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Flaxseed – Super Food

 

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Lets read how?

Flaxseed is a plant-based food that provides healthful fat, antioxidants, and fiber. Some people call it a “functional food,” which means that a person can eat it to boost their health.

People grew flax as a crop in ancient Egypt and China. In Asia, it has had a role in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

Flaxseeds are high in fiber, with 4 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons of whole or ground flaxseeds. The soluble fiber in flaxseeds helps slow down the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine, increasing the absorption of nutrients. This type of fiber also decreases risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing the amount of HDL, the ‘good’ type of cholesterol & lung disease

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Possible health benefits 

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flax seed contains some nutrients that may have various health benefits.

Like other plant-based foods, flaxseed is rich in antioxidants. These can help prevent disease by removing molecules called free radicals from the body.

Free radicals occur as a result of natural processes and environmental pressures. If there are too many free radicals in the body, oxidative stress can develop, leading to cell damage and disease. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body.

Flaxseed is a good source of lignans, which appear to have antioxidant properties.

According to some scientists, flaxseed may be over 800 times richer in lignans than most other foods.

Reducing the risk of cancer

Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that these may help prevent different types of cancer cells from growing.

Flaxseed also contains lignans, which are antioxidants that may slow tumor growth by preventing them from forming new blood vessels.

Also, in 2018, the authors of a review concluded that flaxseed may help reduce the risk of breast cancer after menopause.

Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based nutrient that acts in a similar way to estrogen. There has been some concern that phytoestrogens may increase the risk of breast cancer, but recent research suggests that they may play a protective role.

Improving cholesterol and heart health

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating more fiber and omega-3s to boost heart health. Lignans, too, may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed contains all of these nutrients.

Flaxseed also contains phytosterols. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, but they help prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.

Consuming phytosterols may therefore help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol in the body.

In 2010, researchers looked at the effect of flaxseed on the cholesterol levels of males with moderately high cholesterol. Participants took either a 20 milligram (mg) capsule containing lignans, a 100 mg capsule, or a placebo for 12 weeks.

Cholesterol levels fell after taking lignans, especially in those who took the 100 mg capsules.

The researchers behind a 2012 study involving 17 people found that consuming flaxseed lowered LDL cholesterol levels and helped the body remove fat, although they note that the overall diet may also play a role. The team suggested that dietary flaxseed may be useful for lowering cholesterol levels.

it has  also linked omega-3 oils, which are usually present in oily fish, to reductions in cardiovascular risk. Researchers have suggested that flaxseed could offer an alternative to marine sources of omega 3. This could make it a useful resource for people who follow a plant-based diet.

Easing the symptoms of arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, flaxseed may help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Some people take it for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Raynaud’s phenomenon.

They add that there is a lack of evidence to support its use for this purpose, but they say that the ALA in flaxseed may help reduce inflammation.

People can take it:

ground (one tablespoon per day)

as an oil (one to three tablespoons per day)

in capsules (1,300–3,000 mg per day)

Reducing hot flashes

In 2007, a team of scientists published results suggesting that flaxseed may help reduce the incidence or severity of hot flashes in women not using estrogen therapy during menopause.

In 2012, however, further research by the same team concluded that flaxseed did not, in fact, make any difference.

Diabetes

Lignans and other phytoestrogens may help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes.

In 2013, scientists gave 25 people 0 g, 13 g, or 26 g of flaxseed every day for 12 weeks. The participants had prediabetes and were either males with obesity or overweight or females who had undergone menopause.

The 13 g dosage appeared to lower glucose and insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity, but the other dosages did not have this effect.

Also, a 2016 rodent study suggested that the compounds in flaxseed may help reduce the incidence of type 1 diabetes and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. These results may not be applicable to humans, however.

The same year, 99 people with prediabetes took 40 g or 20 g of flaxseed or no flaxseed and no placebo each day for 12 weeks. Consuming flaxseed appeared to reduce blood pressure, but it did not improve blood sugar levels or insulin resistance.

Preventing constipation

Flaxseed is a good source of insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, instead remaining in the digestive tract after eating. There, it absorbs water and adds bulk, which may help promote regularity.

Also, too much flaxseed or flaxseed oil can cause diarrhea.

Which foods can help relieve constipation? Learn more here.

Beauty Benefits :

  • Firmer Face
  • Less Wrinkles
  • Stronger nails
  • Radiant Skin
  • Boost Hair GrowthImage result for flax seed beauty benefits

Other conditions

The studies reveal  flaxseed can help  with:

ovarian cancer

cardiovascular disease

metabolic syndrome

diabetes

asthma

inflammation

PCOS

Uses of flaxseed in Ayurvedic medicine include:

  • promoting overall health
  • restoring the skin’s pH balance
  • preventing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and arthritis
  • providing protection from cancer etc

HOW TO USE FLAXSEEDS

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Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have a pleasant nutty flavor that is easily incorporated into a variety of foods. Whole flaxseeds have a very tough outer shell, too tough for our teeth to break down. Whole flaxseeds are a good source of fiber but the beneficial ALA content is not available to be absorbed. Flaxseed oil contains the beneficial ALA, but no fiber or lignans. 1

To gain all the health benefits in flaxseeds, purchase ground flaxseed, or grind your own flaxseed using a clean coffee grinder. Store whole flaxseeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot for 6-12 months. Ground flaxseeds must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the fat from becoming rancid, and should be consumed within 2-4 months. 1

Grinding and typical oven temperatures used in baking do not significantly decrease the amount of ALA in flaxseeds. Adding ground flaxseeds to bread and muffins, or purchasing commercially baked bread with added ground flaxseeds, increases the antioxidant content of the bread and lowers the glycemic index. 1

