Flax seeds are one of those things I know are healthy and good for me, but I simply don't go out of my way to get enough. If you're anything like me, it may be time to find a way to incorporate the seed into your daily life. Luckily, it doesn't take much! Here are the benefits of flax seeds that will take your health to the next level.
Flax seeds run the gamut of health claims, but are most praised for omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber content. Here is how these three simple features can profoundly benefit your health on a daily basis, simply by enjoying this delightful seed in a baked good, salad, smoothie, or mixed into water.
Flax seeds have long been associated with cardiovascular health. The omega-3s ("good" fats) in flax seeds act as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as help to normalize the heart beat and lower blood pressure through various mechanisms. Omega-3s in flax seeds have also shown to promote brain development. There are approximately 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s in 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds.
Lignans, which are a group of fiber-like chemical compounds found in plants, are 75 to 800 times more present in flax seeds than other plant foods. They have been shown to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis by 31 percent in one study. Atherosclerosis is the hardening and thickening of artery walls, which can contribute to plague buildup. In addition to reducing cholesterol, lignans also lower blood sugar levels, which is a welcome quality by diabetics. They may also be helpful in the prevention of breast, colon and prostate cancers. Furthermore, because of their potential estrogen and anti-estrogen activity, lignans have been linked to assisting menopausal and pre-menstrual symptoms whilst preventing hormone-dependent diseases and cancers.
Flax seeds are also chock full of fiber, both the insoluble and soluble types. Most of us do not get enough fiber. Each tablespoon of flax seeds has about 8 grams of fiber. For a healthy digestive system, fiber is crucial, and flax seeds will simply pull more waste from your body and keep you light, fit and lifted.
A great way to sneak flax seeds into your diet is by grinding them in your coffee grinder and then taking 1 tablespoon and sprinkling it over your salad, hiding it into a delicious smoothie or adding it to your next baked dessert or homemade breakd. Enjoy!
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