Flaxseed may very well be the new wonder food in the market today. Various researches and studies have found numerous health benefits of the tiny brown seeds. Flaxseed is wowing people the world over with its cancer fighting properties and powerful diabetes counter action.
Flaxseed has been around for centuries and is said to have been cultivated in the ancient city of Babylon since as early as 3000 BC. Fast forward a few thousand years and King Charlemagne passed laws that required his subjects to consume flaxseed, so powerful was his belief in this little magic seed. Of course now, we have research to back up his suspicions.
Flaxseed is abundant in all sorts of food products today, ranging from digestive biscuits to frozen pancakes to oatmeal. 300 new flax-based products were introduced in the U.S. and Canada in the year 2010 alone. Consumer demand for flaxseed has gone through the roof and its agricultural use has also grown; particularly for feeding chickens that lay eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed contains a variety of healthy components, but its magic properties are attributed to the most significant three – Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. Omega-3 fatty acids are good fats that help keep your heart healthy. Lignans have both plant estrogen and anti-oxidant benefits; flaxseed boasts of 75 to 800 times more lignans than any other plant based food. And of course, the rich fiber content, both soluble and insoluble, have given flaxseed its reputation for maintaining a clean colon.
Studies in recent times have suggested that flaxseed may have a defensive effect against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. The lignans in flaxseed may help protect against hormone sensitive cancers without interfering with breast cancer drug tamoxifen and lignans exposure during adolescence can reduce breast cancer risk as well as increase survival of breast cancer patients. Lignans also block enzymes involved in hormone metabolism and interfere with growth and spread of tumor cells to fight against cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids help the cardiovascular system by improving anti-inflammatory action and normalizing heartbeat. Studies have also suggested significant blood pressure lowering effects of flaxseed. Flaxseed lignans can reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup in arteries by up to 75% by keeping white blood cells from clinging to the inner linings of blood vessels. Flaxseed consumption also helps keep cholesterol levels in check by reducing LDLs in the blood stream.
Lignans in flaxseed may also improve blood sugar levels in adults in type 2 diabetes, and ALA and lignans can also reduce inflammation seen in diseases like Parkinson’s by blocking release of some pro-inflammatory agents.
Incorporating flaxseed into your daily life by consuming food products that contain this magical seed will help improve your overall health in a major way. Give yourself the fantastic health benefits of flaxseed everyday!