Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh
Paryagat farmer Shyam Sudhakar is engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. Primarily aimed at cultivating the crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by using concept of sustainable agriculture. Growing organic flax seeds for last five years in 5 acres.
Flaxseed is one of the oldest cultivated crops known to man, having been grown and consumed for thousands of years. According to info in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, the Latin name of the flaxseed is Linum usitatissimum, which means “very useful.”
Flaxseeds were eaten 5,000 years ago in ancient Babylon, consumed by Aztec warriors and also a favorite food of King Charlemagne in the eighth century.
In the U.S., flaxseed was first introduced by early colonists and used primarily for making fabric, paper and clothes due to its high fiber content, which adds strength and durability. Flaxseeds have also been historically fed to livestock to increase their health.
Around the 1990s, flaxseeds began gaining popularity in the health food industry as they became the focus of diets used to fight heart disease and other illnesses. Today they are considered one of the best foods for reducing inflammation and promoting gut health, whether someone is a vegetarian, vegan, following the Paleo diet, or on a low-carb or even KETOGENIC DIET.
1. High in Fiber but Low in Carbs
One of the most extraordinary benefits of flaxseed is that flax contains high levels of mucilage gum content, a gel-forming fiber that is water-soluble and therefore moves through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. Once eaten, mucilage from flaxseeds can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine, which can increase nutrient absorption and make you feel fuller. Because the fiber found in flaxseed is not able to be broken down in the digestive tract, some of the calories that flax contains won’t even be absorbed.
Flax is low in carbohydrates but extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which means it also supports colon detoxification, may help with fat loss and can reduce sugar cravings. Most adults should aim to consume between 25–40 grams of fiber from HIGH -FIBER FOODS daily. Eating just two tablespoons of flaxseeds per day will provide about 20 percent to 25 percent of your fiber needs.
2. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
We hear a lot about the health BENEFITS OF FISH OIL and omega-3 fats lately, which is one reason why flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds have become known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fats obtained only from animal foods that are critical for optimal health. Although flaxseeds do not contain EPA or DHA, they do contain the type of omega-3 called ALA, which acts somewhat differently in the body compared to EPA/DHA.
ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (ALA) is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that has been found in studies to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and hypertension, improve platelet function, reduce inflammation, promote healthy endothelial cell function, protect arterial function and reduce heart arrhythmias.
A study published in Nutrition Reviews has shown that approximately 20 percent of ALA can be converted into EPA, but only 0.5 percent of ALA is converted into DHA. Also, surprisingly gender may play a big role in how well ALA is converted; in the same study young women had a 2.5-fold greater conversion rate than men. Regardless of conversion, ALA is still considered a healthy fat and should be included in a balanced diet.
3. Helps Make Skin and Hair Healthy
Why is flaxseed good for your hair?
Flaxseeds benefits for hair include making it shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage. The ALA fats in flaxseeds benefits the skin and hair by providing ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS as well as B vitamins, which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea and eczema. The same benefits also apply to eye health, as flax can help reduce dry eye syndrome due to its lubricating effects.
Flaxseed oil is another great option for your skin, nails, eyes and hair since it has an even higher concentration of healthy fats. If you want healthier skin, hair and nails, consider adding two tablespoons of flaxseeds to your smoothie or one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your daily routine. You can take up to one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil by mouth per day to hydrate your skin and hair. It can also be mixed with essential oils and used topically as a natural skin moisturizer, since it seeps into your skin and reduces dryness.
4. Helps Lower Cholesterol and Treat Hyperlipidemia
A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flaxseeds into your diet can NATURALLY REDUCE CHOLESTEROL levels by increasing the amount of fat excreted through bowel movements. The soluble fiber content of flaxseed traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so it’s unable to be absorbed. Soluble flax fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder. The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and therefore lowering cholesterol.
Hyperlipidemia is having an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood, and it’s one of the most important risk factors of ischemic heart disease. Studies show that flaxseeds (not flaxseed oil) can significantly lower these lipids.
One 2015 study split 70 hyperlipidemia patients into two groups; the intervention group received 30 grams of raw flaxseed powder every day for 40 days. At the end of the study, their serum lipids were measured again. The group taking the flaxseed powder saw their serum lipids reduced. The authors concluded that “flaxseed may be regarded as a useful therapeutic food for reducing hyperlipidemia.”
Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains in recipes. Grains, especially those containing gluten, can be hard to digest for many people, but flax is usually easily metabolized and also anti-inflammatory.
