Flaxseed- Miraculous Anti-ageing Divine Food
What is Flaxseed and how can it benefit me? I was faced with this question when I started hearing about Flaxseed not long ago. It became a ‘buzz word’ in society and seems to be making great role in increased health for many. I wanted to join that wagon of wellness and so I researched until I felt satisfied that it could help me, too. Here are my findings.
Flaxseeds are the hard, tiny seeds of Linum usitatissimum, the flax plant, which has been widely used for thousands of years as a source of food and clothing. Flaxseeds have become very popular recently, because they are a richest source of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid; also known as Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) and lignans. People in the new millennium may see flaxseed as an important new FOOD SUPER STAR. In fact, there’s nobody who won’t benefit by adding flaxseed to his or her diet. Even Gandhi wrote: “Wherever flaxseed becomes a regular food item among the people, there will be better health.”
Flaxseed contains 30-40% oil (including 36-50% alpha linolenic acid, 23-24% linoleic acid- Omega-6 fatty acids and oleic acids), mucilage (6%), protein (25%), Vitamin B group, lecithin, selenium, calcium, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, carotene, sulfur, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silicon, copper, nickel, molybdenum, chromium, and cobalt, vitamins A and E and all essential amino acids.
Other fatty acids, omega-6’s, is abundant in vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils as well as in the many processed foods made from these oils. Omega-6 fatty acids have stimulating, irritating and inflammatory effect while omega-3 fatty acids have calming and soothing effect on our body. Our bodies function best when our diets contain a well-balanced ratio of these fatty acids, meaning 1:1 to 4:1 of omega-6 and omega-3. But we typically eat 10 to 30 times more omega-6’s than omega-3’s, which is a prescription for trouble. This imbalance puts us at greater risk for a number of serious illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and arthritis. As the most abundant plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed helps restore balance and lets omega-3’s do what they’re best at: balancing the immune system, decreasing inflammation, and lowering some of the risk factors for heart disease.
One way that Omega 3 essential fatty acid known as Alpha Linolenic Acid ALA helps the heart is by decreasing the ability of platelets to clump together. Flax seed helps to lower high blood pressure, clears clogged coronaries, lowers high blood cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raises good HDL cholesterol. It can relieve the symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus. It lowers blood sugar level. Flaxseed help fight obesity. Adding flaxseed to foods creates a feeling of satiation. Furthermore, flaxseed stokes the metabolic processes in our cells. Much like a furnace, once stoked, the cells generate more heat and burn calories.
Flaxseeds are the most abundant source of lignans. Lignans are plant-based compounds that can block estrogen activity in cells, reducing the risk of Breast, Uterus, Colon and Prostate cancers. According to the US Department of Agriculture, flaxseed contains 27 identifiable cancer preventative compounds. Lignans in flaxseeds are 200 to 800 times more than any other lignan source. Lignans are phytoestrogens, meaning that they are similar to but weaker than the estrogen that a woman’s body produces naturally. Therefore, they may also help alleviate menopausal discomforts such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. They are also antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.
Because they are high in dietary fiber, ground flaxseeds can help ease the passage of stools and thus relieve constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Taken for inflammatory bowel disease, flaxseed can help to calm inflammation and repair any intestinal tract damage.
The essential fatty acids in flaxseed are largely responsible for its skin-healing powers. Dry skin, acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis often respond to the Flaxseed’s anti-inflammatory actions and overall skin-soothing properties. The abundant omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed have been shown to contribute to strengthen and fortify hair. Flaxseed oil makes skin very soft. Local Flaxseed oil massage is best anti-wrinkle therapy. Flaxseed is edible cosmetic. It is natural manicure and pedicure.
The Flaxseed keeps your mind cool and you stay cheerful. Negative thoughts stay far away from you. Your mood is always elated and positive. This is super anti depressant. Flaxseeds are essential for the function and structure of the brain and improve cognition, memory and concentration. You don’t become angry. Flaxseed’s nerve-nourishing actions may also help in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Flaxseed can improve eyesight and perception of colors. So really it is food for body, beauty and brain.
Because the hormone-balancing lignans and plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) in flaxseed helps stabilize a woman’s estrogen-progesterone ratio, they can have beneficial effects on the menstrual cycle, and relieve the hot flashes of menopause. The flaxseed is a great tool to treat male infertility, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Discussion about Flaxseed is never complete without highlighting achievements of Dr. Johanna Budwig, top European cancer research scientist. She proposed Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese diet for prevention and treatment of cancer with 90% success rate. Thousands have been helped by her protocol. Testimonials can be found for almost every type of cancer and tumors, even late stage. Dr. Budwig has been nominated for a Nobel Prize 7 times. Because she refused to use radiation or chemotherapy.
The fatty acids in flaxseed are the starting point, or the mortar and bricks for manufacturing all other fatty acids and hormone precursors necessary to support and build strong lean muscles, while prolonging stamina required for endurance sports. Flaxseed increases energy, vitality, stamina and shortens recovery time for fatigued muscles after exertion. An article entitled "Best of the Best", published in the bodybuilding and health enthusiast magazine Muscle Media 2000, claims flaxseed as "the hottest idea in bodybuilding" and "a surprising new category of bodybuilding supplement.
Ways to include flax seed and flax oil in home cooking.
• Sprinkle ground flax seed on your curd, cereals and salads.
• Ground flax seed can be added to the whole wheat flour for making chapatties, paratha etc.
• Flax seed can be added while grinding for idly or dosa.
How much should be taken in a day?
The recommended daily dose for most people is approx. 30-60 gm