Flaxseed: benefits, nutritional content, recipes and side effects
Flaxseed or linseed is considered a functional food, that is to say it contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibers. The use of flaxseed reduces the risk of certain diseases. They strengthen the organic defense and reduce the rate of cellular aging. Proteins, dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are present in the composition of flaxseed. Flaxseed is the richest source of omega-3 in nature.
Scientific research has focused on the potential role of flaxseed in the prevention and cure of many degenerative diseases. Many studies have been developed to confirm the benefits of regular consumption of flaxseed. Some claim they can help reduce bad cholesterol levels as they are high in soluble fiber.
The main nutrients of flaxseed
Each 10 g of flaxseed contains:
- Calories: 53.40 kcal.
- Carbohydrates: 4.33 g.
- Protein: 1.41 g.
- Fats: 3.23 g.
- Saturated fat: 2.53 g.
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.71 g.
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.42 g.
- Omega 3: 0.54 mg.
- Omega-6: 1.98 mg.
- Fibers: 3.35 g.
- Sodium: 9 mg.
- Calcium: 21.1 mg.
- Magnesium: 34.7 mg.
- Manganese: 0.29 mg.
- Phosphorus: 61.5 mg.
- Iron: 0.47 mg.
- Potassium: 86.9 mg.
- Copper: 0.11 mg.
- Zinc: 0.44 mg.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 0.01 mg.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 0.01 mg.
Benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseed can be used in yogurts, salads, juices and smoothies. It can be mixed with other cereals, cakes, pastries and bread. It also replaces the oil or fat used in a recipe. For example, if a preparation requires 1/3 cup of oil, use 1 tablespoon of flaxseed instead.
Recommended amount of flaxseed
Experts recommend eating a spoonful of flaxseed that equals 10 grams. This is enough to have a good deal of the necessary alpha-linolenic acid each day. However, it is possible to eat a little more provided it does not exceed 20 grams, because a large amount of fiber can cause discomfort.
According to scientific studies, the consumption of flaxseeds provides a gradual increase in vitality and energy. It increases the metabolic coefficient and efficiency in cellular energy production. The muscles recover better from exercise fatigue.
Ground flaxseed is excellent for controlling obesity because of its high amount of dietary fiber (five times more than oats). It helps to reduce appetite and reduce cholesterol quickly. If you want to lose weight, you can take an extra spoonful in the afternoon.
Fight against various types of cancer
Flaxseed contains 27 anti-cancer components including lignin. Flaxseeds provide 100 times more lignin than the best whole grains. So far, no other plant with similar properties is known.
Lignin protects and prevents the formation of tumors. In case of cancer, it is recommended to combine ground flaxseed with low calorie cottage cheese.
Prevent diseases of the skin and hair
With the regular consumption of flaxseeds, the skin becomes softer. It is ideal for dry skin, sensitive to sunlight or psoriasis and eczema problems.
Flaxseed is also recommended as a face mask for thorough cleansing. It helps eliminate white spots, acne and pimples.
Flaxseed is a laxative that prevents diverticula in the intestinal wall. It stimulates the elimination of contaminating toxins, lubrication and regeneration of the intestinal flora. It is ideal for both constipation and acidity and helps expel gastric gases.
The nervous system
People who consume flaxseed regularly notice a sharp decrease in nervous tension and a feeling of calm. It is recommended for people with jobs with a lot of pressure. It is also capable of improving the schizophrenic behavioral problems and mental problems of the elderly. Flaxseed is a dose of energy for the brain because it contains nutrients for neurotransmitters.
Linen intake relieves inflammatory conditions of all types, such as gastritis, hepatitis, arthritis, colitis, tonsillitis and meningitis among others.
Regular consumption of flaxseeds helps the kidneys to excrete water and sodium. Fluid retention (edema) is associated with swollen ankles, some forms of obesity, premenstrual syndrome, all stages of cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Flaxseed relieves allergies and is effective for lupus. Since it contains Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9 and other nutrients, it helps the body to have a high resistance to diseases, including heart disease.
Flaxseed is ideal for the treatment of arteriosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, coronary artery hypertension, thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmias. It increases platelets for the prevention of blood clots, it is also excellent for regulating bad cholesterol.
One of the unique characteristics of flaxseed comes from prostaglandin, which regulates blood pressure and plays an important role in calcium metabolism.
How to consume flaxseeds?
Flaxseed can be eaten in four ways:
Flaxseeds can be added to juices, salads, fruits and yogurts. Being crushed, they ensure better absorption of all nutrients in addition to maintaining the fibers. It is also possible to buy it at a very low price in Amazon.
To consume flaxseed, they must be well chewed to break their shell. Flaxseed are composed of cellulose that is not digested in the intestine and eventually becomes a barrier to nutrients.
Another way to ensure the consumption of nutrients is to grind it at home. But the result can only be kept in the refrigerator for four days because it loses its essential nutrients. It is also possible to buy industrial flaxseed that lasts one month from the moment the container is opened.
Flaxseed oil is one of the richest foods omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 is an antioxidant that promotes cell renewal as an essential fatty acid. Omega-6 offers many health benefits. It stimulates fat metabolism and energy production by regulating cell function and tissue healing.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for the human body; Therefore, it is important to incorporate them into the diet. Flaxseed oil is extracted from the whole seed, using methods developed specifically for this purpose.
