The tiny wonder grain, flax seed, is packed with loads of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, essential oils and many more wonderful stuff. It is known as the “miracle grain” because of its healing and preventive properties.
A handful of flax seed is considered to be a potent and powerful medicine for a huge number of life threatening and other diseases. Researchers are still working on finding other benefits of this seed but the research done so far has yielded numerous beneficial results.
Blood sugar and cholesterol: Flax seeds contain a very high amount of dietary and other fibers which makes it an ideal food to help stabilize the blood sugar levels. Also the fiber content has been found to lower the cholesterol level in the body, especially in women. Flax seed is also considered ideal as a supplementary food during diets as it constitutes of all the essential nutrients required for our daily food intake without letting one put on weight. Also it has been found (although not documented) that flax sees might be helpful in controlling the Type-II diabetes as well.
Flax seed and cancer: Although inconclusive, there have been studies done which has pointed out that flax seed might help in some types of breast and prostate cancer. A study conducted in 2007 showed flax seed to have reduced the growth of cancer cells in mice. Another study which was done on men suffering from prostate cancer and were given a diet of flax seed showed lesser cancer growth compared to the ones who were not given the diet. Although these studies were inconclusive and more research is needed for conclusive facts, however people have claimed to have found flax seed beneficial in both the types of cancer. This might be because flax seed is a rich source of lignans which has been found to help in preventing growth of breast cancer cells in women and prostate cancer cells in men.
Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are well known for its medicinal properties and doctors often recommend these to be taken as supplements in various cases. The good news is that flax seed is rich in Omega 3 fatty acid content which might be why it helps in preventing arthritis pain, asthma, diabetes and some cancers. Flax seed helps equalizing the effect of Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils and thus help the body maintain a healthy and required balance of both.
Flax seed as an anti-oxidant: Flax seed is a source of anti-oxidants and contains phytochemicals, which help getting rid of the toxic elements from our body, balance the female hormones and also help in maintaining a general good health. Pre-menstrual syndromes, menstrual cramps are found to be reduced by the usage of flax seed oil, and also it has been found that flax seed might help in promoting female fertility as well.
Apart from the above benefits flax seed helps maintain a good bowel movement because of its high fiber content, helps in improving immunity, enhances and elevates the mood etc. Although the research in the field of flax seed benefits is far from completed, the preliminary findings sound promising and the fact that flax seed is being used as a food from centuries, itself suggest its good properties.
Side effects: Although wonderful, flax seed is not completely devoid of all ill-effects. Over consumption of flax seed is not good because of its extra high fiber content which might lead to irritation and cramping of the stomach. It also contains a small dose of cyanide and hence consumption of a large quantity at a time is not recommended. Also the usage of flax seed has been found to negate the effect of certain oral medications, hence a consultation with the doctor is advised if you are using regular medicines for any ailments.
The side effects are only if you consume excess amount and also if the oil or meals have not been stored properly. Consumption of a couple of spoons of flax seed can work miracles for your health and is highly recommended.