Flaxseed, or common flax seed, is counted among the group of health foods because of its extraordinary nutritional and health properties. Most often it is used in ailments and diseases of the digestive system, but also has a slimming value. In fact, the spectrum of its effects is very wide and covers practically the entire body.
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Flax is a plant with origins in the Middle East, but for a long time it has been widely cultivated in many countries around the world, including Poland, where it has become a valuable raw material for fiber production.
Currently there is more interest in using flax seeds for making oil. As far as the medicinal qualities of linseed are concerned, they were already known in antiquity and were promoted by Hippocrates himself. The health-promoting properties of flaxseed result from its unique composition, especially alpha-linolenic fatty acid, which is attributed with most of the health benefits.
Flaxseed is a treasury of unsaturated fatty acids, which must be supplied with food because the body does not synthesize them on its own. Flax seeds are also rich in protein, vitamins A, B6, D and E, elements such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and dietary fiber. In flaxseed we can also find lecithin and flavonoids and phytoestrogens, i.e. plant hormones, which, thanks to their antioxidant properties, protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals, acting anticancer and delaying the aging process.
Flaxseed – properties and effects on health
The presence of omega 3 acids in flax seeds is of great importance in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of flaxseed helps maintain proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, reduces the risk of blood clots and phlebitis. Studies have shown that it can even promote the regression of atherosclerotic lesions.
Flaxseed treats disorders and ailments of the digestive system and the digestive process – prevents bloating and constipation by restoring normal intestinal peristalsis, eliminates heartburn and hyperacidity, inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
It fights infections and irritations of the respiratory system, moisturizes mucous membranes, relieves dry cough and similar ailments.
Due to the presence of substances with antioxidant properties, it minimizes the risk of cancerous diseases such as colorectal cancer or breast cancer. In the latter case, it is associated with the ability to relieve the symptoms of menopause, that is, the period in which the risk of cancer of the reproductive organs increases.
Valuable substances contained in the hay are also used for beauty care. This is because it has antibacterial properties, thanks to which it is an important support in the fight against all kinds of eczema or acne. It softens the skin, moisturizes hair and prevents it from falling out, strengthens bones, teeth and nails. By limiting the impact of free radicals, it makes it possible to maintain a youthful appearance for a longer period of time.
The lecithin found in flaxseed affects better memory and concentration, prevents senile dementia.
Flaxseed and weight loss
Not everyone knows that common flax seeds can become an important ally in the process of losing weight. Decisive in this case is the presence of fiber, which includes both soluble and insoluble fractions.
Soluble fractions affect the regularity of intestinal microflora and improve intestinal motility. Insoluble fractions improve digestion and, by binding metabolic residues, normalize defecation.
All this contributes to better digestion and faster metabolism, and at the same time gets rid of annoying digestive tract disorders or equally unpleasant and unsightly symptoms in the form of flatulence.
In addition, the fiber content causes that after eating linseed you have a longer feeling of satiety, which is a simple way to reduce calorie intake. Mucilaginous substances contained in flaxseeds, consisting mainly of proteins and polysaccharides, swell in water environment, filling the stomach. At the same time, they have a protective and coating effect on stomach walls.
Regular consumption of flax seeds brings undeniable health benefits. Flaxseed for weight loss will be even more effective if you combine it with a healthy diet and physical activity.
Read also: goji berries and weight loss
How to prepare flaxseed?
The most common way to consume flaxseed is to make a decoction from it. It is necessary to pour two tablespoons of seeds in a glass of boiling water and leave for a few minutes under the lid. Drink it warm, you can add a teaspoon of honey. However, since not everyone tolerates the jelly-like consistency of decoction, you can mix a little bit of seeds with oatmeal or buckwheat.
Besides, flaxseed can be added to almost all dishes – yogurts, smoothies, rice and groats, pancakes and baked goods, salads, sauces, and even sandwiches. However, it should be remembered that due to the abundant content of fiber, a meal with this ingredient should be sipped with plenty of liquid. You should also not exceed the dose of 3 tablespoons of seeds per day.
1 – Green smoothie with linseed
Recently, it has become fashionable to add linseed to various cocktails. Especially valuable and beneficial to health will be green, vegetable smoothies (e.g. from the leaves of spinach, cucumber, celery, botwina, kale, etc.) with flax seeds. You can pour them into an already blended drink or blend all the ingredients at once.
2. flaxseed bars
A more labor intensive option would be flaxseed and oatmeal bars. Take 5 tablespoons of oil and 5 tablespoons of honey, melt in a pot. We add 2 cups of oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed. Mix everything carefully and put the mass on the baking tray, on baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. After cooling cut into triangles or rectangles. 3.
Pancakes with flaxseed
Pour into a bowl 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of water, add 2 tablespoons of flaxseed, mix, beat an egg, add a pinch of salt, mix again and wait a few minutes. In the meantime, peel two apples, grate on a coarse grater, add cinnamon. Fry the pancakes in a pan without or with a minimum amount of oil. Put the grated apples on the fried pancakes. 4.
4 Salad with linseed
Wash and tear the head of green salad, add peeled and thickly sliced green cucumber, washed and cut into strips red pepper, diced feta cheese. Mix everything together, sprinkle with chives and flax seeds.
See also: Dietetic suppers (recipes and rules)