Flaxseeds are one of the foods that have gradually been incorporated into the diet of many people, due to their nutritional value and also the benefits they offer to health.
In the following article, we give you all the information you need to know about flax seeds, their properties and benefits for our health.
What are flax seeds?
Flax seeds come from the flax or linseed plant ( Linum usitatissimum ). This food is native to the Caucasus region, in Russia and is a plant that is cultivated almost all over the world.
To highlight: Flax seeds stand out mainly for their high content of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, compounds that are very beneficial for heart health, that is, it is a cardioprotective food.
Properties of flax seeds
The different health benefits offered by flax seeds come from the following chemical and nutritional components that we mention below:
1. Vitamins and minerals
The vitamins present in flax seeds are: ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, vitamin E. The most important presence of these vitamins is represented by tocopherol and thiamine .
Note: Regarding minerals, flaxseeds contain calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The highest concentration is found in the minerals manganese, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
2. Fiber and fatty acids
These seeds also provide soluble and insoluble fiber and most importantly, they represent a rich source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
What benefits do flax seeds have?
The nutritional compounds of flax seeds provide a variety of health benefits, which we mention below:
1. They promote cardiovascular health
Flax seeds have a large amount of alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) or omega 3.
This fatty acid has the property of lowering triglycerides and total cholesterol, slightly reducing blood pressure thanks to the fact that it encourages the production of prostaglandins that regulate vasodilation of veins and arteries that help control blood pressure and also reduce blood clotting. the blood .
Important: Omega 3 fatty acid is not produced by the body, so it must be consumed through food in the daily diet.
2. They enhance cognitive functions
Flax seeds provide vitamins and minerals to enhance cognitive functions. Folic acid, ascorbic acid, calcium, magnesium and zinc contribute to the efficiency of memory and attention .
Note: Some studies have established that the key component of this food is alpha-linolenic fatty acid, with the ability to reduce cognitive decline .
In this sense, the consumption of flax seeds can prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
3. Reduce inflammation and joint pain
Flaxseed consumption can reduce inflammatory processes such as rheumatoid arthritis , thanks to its alpha-linolenic fatty acid content.
This acid has the ability to stop the immune mechanisms that give rise to this degenerative joint disease, as well as the pain it produces.
Takeaway: To benefit from the fatty acids in flaxseeds, you have to eat them ground.
4. They improve intestinal health
Flaxseeds contain dietary fiber, the benefit of which is geared toward improving intestinal health.
The presence of soluble and insoluble fiber helps the intestinal transit of food through the small intestine, and improves the composition of feces, facilitating its passage through the colon, avoiding colic and constipation.
Tip: To benefit from the fiber of this food, it is advisable to consume the seeds with the skin or shell .
5. They eliminate fluid retention
Thanks to their anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, vasodilator and digestive benefits, these seeds help keep the body’s cleansing mechanisms in proper working order, favoring the elimination of excess fluids and toxins from the body.
Note: The presence of minerals such as potassium in flax seeds with a diuretic effect also favors the functioning of the renal system, increasing diuresis .
6. They contribute to weight loss
The consumption of flax seeds, thanks to its fatty acids, helps regulate cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing the accumulation of body fat.
In addition, the dietary fiber content prevents the absorption of cholesterol and sugar through the intestines, added to the mineral content that contributes to the elimination of excess fluids in the body. All these factors favor weight loss.
To highlight: Eating flax seeds prevents metabolic diseases such as dyslipidemia or diabetes.
7. They relieve menstrual and menopausal discomfort
Despite the little scientific evidence that supports the positive effect of these seeds on menstrual and menopausal discomfort, traditional medicine has indicated it to mitigate the discomfort generated in these stages of women.
Within the nutritional composition of this food, there is a substance called lignans , a phytoestrogen that can act in a similar way to estrogens to relieve menstrual and menopausal discomfort.
8. They prevent infections and allergies
Another of the benefits provided by omega 3 fatty acids from flax seeds is that they inhibit the production of inflammatory prostaglandins and stimulate the production of series 1 and 3 prostaglandins , which have an anti-inflammatory effect, managing to modulate the inflammatory process in allergic reactions.
Important: Studies indicate that these seeds provide for every 100 grams, around 22 grams of omega 3.
9. They relieve skin conditions
The oil from these flax seeds or in powder form have traditionally been used to treat eczema, boils, irritated skin, minor burns and hives from allergies with satisfactory results.
It has already been mentioned that these seeds have antioxidants that can generate improvements in the skin, applying it in the form of a poultice or topically using its oil.
Important: It is advisable to consult your doctor about the use of these healthy seeds for this type of treatment.
10. They protect against some types of cancer
As previously mentioned, flax seeds contain lignans , an antioxidant substance of natural origin, to which science has given chemoprotective properties against cancers such as breast, colon or prostate cancer.
Note: Flax seed – based supplements are those with the highest concentration of lignans.
How are flax seeds taken?
To consume whole flax seeds, it is advisable to put two tablespoons of these seeds in a glass of water and leave them until the next morning, then you should take the water and the seeds with the oil that has been diluted, which is very beneficial. for the digestive system.
Likewise, flax seeds can also be prepared in powder form , using a coffee grinder and adding them to homemade cookies, toast, salads, soups, sandwiches, adding them to yogurt, smoothies, ice cream and finally, to a variety of recipes.
- Flax seeds contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, favorable for cardiovascular health.
- They also provide soluble and insoluble dietary fiber , beneficial for the digestive system
- Its periodic consumption can prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
- Flax seeds are directly involved in intestinal health, avoiding constipation.