Posted on Jan 30, 2023, 11 a.m.
The nutritious, nutty-tasting flax seeds, also known as the Alsi seeds, are a popular superfood rich in nutrition. These healthy seeds can be found everywhere in the world and used in different forms, with significant benefits like improved skin, improved gut health, better hair, etc.
You can use it in your smoothies, add it to homemade desserts, and even use it with snacks like burgers. But before you go on to discuss how you can incorporate this healthy food into your diet, let’s first read about flax seeds' health benefits.
Flax Seeds Health Benefits
Flax seeds are popular for their huge benefits.
1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They help prevent cholesterol from depositing in the heart’s blood vessels and the formation of blood clots. In addition to promoting heart health, omega-3 fatty acids help in protecting against cognitive decline, which makes the use of flax seed all the more important. One tablespoon of flax seed contains approximately 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
2. Rich in Lignans – Compared to other plant foods, flax seeds consist of 750-800 times more lignans, a type of phytoestrogen found in many plant foods, including flax seeds. They help regulate estrogen levels in the body, thus reducing the risk of breast cancer. Lignans may also help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, its antioxidant properties help in protecting cells from damage.
3. Improved Digestion and Weight Management – Flax seeds or Alsi seeds are rich in fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements. Moreover, lignans in flax seeds may act as prebiotics and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. More benefits of Alsi seeds include a controlled appetite and reduced calorie intake, which may be helpful in weight management.
4. Benefits for Hair and Skin – Flax seeds have high contents of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and other beneficial compounds such as antioxidants and minerals. The omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds moisturize the skin and hair. This reduces dryness and flakiness, improving the overall appearance. Meanwhile, lignans regulate estrogen levels in the body, again improving hair and skin health.
5. Lower Cholesterol Levels – Flax seeds consist of soluble fiber, which promotes the excretion of bile acids in the small intestine, thus lowering cholesterol levels. It helps get rid of ‘bad’ cholesterol, which is especially helpful for people at risk of heart disease.
6. Lower Blood Sugar – Fiber in flax seeds slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Therefore, this superfood is highly beneficial for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of lignans and omega-3 fatty acids can also be helpful to diabetics.
Ways to Add Flax Seeds to Your Diet
If flax seeds go through the digestive tract unbroken, they do not provide complete nutritional value. Therefore, it is recommended to also use ground flax in your diet to provide more nutrition to the body. And since they go perfectly with many recipes, you can consume Alsi daily. However, it can make you feel a little bloated, so make sure to keep your intake to 1-2 tablespoons a day.
Here are some of our favorite flax seeds uses:
- Sprinkle Alsi seeds on yogurt (both dairy and non-dairy)
- Sprinkle them on oatmeal and cottage cheese
- Make use of flax seeds in baked goods such as cakes and muffins
- Stir some flax seeds in soups and sauces
- Add them to your salads
- Add a scoop of flax to your smoothies
- Consume flax seed with water as a simple egg substitute
While flax seeds offer huge nutritional benefits, always take caution while consuming them. For example, it may have a slight effect on the hormones of pregnant or breastfeeding women. It’s also a good idea to discuss the use of flax seeds with your doctor if you have kidney-related problems.
Be mindful of what you put in your body as per your unique health status, and we are sure you would see positive changes.
This article was written for WHN by Kunal Tambewho is part of the content marketing team at Two Brothers Organic Farms. With his team, he works tirelessly to create awareness about organic farming, food sovereignty, sustainable practices, nutrition, climate change and a myriad of issues that surround these topics. His content offers value to farmers, the agriculture industry and to end consumers. Besides writing and developing content strategies, he loves adventure sports and listening to classical music.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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