Flaxseed oil is easily destroyed by heat, light and oxygen. Look for flaxseed oil made from fresh pressed seeds that is bottled in dark containers. Store in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity and use only on cold foods or add to foods after cooking since it has a low smoke point. 3

Simple ways to add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to your foods each day:

  •  Sprinkle on cold or hot cereal
  • Stir into yogurt
  • Add to the dry ingredients in muffins and bread
  • Mix into casseroles
  • Add to smoothies or fruit/vegetable juice blends
  • Stir into thick soups like lentil soup or chili
  • Mix into salad dressings or sprinkle on vegetable salads

CAUTION

Due to the fiber content, start with 1-2 teaspoons of ground or whole flaxseeds per day to avoid gas, bloating, or constipation. Drink 1-2 glasses of water with every meal that contains whole or ground flaxseeds. Gradually increase the amount of whole or ground flaxseeds over several weeks to improve tolerance.

Talk with your healthcare provider before adding flaxseeds to your diet as they may decrease the absorption of some medications and may interfere with fish oil, omega-3 supplements, or anticoagulant medications.

Suggested Reading : Chocolates 

 

Chocolates

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Chocolates – Healthy & Unhealthy Facts

Well, we all love Chocolates isn’t it..?

No introductions are needed for this highly treasured food. 

Chocolate makes us happy in so many ways, but it also does so much more. … A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating a small amount of chocolate could reduce your risk of heart disease.

Chocolate is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants.

Some studies have suggested chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.

Dark Chocolate – Rich in flavonoids (potent antioxidants), works to help blood vessels relax, which decreases blood pressure. This leads to a plethora of benefits, like increasing HDL (or “good”) cholesterol and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, which can improve heart health

Listed few are healthy benefits of chocolate:

  1. Chocolate decreases stroke risk 

    A Swedish study found that eating more than 45 grams of chocolate per week—about two bars worth—led to a 20 percent decrease in stroke risk among women. Chocolate contains flavonoids, whose antioxidant properties help fight strokes,

  1. Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack

Other studies show that eating chocolate prevents blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks. Blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters, the studies say.

  1. Chocolate protects against blood inflammation

Eat one Hershey’s dark chocolate bar per week, and your risk of heart disease will decrease, a 2008 study found. About 6.7 grams of dark chocolate per day keeps the blood inflammation-inducing proteins away. Just like your mother always told you.

  1. Chocolate helps improve mental health

Indian psychologists found that flavanols (a class of flavonoids, which are found in chocolate) helped people with their mental math. Study subjects had an easier time counting backwards from a randomly-generated number between 800 and 999 after drinking a cup of hot chocolate than they did without the cocoa. “The findings suggest students who binge on chocolate when revising for exams may gain a real benefit from doing so,

  1. Chocolate may prevent cancer 

    Cocoa contains a compound called pentameric procyanidin, or pentamer, which disrupts cancer cells’ ability to spread. When researchers from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University treated cancer cells with pentamer back in 2005, the proteins necessary for cancer growth were suppressed and the cells stopped dividing.

  1. Chocolate reduces the risk of diabetes

The Italians know a thing or two about good eating.And a small study from the University of L’Aquila, in Italy, found that eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes. if consumed in moderation.

  1. Chocolate is good for your skin

“Some people say that I eat too many chocolate bars …” Remember that acne infomercial from the 90s? No? Well, it doesn’t matter. Not only does it not cause breakouts, it’s actually good for your skin! (Well, dark chocolate at least.) Flavonoids found in dark chocolate protect women’s skin from the sun’s UV rays, according to German scientists. But that doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen.

  1. Chocolate can control coughs

The most delicious way to kick your cough, apparently, is chocolate. One of the sweet’s chemical components, theobromine, seems to reduce the activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers coughing fits. Scientists are even working on a cough-quelling drug that uses theobromine in place of codeine—a narcotic common in cough medicine.

  1. Chocolate improves blood flow

In 2008 Harvard scientists forced test subjects to undergo “two weeks of enhanced chocolate intake.” A fortnight of chocolate face-stuffing, they found, sped up blood flow through their subject’s middle cerebral arteries. In other words, more chocolate means more blood to your brain.

  1. Chocolate strengthens your brain

It is  found that dark chocolate shields cells in your brain, and accordingly protects it from damage caused by stroke. Epicatechin, a compound found in chocolate, significantly reduced the brain damage in mice who suffered strokes, they found. Scientists at California’s Salk Institute also found that epicatechin improved mice’s memories.

  1. Chocolate makes you live longer

Jeanne Louise Calment lived to the age of 122—the oldest anyone has ever lived. She ate two and a half pounds of dark chocolate per week. Harvard researchers found that eating chocolate actually adds two years to your life expectancy.

 

Choclates has been used medicinally as well 

Listed below are few:

Improves Digestion & bowel Function.

Eliminates Mental fatigue

Increases Appetite

Alleviates gout symptom

Enhances Sexual drive.

Unhealthy  Facts About Chocolates

Chocolate contains a large number of calories.

People who are seeking to lose or maintain weight should eat chocolate only in moderation.

Chocolates consumed in excess amount can reverse the benefits and is harmful to the health.

Remember, always eat in small portion, chocolate contains high level of artificial sugar & fat, causing obesity 

Increases risk of colon & other Cancers

Diabetes

Stroke

Heart Disease

Cavities, tooth decay

Always remember eating in moderation always keeps you healthy & wise.