All About Flax Seeds: Benefits, Safety, And Consumption Details That You Must Know!

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Even the tiniest bit of nature has the potential to rectify the existence of life on earth. No, this is not about atoms and molecules. It is something a layman is well aware of.

The boon of nature is to nurture life and keep the food chain going.  Yes, it’s about “seeds”. They are full of variety. Big, small, flaky, nutty, mild, crunchy, and whatnot.

To cover all of it, a separate branch of science would be needed. Even though everyone knows what seeds are, their benefits remain shadowed.  

They are not only useful for growing plants but some of them are edible and can work wonders for the human body. One of these crispy and nutritious seeds is flax seeds.

You could say that these are some of the best seeds and you may find them in the list of high fiber foods as well.

Flax seeds belong to the Linaceae family. They are also called linseeds. The other popular name for it is common flax. It grows into a flowering plant called Linum usitatissimum. 

They are generally 4-7 mm long. Their texture is glossy and their shape is like an apple pip. They are available in two variants i.e. brown flax seeds and golden flax seeds.

Not much is different between the two when it comes to nutritious properties. The practice of consuming flax seeds is not new.

It was first recommended by King Charles the Great to his subjects during his reign in the 8th century.  Therefore, its name was kept Linum usitatissimum.

Later, suspicion of Charles was proved to be true by the scientists. Researchers have found flax seeds very useful for human health.

All About Flax Seeds

Nutritious Value Of Flax Seeds

They serve as a good source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Since this is an essential acid and is not produced by the body, flax seeds consumption can fulfill the requirement.

They are a rich source of fiber and important vitamins and minerals. A daily intake of 1 tablespoon or 7g by weight is sufficient for a person.

A tablespoon of these has around 37 calories, 1.9 of fiber, 1.3 g of proteins, 2 g of carbs, and 3 g of fats. Out of this, the proportion of omega3 fatty acid is 1600 mg.

Not only this, flax seeds are said to have calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and B1. Omega3 fatty acid is the most contributory factor of flax seeds in the health field. 

Many observational studies have stated that the capabilities of flax seeds make them a superfood for consumption.

The Earliest Use Of Flax Seeds

They served as a source of the textile as per the earliest evidence.  Its traces can be found in the caves of the Republic of Georgia. It was spun, dyed or even woven to be used.

It is one of the oldest crops and has been cultivated for years. The woody core of the flax plant has flax fiber which is used to make linen.

It is a cloth which absorbs water and dries up quickly, suitable for summers, wrinkles easily. It is still used for the same purpose but is extensive.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds?

People are generally unaware of the miracles it can do for human health. There are not one but multiple benefits that are somehow related to flax seeds. Some of them are-

  1. Good For The Heart

    Flax seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids, namely, omega-3 fatty acids (ALA which is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid). It is to be inculcated in the diet as it is not produced by the body. 

    Flax seeds are a good source of these fatty acids. Therefore, it may help in the prevention of heart attack. 

    People with a good intake of ALA are likely to have better heart health than others as ALA prevents the position of cholesterol in blood vessels and also reduces the inflammation of arteries.  

    Since ALA is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, flax seeds are a good alternative for people who don’t like eating fish or are vegans and want to increase their omega3 fatty acid intake. 

    Not only this, but it can also prevent tumor growth and chronic damage to blood vessels.

  2. Improves Digestion

    One of the best ways to keep your gut healthy is to monitor and take care of your fiber intake. With this being said, it is another reason to include flax seeds in your diet. 

    They are said to be a good source of fiber which improves digestion and keeps the digestive system on track. It has two types of fibers combined, namely, soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. 

    Soluble fiber increases the amount of water binding the stools which eases the passage of tools and makes them softer. It can be useful for relieving constipation or for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. 

    Soluble fiber improves consistency and regulates bowel movement. This can help in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

  3. Healthy For Women

    Flax seeds have lignans which are Phytoestrogen. It is somewhat similar to the female hormone called estrogen. Therefore it can both boost the low level of estrogen and control it if the production is high. 

