Flax seeds is the No. 1source of lignansin the human diets. Flaxseed contain about seven times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds. Flax is one of the oldest fiber crops in the world. It is known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. In Asia, it has played a role in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Flax seeds contain lot of nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and fat. It helps to improve digestion, skin, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and hormone balance while fighting cancer, and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Helps Make Skin and Hair Healthy
Flax seeds helps to make the hair shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage. It contains ALA fats which benefits both the hair and skin by reducing dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea and eczema. It also benefits eyes by reducing dry eye syndrome due to its lubricating effects.
Helps Lower Cholesterol and Treat Hyperlipidemia
Flax seeds reduce the cholesterol level in the body by increasing the amount of fat excreted through bowel movements. Flax seeds helps in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
Hyperlipidemia is having an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood, and it’s one of the most important risk factors of ischemic heart disease.
Flax seeds can be easily digested as it is gluten-free. It can be easily metabolized and it is anti-inflammatory.
May Help Manage Diabetes
Flax seeds helps in maintaining diabetes. It is lowered their cholesterol, blood-sugar levels. Flax seeds also increases insulin sensitivity.
High in Antioxidants (Lignans)
Flax seeds are full of antioxidants , specifically the type called lignans that are unique fiber-related polyphenols. It reduces free radical damage, therefore flax has anti-aging, hormonal-balancing and cellular-regenerating effects.
Lignans are also known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flu.
May Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Flax seeds help in reducing of blood-sugar levels. It helps to manage blood pressure.
Supports Digestive Health
Flax seeds promotes digestive health. It has been beneficial in Crohn’s disease and other digestive ailments. Flax seeds helps in cleansing the waste from the body. It also maintains bowel movement. Flax seeds contain magnesium which promotes digestive health by hydrating stool and relaxing the muscles in the GI tract.
May Help Lower Cancer Risk
Flax seeds help to prevent many types of cancer like breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. For this reason, flax is included in the Budwig diet protocol, a natural approach to helping prevent and treat cancer.
May Help with Weight Loss
Flax seeds support weight loss. As it tends to keep your stomach full leading to take less calories which helps to lose weight.
Helps Decrease Menopausal and Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Flax seeds contain lignans which is very beneficial for menopausal women. Flaxseed can also be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in some cases or as a complementary approach to balancing hormones due to the estrogenic properties that lignans have. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and can even help menstruating women by helping to maintain cycle regularity, such as encouraging a normal length luteal phase (the period between ovulation and menstruation).
Flax seeds can be taken before morning and before night meal with water, as suggested by a doctor. I eat them right after dinner mostly as an extra fiber consumption. Flax seeds goes well with every food item.
How to buy and store flax seeds
Flax seeds are available in all major grocery stores, supermarkets, health food stores and online. Store flax seeds in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from becoming rancid. Ground flaxseeds stored in the refrigerator in this manner will keep fresh for six months; and in the freezer, for one year.
Uses of flax seeds
Flax seeds or flaxseed oil can be added to many common foods.
- Adding them to water and drinking it as part of your daily fluid intake
- Drizzling flaxseed oil as a dressing on salad
- Sprinkling ground flax seeds over your hot or cold breakfast cereal
- Mixing them into your favorite yogurt
- Adding them into cookie, muffin, bread or other batters
- Mixing them into smoothies to thicken up the consistency
- Adding them to water as an egg substitute
- Incorporating them into meat pattie
Ways to use flax seeds
Flaxseeds for detoxification.
Soak 1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed in 1 cup of water overnight.
The next morning, eat both the seeds and gel.
Repeat daily for 2 weeks.
You can also add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed to any
green detox smoothie.
Flax Seeds for cholesterol
Flax seeds can be used to help lower bad cholesterol. Simply add three tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your oatmeal every day and see your bad cholesterol levels come down.
Flaxseed oil for arthritis
Add this oil to your food or directly consume one teaspoon of the oil, daily for three times. This will help cure arthritis.
Flax seeds for constipation
Boil three quarts of water and add two tablespoons of flaxseed to this water. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes. After cooling this water, strain and store it in some containers. You get approximately 2 quarts of this liquid. Add about 2 to 3 ounces in the fruit juice that you drink in the morning. This will help in preventing constipation.
Season in which flax seeds are available
Flax seeds are available all year round.
How to make Flax Seed Raita Recipe
Ingredients of Flax Seed Raita
3 tablespoon flax seeds
2 cup grated bottle gourd
1/2 cup water
salt as required
2 cup yoghurt (curd)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
10 leaves coriander leaves
Place a pan on medium heat and roast the flax seeds and cumin seeds. Let it cool and then grind the roasted seeds into a powder. Keep it aside.