Because flax can absorb a lot of liquid and help bind ingredients you’re using in cooking/baking recipes, but it does not contain any gluten, flaxseeds are a good choice for those who have celiac disease or a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY. As a gluten-free method of baking, I often use flaxseed along with coconut flour in recipes to add moisture, form a desirable texture and get some healthy fats. They are also a good alternative to getting omega-3 fats from fish for people with a seafood allergy (although if you don’t have an allergy to fish/seafood it’s still best to get DHA/EPA this way).
6. High in Antioxidants (Lignans)
One of the greatest benefits of flaxseed is that it’s packed with antioxidants, specifically the type called lignans that are unique fiber-related polyphenols. Lignans provide us with ANTIOXIDANTS that help reduce free radical damage, therefore flax has anti-aging, hormonal-balancing and cellular-regenerating effects. They are found in unprocessed plant foods, including seeds, whole-grains, beans, berries and nuts. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as poor gut health, smoking, antibiotics and obesity, all affect circulating lignan levels in the body, which is why a nutrient-dense diet is important for restoring levels.
Lignans are considered natural “PHYTOESTROGENS,” or plant nutrients that work somewhat similarly to the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens in flaxseed can alter estrogen metabolism, causing either an increase or decrease in estrogen activity depending on someone’s hormonal status (in other words, flax has both estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties). For example, in postmenopausal women, lignans can cause the body to produce less active forms of estrogen, which is tied to increased protection against tumor growth.
Lignans are also known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus. Studies have also found that polyphenols also support the growth of PROBIOTICS in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and CANDIDA in the body.
7. Supports Digestive Health
One of the most well-researched benefits of flaxseed is its ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help reduce inflammation and protect the lining of the GI tract. Flaxseed has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease and other digestive ailments. Plus, it promotes beneficial gut flora even in people with “normal” digestive systems. The fiber found in flaxseeds provides food for friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.
Flax is very high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which means it’s very helpful for maintaining normal bowel movements. Because it can help bulk up stool and flush waste from the GI tract due to its gel-like quality, flaxseed is considered one of the best NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CONSTIPATION. You can eat whole/ground flaxseeds to help keep you “regular” or take one to three tablespoons of flaxseed oil with eight ounces of carrot juice. You’ll also benefit from getting lots of magnesium from flax, another nutrient that promotes digestive health by hydrating stool and relaxing the muscles in the GI tract.
8. May Help Prevent Cancer
As part of a healthy diet, flaxseeds may be able to help prevent certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. For this reason, flax is included in the BUDWIG DIET PROTOCOL, a natural approach to helping prevent and treat cancer. The Bud wig diet protocol involves eating at least one daily serving of a recipe made with cottage cheese or yogurt, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil. For this reason, the Bud wig diet is sometimes called the flax oil and cottage cheese diet or just the flaxseed oil diet.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flaxseeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer by decreasing tumor growth. Certain studies show that women experience a reduced risk for developing breast cancer when they consume larger amounts of dietary fiber, lignans, carotenoid antioxidants, stigmasterol, vegetables and poultry. This has led some experts to recommend mostly PLANT-BASED DIETS for reducing risks of hormone-related cancers.
The lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol (types of estrogens), which is believed to be how flax NATURALLY HELPS BALANCE HORMONES. Balanced hormones (meaning not too little or too much estrogen and progesterone) can help reduce the risk of breast cancer and other problems in women. For similar reasons, another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
9. May Help with Weight Loss
What’s the connection between flaxseeds and weight loss, according to the studies? A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support WEIGHT LOSS.
Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it helps you feel satisfied for longer. This means you may wound up eating fewer calories overall, which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation and help with hormonal balance, which might be standing in the way of you losing weight. An inflamed body tends to hold on to excess weight, plus it’s common to struggle with digestive issues like constipation and bloating if you’ve been eating an unhealthy diet. Add a couple of teaspoons of ground flaxseed to soups, salads or smoothies daily as part of your weight loss plan.
10. Helps Decrease Menopausal and Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Lignans found in the flaxseed have been shown to have many benefits for menopausal women. In fact, flaxseed can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in some cases or as a complementary approach to balancing hormones due to the estrogenic properties that lignans have.
Due to flax’s ability to balance estrogen, flaxseeds may also help reduce the risk of OSTEOPOROSIS. It can even help menstruating women by helping to maintain cycle regularity, such as encouraging a normal length luteal phase (the period between ovulation and menstruation). To take advantage of these hormonal benefits of flaxseed, try to include one to two tablespoons of flax meal in your breakfast smoothie, along with one tablespoon of flaxseed oil at some point during the day.