The benefits of flaxseed have been recognized by princes and popper alike dating back to just before the Middle Ages. Rulers in Roman times decreed that all of their subjects must eat flaxseeds to keep them fit for battle.
Today, it’s a healthy ingredient that can be taken in powder form, or as is in a healthy recipe. In powder form, it can also be added to a beverage and will assist in giving the drinker a fuller feeling, pushing away hunger, assisting people who are on a strict diet.
Quick View of Flaxseed Benefits
The quick rundown is, that the benefits of flaxseeds are that they’re:
- Chocked full of healthy minerals
- High in omega-3 fats
- High in fiber
- Full of high-quality, plant-based protein
- Contains properties that promote heart health
- Able to assist in Blood sugar reduction
- Properties that reduce cancer risks
Flaxseed can be consumed as an ingredient to a commercial supplement, as a powder, in the form of oil, crushed, or whole. Later, we’ll discuss which method of consumption is most effective.
There are several lesser-known facts about the benefit of flaxseed that are worth noting.
- The Arthritis Foundation has found that flaxseed assists in reducing pain and stiffness caused by arthritic joints.
- Lignans in flaxseed can assist to treat lung issues that might occur after receiving radiation exposure or undergoing radiation therapy.
- Flaxseed can lend aid in relieving constipation.
Are Flaxseeds Good for You?
This might be a redundant question, as the information above appears to answer it. However, some things that do all kinds of benefits for the body aren’t always good for you either in the long term, prepared improperly, or in larger quantities.
So, in this light, are flaxseeds good for you? Well, yes and no.
There are no long-term side effects that come by eating a steady diet of flaxseed for an otherwise healthy person. That said, people who are already taking medications such as blood thinners, are either pregnant or breastfeeding, or are on anti-inflammatory medications shouldn’t be consuming flaxseed as a dietary staple.
It’s also important to figure out whether or not one may have an allergy to flaxseed, as it is a possibility. If you’re taking the above medication types or suffer any of the above conditions, speak with a doctor about whether or not the addition of flaxseed to your diet is the right choice.
Another important piece of information about flaxseed is that it can be toxic to the system if consumed in quantities that are either raw or unripe. Also, flaxseed oil turns toxic to the body after being heated up, which has caused it to be illegal to sell in France.
There is also such a thing as having too much flaxseed, or flaxseed powder. Having too much will cause indigestion, and will also cause diarrhea, so it’s best to avoid going overboard when including them in your dietary regimen.
Is Ground Flaxseed Better than Whole?
The general consensus is that between the two forms, ground flaxseed is better for you. The reason is, that it is easier to digest when ground into a powder.
When consumed whole, many of the seeds will pass through the system undigested, making the sought-after nutrients unavailable to the body. So, if getting the most out of the seeds is what you have in mind, the powder is the way to go.
If you can only get your hands on whole flaxseed, food processors and coffee grinders can be used to pulverize the seeds into an easier-to-digest form- even powder if you’re patient enough.
Flaxseed Benefits for Hair
There are two primary vitamins locked into flaxseeds that assist in maintaining thicker, fuller hair- vitamin E and vitamin B. Each vitamin assists in hair care differently.
Vitamin B is well known to make your hair grow more rapidly, with a healthier appearance. Also, it makes the hair strands stronger than they’d be when deficient in the B nutrient.
Vitamin E is known to promote stronger hair follicles. This happens by reducing oxidative stress through vitamin E’s antioxidant properties. Overall, E provides and supports a healthier scalp.
The best way to use flaxseed in this manner is via flaxseed oil. There’s no real trick to it, just pour some into your hands and rub it into the scalp. It’s recommended to leave it in for about 15 minutes before rinsing it out using shampoo and conditioner.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits for Skin
Flaxseed oil is chocked full of essential fatty acids that are great for water retention in the skin. When added to the skin, it hydrates and moisturizes the treated areas.
Because of this boost to moisturization, the skin gives a more youthful appearance, reducing the visibility of wrinkles. Also, flaxseed oil can be used to ease light skin irritations or help to eliminate rough skin through moisturization.
Not only does the oil help the skin, but consuming the powder is also known to reduce acne and assist to help you retain a healthy glow.
Benefits of Flaxseed for Dogs
Truth be told, many of the same benefits that we enjoy from flaxseeds can also be shared with our four-legged friends. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are in the flaxseeds are great for dogs and are a healthy choice for a supplement.
The fiber and protein can be utilized by dogs of all ages, and when sprinkled into their food can make a big difference in their health. Older dogs who are showing signs of sore joints or arthritis, or dogs who suffer from dry or itchy skin, can benefit from flaxseed as well.
The trick is to avoid going overboard by adding too much to the dog’s food. Doing so can cause an upset stomach or perhaps diarrhea. When taken to the extreme, it can begin to be toxic for the dog, so use common sense when using flaxseeds with your dogs (regardless of the form- powder, whole, or oil).
Final Thoughts About the Benefits of Flaxseeds
There are a host of superfoods out there that can do all kinds of things, and flaxseeds are counted to be among the upper echelon. They are a healthy supplement, a great source of protein, and can assist in either treating, avoiding, or coping with, all kinds of ailments.