Linseed oil can be consumed in capsules. Normally, because of the handling and the entire process of encapsulation, the linseed oil ends up being less effective than if it were fresh. Its consumption in this form must be prescribed by a doctor specializing in nutrition.
How to use flaxseeds?
It is possible to crush the seed in a blender for a few minutes without turning it into powder. The shell has a high concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals. But as it is very hard, the digestive system can not treat it properly. Therefore, flaxseed in the form of flour is more beneficial.
Flaxseed can be stored in the refrigerator in a clean, dry, tightly closed glass. It must be consumed in about a week.
It is possible to take a spoonful a day at any time. To have a good intestinal function, it is advisable to consume it on an empty stomach with water or any preferred liquid.
To improve intestinal function, place a tablespoon of flaxseed in ½ cup of water at night and let it sit for 12 hours to eat water on an empty stomach. It can also be added to other foods.
Reduction of bad cholesterol and premenstrual or menopausal symptoms
Eat a tablespoon of flaxseed every day, preferably in flour, with meals. Prevent seeds from undergoing thermal heating processes so that the good grease does not rust.
To fight obesity and lose weight
Put two tablespoons crushed ground flaxseed in the blender. Mix them with water or juice and take it during the day. Another way is to mix a tablespoon of flour with three of water in a small bowl.
Let stand for about two minutes, because if you let more time, the preparation becomes too thick. Flaxseeds can be added directly to all foods and eaten by people of all ages, including pregnant women.
Combination of flaxseeds with soy
Flaxseeds and soybeans are a combination rich in phytoestrogens, but with different actions. The first fat part of the lignans, while the second is an isoflavone. Both act on the symptoms of menopause and instead of seeing them as competitors, most experts encourage the consumption of this combination daily to make the most of its benefits. As excess soy can cause problems in the thyroid, it is beneficial to mix it with flaxseed to reduce its effect.
- 1 cooked potato.
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin.
- 1 carrot.
- 1 cup cooked spinach.
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
Mix all ingredients in a blender except the oil. Add water to obtain the desired consistency. Place the fire until it boils, then remove from heat and serve immediately with a little extra virgin olive oil to decorate and flavor.
Corn tart with flaxseed
- 3 cups of corn.
- 2 eggs.
- 1 cup plain yogurt.
- 1 cup of cottage cheese.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour.
- 3 tablespoons flaxseeds.
- ½ tablespoon baking soda.
Put all the ingredients in a blender. Place in a greased mold and place in the oven at medium temperature (180ºC) for 30 minutes.
- Mix only the amount you need to use. Ground grain can be oxidized if stored outside the refrigerator, losing its properties.
- Consume preferably 2 to 3 tablespoons for lunch and dinner. If you notice intestinal discomfort, you should decrease the intake until the symptoms disappear.
- It is possible that flaxseeds help to lose weight, but only if you also follow a low calorie diet.
- When a large amount of fiber is consumed, it is important that the water intake is also increased. In this way, we avoid affecting the bowel.
Differences between golden flax and brown flax
Golden flaxseed is rich in omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, while brown flax contains only omega-3 fatty acids. Another important difference is that the former is grown in a certified organic way, that is to say without using pesticides. But from a nutritional point of view, the two are similar.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 in flaxseed
Both of these fats work together and are excellent for the heart as they help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels responsible for blocking the arteries. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. They help the body store less fat and reduce appetite. In combination with vitamin E, both fats prevent the aging of the skin.
Undesirable effects of the consumption of linseed
Obstruction of the digestive tract
Flaxseed can cause clogging of the esophagus or intestines if taken in large doses or without sufficient fluid, warns the NIH. Anyone with narrowing of the esophagus or intestine, or who has already had an obstruction in these areas, should not consume flaxseed. In addition, patients with scleroderma should consult a doctor before taking flaxseed. Some patients with scleroderma developed severe constipation and intestinal obstruction after starting with the fiber supplement.
While allergic reactions to flaxseed are rare, some severe reactions have been reported. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Anaphylaxis has also been presented, which puts life in danger. Anaphylaxis involves a sudden drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing.
The effects of overdose
The effects of an overdose of flaxseed have been studied. Signs may include shortness of breath, hyperventilation, weakness and difficulty walking. An overdose of flaxseed can also cause seizures or paralysis.
Flaxseed can have effects similar to estrogen, and women who eat it every day can have changes in menstruation. Women with hormone-related health problems should pay attention to the use of flaxseed. These conditions include endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovary, and uterus. Pregnant women should not take flaxseed supplements either, as this may stimulate menstruation or cause other hormonal effects that may be harmful to the developing baby.
Effects on other health disorders
Omega 3 fatty acids can increase blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should be cautious when using flaxseed.
Flaxseed can also increase the risk of excessive bleeding by decreasing coagulation. People with bleeding disorders or taking medications or anticoagulant supplements should pay attention to the use of flaxseed supplements. If they consume enough flaxseed periodically, these patients will need a change in the dose of the drug.
Another health condition that deserves caution when consuming flaxseed is bipolar disorder because it can cause mania in people who suffer from this disorder.
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov : Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food
 https://www.webmd.com : The Benefits of Flaxseed
 https://www.healthline.com : Top 10 Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
 https://draxe.com : Top 10 Benefits of Flaxseed + How to Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet