Natural Food Energy | Flaxseed | Top 18 Health Benefits of Flaxseed Nutrients | Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 essential fatty acid renowned for its benefits to both mind and body.

Flaxseed

With abundant and balanced levels of essential fatty acids, flaxseed is acclaimed in history for its ability to prevent and combat many conditions. This tiny wonder food, also known as linseed, can lift depression, aid concentration, increase energy levels and smooth hormonal changes.

Today, the amazing health-giving virtues of flaxseed are recognized throughout the world. Whatever your age or sex, flaxseed could make you feel happier and help you to think more clearly. This super seed contains nutrients that are vital to brain functioning but often lacking in people’s everyday diets.

Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 essential fatty acid renowned for its benefits to both mind and body.

One of the ways in which omega-3s help to keep the brain and nervous system working smoothly is by allowing cells to function and communicate with each other properly. This can prevent many disorders that we think of as psychological. It also increases mental alertness and boosts memory.

Our ability to use omega-3s is reduced by saturated and hydrogenated fats, which compete for the same receptors in our bodies. So cut down on these fats and eat foods rich in vitamins B3, B6 and C, plus zinc and magnesium, which help the body to absorb ALA.

High in omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) in addition to omega- 3s, flaxseeds are involved in systematic energy production, oxygen transfer and transportation of fats, and may therefore help to maintain the body’s tissue cells, reproductive organs, glands, muscles and eyes.

Flaxseed is thus traditionally used to treat everything from malnutrition and skin diseases to arthritis, PMS and fertility problems.

For women aged over 35, it can also alleviate stressful peri-menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, insomnia and mood swings, as it is rich in compounds called lignans, which the body converts into substances that smooth out fluctuating hormone levels.

Lignans are special compounds that are converted by friendly bacteria in the gut into phytoestrogens called enterolactone and enterodiol.

These health-giving compounds have also been found to offer protection against breast cancer. (However, flaxseed oil, while rich in omega-3s, does not contain lignans and loses much of its value if used in cooking.) Essential fatty acids are also needed to make prostaglandins, hormone-like substances responsible for stamina, circulation and metabolism.

These are anti-inflammatory, and may benefit conditions such as asthma and arthritis. They also promote heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and plaque formation in the artery walls.

Not only this, prostaglandins encourage weight loss by removing excess fluid from tissues and boosting metabolism, thereby helping to burn calories.

Flaxseed is expectorant and dissolving by nature and may help to treat conditions such as coughs and bronchitis, as well as other respiratory ailments. The seeds also have a mild purgative action and can be capable of tonifying the bowel, easing constipation.

Another great feature of flaxseed is mucilage, a type of soluble fibre that lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood-sugar levels and alleviates con­ stipation.

Flaxseed’s laxative effect is gentle, helping to keep intestinal contents moving smoothly along. The benefits of flaxseed do not stop there.

Its Vitamin E content helps to keep the skin looking youthful and the hair glossy. Flaxseed also contains antiviral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Its zinc and selenium, two powerful antioxidant minerals, boost the immune system to protect against infections, while its iron and copper help in the production of haemoglobin, needed to keep red blood cells healthy.

Copper also aids wound healing and the formation of collagen in the skin.

Flaxseeds provide calcium and magnesium, which together support strong, healthy bones, while magnesium also helps to ward off muscle cramps and release energy. As flaxseeds and their oils are easily oxidized, which causes them to go rancid, keep them in dark bottles or tubs with sealed lids, and store them in the fridge for no longer than a year.

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Flaxseed Nutrients

Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E, folic acid; calcium, copper, iron, MAGNESIUM, MANGANESE, PHOSPHORUS, POTASSIUM, SELENIUM, ZINC; FIBRE; PROTEIN; OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS; LIGNANSJ FIBRE

18 Health Benefits of Flaxseed Nutrients

  1. ANTI-BACTERIAL
  2. ANTIVIRAL
  3. ANTIOXIDANT
  4. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
  5. ANTI-AGING
  6. ANTI-CANCER
  7. DETOXIFYING
  8. BLOOD-SUGAR BALANCING
  9. ENERGY-BOOSTING
  10. GOOD FOR THE BRAIN
  11. GOOD FOR HAIR, TEETH, AND NAILS
  12. GOOD FOR THE SKIN
  13. GOOD FOR THE EYES
  14. GOOD FOR THE HEART
  15. GOOD FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
  16. GOOD FOR THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM
  17. GOOD FOR THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
  18. GOOD FOR THE HORMONAL SYSTEM

Flaxseed Recipes

TROPICAL FLAX SHAKE

  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 600ml / 21fl oz / 2⅓ cups pineapple juice
  • 200ml /7fl oz / ¾ cup apple juice
  • 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
  • 2 passion fruit, halved

Grind the flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and put them in a blender along with the fruit juices and kiwi fruit. Scoop out the seeds from the passion fruit and add them to the juice mixture. Blend well and drink immediately.

FLAXSEED MUFFINS (makes 12)

  • 115g / 4oz / ½ cup golden flaxseeds, ground
  • 17Sg / 6oz / 1¼ cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 200g / 7oz / 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 250ml / 9fl oz / 1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the egg and milk and stir together. Spoon into 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack to cool.

FLAXSEED FACE MASK (to smoothe wrinkles)

  • 2 tsp flaxseeds
  • 1 drop neroli oil

Put the flaxseeds in a small bowl and cover with water. Leave to stand until the seeds swell and the water turns to gel, and then add the neroli oil. Using your fingers spread the gel over your face and neck. Allow to dry, and then rinse off with cool or tepid water. Pat your face dry.

BREAKFAST BOOST

  • 4 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • ½ small Cantaloupe melon, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 4 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 8 tbsp/ ½ cup plain bio-yogurt
  • 115g / 4oz / ¾ cup strawberries, hulled and chopped

Place the ingredients, except for the strawberries, in a bowl and mix together well. Serve topped with the strawberries.

PEANUT FLAX BARS

  • 100g /3 ½ Oz/heaped ⅓Cup flaxseeds
  • 150g /5 ½ oz puffed rice cereal
  • 5 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 5 tbsp brown rice syrup

Grind the flaxseeds in a nut grinder and put them in a large bowl. Add the puffed cereal, peanut butter and rice syrup, and mix well using your hands. Press the mixture very firmly into a non-stick baking tray and leave to stand for several hours before cutting into bars.

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