    This can be extremely beneficial for women, especially the ones above the age of 50 or menopausal women. It may also help in preventing breast cancer and PCOS. 

    Girls suffering from irregular menstrual cycles may benefit from flax seeds. As there is a possibility of these seeds regularising the ovulation. It may also prevent Urinary tract infections.  

    It is also said that it can aid in improving fertility in women by stabilizing hormones and helping them conceive.

  4. Cancer Prevention

    Some studies have depicted that it has the potential of curing different types of cancer. Breast cancer is a widespread concern across the globe. These seeds can provide a breakthrough. 

    Studies have shown that they may lower the risk of women suffering from breast cancer. Not only this, but it might also prevent prostate cancer. 

    Not many studies have been done to confirm this effect but some studies have heated towards this potential use.

    Two more varieties of cancer i.e. skin and colon cancer can also be prevented by the use of flax seeds.

  5. Good For Skin

    Flax seeds also have the potential to help you get flawless skin. It has lignans and antioxidants which can help to tighten the skin and prevent any type of sagging or wrinkles. 

    It helps to give a refreshing look to the skin and make the person look youthful. It also brightens the skin and helps it to glow. It moisturizes it naturally and keeps it hydrated.

  6. Reduces High Blood Pressure

    Exceeds can be the natural cure for high blood pressure. It possibly can lower both systolic and diastolic pressure. 

    Some researchers have depicted its potential in treating uncontrolled high blood pressure. It may be a good choice to be taken daily in the recommended amount for reducing high BP. 

    This in turn can help avoid heart problems and strokes. It may also prevent the thickening of the blood.

  7. Weight Management

    This is another very vital use of flax seeds. It is suitable for all. It is rich in protein and is included in diet plans by bodybuilders. It can also be used by anyone to accomplish his/her body goals.

    Some people believe it is good for weight gain while others say it is helpful for weight loss. It can do both. What matters is the way of intake. 

    When taken with a calorie-rich diet, it may help in weight gain. If it is taken otherwise, it induces weight loss as it is rich in fiber and other vitamins and minerals.

  8. Healthy For Hairs

    Flax seeds are also related to hair health. It regulates blood which can be healthy for the scalp. It may provide elasticity to the hair, and prevent split ends and greying of hair. 

    It keeps dandruff at bay and might even promote hair growth. It can also help to avoid greying hair and straightening them. 

    Therefore, it might prove to be a good natural companion for hair. It can save a big amount of time, effort and money.

Risks Of Consuming Flax Seeds

The seeds are considered relatively safe but only when consumed within the limit.But flax seeds also have several side effects.  

  • In case of overdose, it can cause bleeding issues, constipation, gas, bloating, digestion issues, and low blood pressure. 
  • It is safe for kids, but for infants, it should be in the form of powder or added to the batter.
  • It should not be consumed by people with high bp who already take medication or ones with low bp issues. 
  • Pregnant women should also avoid it. 
  • Besides this, people with intestinal issues should also avoid it. 
  • Consuming them unripe can be harmful.

How And When To Consume Flax Seeds?

Time and method depend on the purpose of consumption. If eaten on an empty stomach in the morning, it induces weight loss. For most benefits, it should be taken after meals.

At night, they can induce better sleep. The method can be chosen as per preference. Smoothies, pancakes, or even sprinkling on salads works well. Simply consuming a tablespoon of water is good too.

Conclusion

To conclude, it can be considered that flaxseeds are very versatile and come with many benefits that can be counted upon. It can be used for linen fiber as well as linen oil.

Being a dietary ingredient that is used in oatmeal crackers, pancakes and many more such products makes it good for a whole grain diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids’ presence gives it a big part in reducing inflammation, preventing cholesterol deposition in blood vessels, and reducing blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

They could also help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and are super easy to use making them a perfect all-rounder in dietary ingredients.

The tasty flavor it provides is a cherry on top. With all these things and benefits involved with flaxseeds, it pretty much becomes a must-have for a person who wishes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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