not the same type that fish, such as salmon, do) along with antioxidant substances called lignans that help promote hormonal balance in addition to several other benefits of flaxseed.
Benefits of flaxseed include helping improve digestion, giving you clearer skin, lowering cholesterol, reducing sugar cravings, balancing hormones and even helping fight cancer — and that’s just the beginning!
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.
Flax seeds may be able to help fight against cancer, lung disease and heart disease.
Top 10 Benefits of Flaxseed
- High in Fiber but Low in Carbs
- High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Helps Make Skin and Hair Hairy
- Helps Lower Cholesterol
- High in Antioxidants (Lignans)
- Supports Digestive Health
- May Help Prevent Cancer
- May Help with Weight Loss
- Helps Decrease Menopausal and Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
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 if 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 fibre , 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.
- Helps Make Skin and Hair HealthyWhy is flaxseed good for your hair? Flaxseeds benefits for hair include making it shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage. The ALA fats in flax seeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fatty acids as well as B vitamins, which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea and eczema. The same benefits also apply to eye health, as flax can help reduce dry eye syndrome due to its lubricating effects.Flaxseed oil is another great option for your skin, nails, eyes and hair since it has an even higher concentration of healthy fats. If you want healthier skin, hair and nails, consider adding two tablespoons of flaxseeds to your smoothie or one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your daily routine. You can take up to one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil by mouth per day to hydrate your skin and hair. It can also be mixed with essential oils and used topically as a natural skin moisturizer, since it seeps into your skin and reduces dryness.
- 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 flaxseed meal.
When can flaxseed be used?
Flaxseed is useful for horses on a high grain (and therefore high omega 6 fatty acid) diet or when they are eating hay that has been in storage for some time or grazing low quality pasture. Flaxseed may also be used when horses have a dry coat and skin, if they have problems with inflammation including arthritis and sweet itch, or when high omega 6 oils like flaxseed oil or sunflower oil are being fed as an energy source in the diet. Flaxseed itself can be used as a source of energy in the diet and because of its high fat attribute is often found in supplements intended to promote weight gain in horses.
- Flax is one of the richest known sources of Omega-3 of any plant in the world! Flax seed naturally contains 40 percent oil, of which 55 percent is Omega-3 essential oil. Ground flax seed is an excellent source!
- There is some scientific evidence to suggest that Omega-3 essential fatty acids can have a natural “calming effect” beneficial in managing those ‘high strung’ horses.
- Improved coat, skin, and hooves.
- Antioxidant properties to help improve overall metabolic processes.
- Improved Stamina.
- Joint lubrication and overall tissue health! Omega 3 EFA’s anti-inflammatory properties may be useful in treating a number of autoimmune dysfunctions as well as in easing the symptoms (sore aching joints) of arthritis, or preexisting injuries.
- Excellent addition/preventative to horses’ diets who are pastured or stabled on sandy terrain and are at an increased risk of sand colic or impaction. Stabilized ground flax seed contains a high amount of insoluble fiber and soluble fiber which is very high in mucilage. Flax mucilage swells and takes on a gel-like consistency that traps and suspends sand, carrying it out..
- High in Fiber – keep those guts moving!
- Immune Booster! Horses can become stressed during travel, competition, and stalling at strange places. Stress can decrease our horse’s natural immune function and response which in turn may make them more susceptible to certain diseases and viruses.
- Low carb. Heart healthy! Flax supplementation has been shown to aid in the management of the following equine disorders: Insulin resistance, Cushings Disease, and Laminitis. Flax offers a ‘good fat’ to our horses’ diets!
Naturopath ,Herbalist, Iridoligist