Keep another pan on medium heat and add grated bottle gourd and 1/2 cup water to it. Stir and let the mixture cook for 6-7 minutes, evaporating the water. Let it cool.
Meanwhile, take a big bowl and beat the yogurt in it till it is smooth. Add the flax and cumin seed powder, salt and sugar to the yogurt and mix again.
Now add the cooked bottle gourd and gently stir the mixture.
Refrigerate the raita for sometime. Garnish the raita with coriander leaves and serve chilled
How to make Flax Seeds Curry Leaf Karam Podi
2 tsps oil/ghee for roasting
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup packed curry leaves, washed and dried
1/2 cup bengal gram dal/senaga pappu
2 tbsps cup black gram dal/minapappu
1 tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniyalu/dhania
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera/jeelakarra
8-10 dried red chillies, tear into two and de-seed (adjust to suit your spice level)
8 garlic cloves OR 1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
1 Drizzle oil in a heavy bottomed vessel and roast the chana dal on low to medium heat for 3-4 mts. Add split gram dal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies to the roasting chana dal and continue to roast till the dals release their flavor and turn golden. Remove and cool.
2 In the same vessel, add the flax seeds and roast on low flame till they give a crackling sound like sesame seeds. Remove and keep aside.
3 In the same vessel, drizzle little oil and add the curry leaves and roast on low flame till crisp. Remove and keep aside.
4 Place the cooled dals-spices mixture, curry leaves, flax seeds and salt in a blender and grind to make a coarse powder. Add the garlic towards the end and grind for a few seconds.
5 Store in an airtight container and place in refrigerator. Serve with tiffins like dosas and idlis with a generous helping of ghee or oil.
There are many variations to this podi. One variation, add a small gooseberry sized tamarind to the above ingredients to get that tangy flavor. Add the tamarind at the time of grinding the ingredients. Another variation is to replace garlic with a little less than 1/4 tsp asafoetida. Always grind the ingredients only after they are completely cool, otherwise they will a form a lump and you will not achieve the desired powder consistency if ground when still hot. Always store in dry air tight bottles and use a dry spoon to remove the podi. Podis are best consumed within 3-4 weeks of preparation, as they don’t retain the freshness after a month or so. You can also refrigerate for a longer shelf life and freshness.
Too much flaxseed can lead to:
- flatulence and bloating
- abdominal pain
- constipation or diarrhea
- In people with a bowel obstruction, flaxseed could cause or worsen these symptoms.
Raw and unripe flaxseeds are not suitable for consumption, as they may be toxic. Flaxseed should always be consumed with plenty of fluid. Pregnant women are not advised to consume flax seeds because the phytoestrogens it contains could have an adverse effect. It may not be suitable while breastfeeding too.
Fun facts about flaxseed
- Consuming ground flaxseeds enables the body to absorb the nutrients more effectively.
- Flax has erect stem with multiple branches on top of the plant. It can reach 3 feet 11 inches in height.
- Flax has strong taproot that can grow to the depth of 3 to 4 feet.
- Flax produces simple, lanceolate leaves with smooth edges. Leaves are grayish green colored and alternately arranged on the stem.
- Flax develops pale blue flowers arranged in loose raceme inflorescence (unbranched inflorescence composed of flowers with short flower stalks). Some varieties of flax produce white, yellow or red flowers.
- Flax produces bisexual flowers (they contain both types of reproductive organs) and it can perform self-pollination.
- Fruit of flax is round, dry capsule (called boll) filled with up to 10 oval, smooth and shiny seed. Flax seed can be yellow, greenish, green-brownish, brown or very dark (almost black). Most commonly cultivated varieties of flax produce light-brown or brown seed.
- Flax propagates via seed. Plant is ready for the harvest around 100 days after planting.
- Flax seed and oil extracted from the seed are used in human diet. They are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins of the B group and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
- Flax oil is used for salads. It should not be used for cooking because heat destroys all nutrients. Seed can be ground or consumed whole as ingredient of breakfast cereals, granola bars and various desserts, breads and pastry.
- Flax seed and oil extracts are used in treatment of respiratory disorders, flu, common cold, fever and rheumatism.
- Fibers extracted from the stem are used in the manufacture of linen. They are smooth, straight and 3 times stronger (but less elastic) than cotton fibers. Flax fibers are used in textile industry for the manufacture of cloth and bed sheets.
- Linen was symbol of purity in the ancient Egypt. Priests wore only cloth made of linen and used straps of linen during the process of mummification to cover the mummies.
- Flax fibers are used in the industry of paper for the manufacture of paper for cigarettes, tea bags and banknotes.
- Flax oil is used in the industry of paints, varnishes and printing inks. Leftovers of seed (after oil extraction) are used as animal feed.
- Flax is an annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one year.