Flax seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are often known as Alsi. They are very good for health and are used in the preparation of various medicines as well. These wonder seeds that resemble sesame seeds are great for treating various health conditions, such as gastrointestinal issues, constipation, inflammation in the stomach, diarrhea, high cholesterol, heart and blood vessel disorders, hypertension, acne, kidney problems, ADHD, diabetes, depression, malaria and arthritis.
Flax seeds have additional advantages on women’s health. They help in curing problems commonly faced by women, such as osteoporosis or weak bones, breast cancer, symptoms of menopause, etc. The seeds are full of Omega-3, which is a potent antioxidant and plays a role in destroying free radicals. Besides flax seeds, fish, walnuts, beef, soybeans and tofu are other sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
How do flax seeds work?
The fiber in flax seeds absorbs cholesterol in the intestine, thus preventing elevated cholesterol and weight gain. It is also very effective in making platelets and has positive effects on the blood’s ability to clot.
Flax seeds break down into lignans that are similar to estrogen, the female hormone. Lignans reduce progression of breast cancer and colon cancer. These magical seeds also help in thinning blood, thus reducing cholesterol levels and improved kidney functioning.
Flax Seed & Women Health
Various Studies indicate that flax seed can act as preventive measure against both breast and colon cancers. A study conducted by the Toronto & Princess Margaret Hospital has found if women suffering from cancer consumed 25 grams of flax seeds weekly, the progress of their cancerous tumors slowed down compared to those women who didn’t consume flax seeds.
Hormonal Advantages: Flax seeds are a great choice for women of all ages, as they contain high concentration of lignans that help in normalizing menstrual cycle, manage the symptoms of menopause and reduce the chances of getting cancer and osteoporosis. If 10 grams of flax seeds are consumed daily, it helps in balancing female hormones which, in turn, prevents changes in the menstrual cycle and reduces the changes of ovary dysfunction and developing cancers.
Menopausal Symptoms: There are various advantages of eating flax seed regularly. This is especially true for menopausal women. Regular consumption of the seeds can prevent or reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, anxiety and mood swings. If you are taking hormonal replacement therapy (HRT), consumption of these seeds can play a positive role in your therapy.
Anti-Aging: Since the seeds are rich in antioxidants, they can prevent the appearance of premature signs of aging. So, if you want to avoid getting fine lines and wrinkles, flax seeds should be the seeds of choice.
Weight Loss: Lastly, flax seeds help in weight reduction endeavors. They stabilize blood sugar levels and if consumed half an hour before the meal, the seeds keep you satiated and prevent you from overeating. And, it has a positive effect on your glucose level.
Where to find flax seeds
Flax seeds are easily available at online food and health stores. You can find them in traditional brick and mortar health stores, as well. As the popularity of these seeds are soaring, many groceries are now keeping these seeds at the organic food section.
You can get flax seed as crushed, whole or milled form in bags or containers. You also can get salted and roasted flax seeds that you can consume as a healthy snack. Finally, you can pick up flax seed as an oil for your daily cooking.
Now that you know almost everything about flax seeds, here are ways and tips of including these healthy and nutritious seeds in your every day food. Not only will the seeds enhance the taste and flavor, they also will improve your health.
21 different ways to consume flax seeds are as follows:
- Start your day with a perfect cup of coffee containing ground flax seeds.
- Mix ground flax seed in your protein shake and health drinks.
- You can add roasted flax seed in your breakfast cereal along with walnuts, raisins and almonds.
- Grind the seeds and mix with the mayonnaise. Use this as a spread to make delicious sandwiches.
- Mix ground flax seed in yoghurt and make a yoghurt smoothie with it.
- Bake flax seed bread and have it any time of the day. Follow the same recipe as sesame seed bread. Just replace sesame seeds with flax seeds.
- You can include flax seeds in other baked goodies like muffins, cakes and cookies.
- Sprinkle flax seeds on pancakes and French toast.
- The crunchiness of flax seeds goes extremely well with fresh salads. Add them to the salad dressing.
- These seeds go very well with pasta dishes. If you wish you can grind them and sprinkle on your pasta along with some basil and/or oregano.
- Ground seeds can be added to soups. Or, you can roast the seeds and sprinkle them over soups as a garnish.
- Use flax seeds instead of bread crumbs to add crunchiness to baked dishes or the ones that require bread crumbs.
- If you are a non vegetarian, add it to your chicken dishes like in chicken parmigiana and baked chicken. Or, just coat your chicken with the seeds and roast or deep fry.
- You can use it in your starters, like deep fried veggies dipped in flax seed and served with a tasty dip.
- You can even include ground seeds in your dips. It tastes perfect in salsa and green mayo dip.
- Flax seed goes well with sauces and gravies. A teaspoon of the seeds can be easily added in spaghetti sauce, stews and chilly sauces.
- Mix ground flax seed into peanut butter to enhance the flavor. You can make crunchy peanut butter at home and add the seeds along with some ground cinnamon. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes to the peanut butter.
- If you think flax seeds cannot be used in puddings, you are mistaken. Apple crumble gets awesome and crunchier with a couple teaspoons of flax seeds.
- Sprinkle roasted flax seed over ice creams along with chocolate sauce. Flax seeds taste amazing in ice cream sundaes.
- Include them in homemade granola bars and munch them as snack anywhere and anytime.
- Lastly, you can start cooking your daily food in flax seed oil. This is a wonderful way to incorporate the goodness of flaxseed in your daily diet.
Use these innovative tips to eat flax seeds and make your foods healthy and nutritious. Flax seeds can improve the taste of any dish.
Points to Consider:
- No matter in which form you buy flax seeds, avoid buying and using unripe and raw seeds.
- You can find red and golden varieties of flax seeds. There is no difference between the two. Just the flavor differs.
- While buying flax seed, remember whole flax seed has the added advantage of having longer shelf life. It can also be used in various recipes. However, the body finds it difficult to digest whole flax seed and therefore, it will be eliminated from the body without being digested properly.
- Milled seeds are ground flax seeds that are a little coarser than daily flour. You can buy it from the market or can make it at home. It gets completely absorbed by the body. However, its life span is short. You cannot store it for more than a couple of weeks. You should store milled flax seeds in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
- Studies have shown flax seeds should not be consumed by pregnant women, as it can cause uterine contractions. It can also lead to gastric problems, nausea, diarrhea, chest pain and swollen lips. Hence, pregnant women should avoid consumption of these seeds.
- Flax seeds increase the amount of ALA, EPA and DPA in breast milk and hence, it is recommended for lactating mothers.