Within the world of superfoods that are now so fashionable, there are ingredients and seeds that have well earned their fame. We talk about the properties of flax seed and its benefits for the body.
Undoubtedly we have to talk about flax as a highly concentrated source of fiber, but it also contains different chemical compounds that interact with our body from a positive point of view.
Do not worry that we will see it little by little throughout this article.
If we took a flax capsule, where all its seeds are contained, the image of a hybrid between an onion and a head of garlic would cross our minds. Although with their differences, both the shape and the size and color are really similar.
The scientific name of the flax plant is something rare and characteristic, Linum usitatissimum, and belongs to the lily family (just like onions and garlic, hence their resemblance).
The history of flax is closely related to the oil and flour that was extracted from its seeds.
In fact, it will surely sound like the flaxseed oil, used for human consumption in infusions and with fatty acids rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Flax is also grown in Spain, although the most important producing countries are the USA, China, Russia and Canada, where large areas of this crop can be seen.
However, its origin is Egyptian, where we can still see the cultivation of flax, being Egypt a country that works this plant and makes important sales abroad and as local consumption.
Properties of flax seed
Virtually most oil seeds, such as flax, have a lot of energy and nutrients, as they are part of the future plant’s initial reserve.
We can see this well-developed in the nutritional composition of flax seeds.
Per 100 grams of flax seeds
|Total fats||42 grams|
As we see in the table, it has a high caloric intake, with a high amount of fiber and proteins. However, it is considered a superfood for its composition in polyphenols and fatty oils, which we will discuss below.
The properties of flaxseed are closely related to its high content of Omega 3, although we must also highlight the phytochemical components that we can find in many medicinal plants.
These phytochemicals, far from the simple nutritional and mineral composition, have action on hypertension, diabetes, cell regeneration, strengthening of arterial walls, etc.
The usual intake of fatty acid Omega 3 activates the cardiovascular system and reduces blood pressure. In addition, it is related to the reduction of joint diseases due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega 3 produces the following advantages in our body:
- Reduces the likelihood of arrhythmias and heart attacks.
- It manages to reduce hypertension.
- Reduces high blood sugar levels.
- They have a reduction effect on migraines and depressions
High in fiber to reduce constipation
One of the properties of flaxseed is its high fiber content, being one of the foods that has more content.
This, with a moderate consumption, stimulates intestinal transit and favors its optimal functioning. Flax seeds are highly recommended when suffering from constipation, especially when we abuse fatty foods, proteins and low content of vegetables and fruits.
Other seeds with high fiber content are the hemp seedlings.
We find in the properties of flax seed a vegetable component with many properties, the lignin.
Lignan is a secondary metabolite from plants, very present in Linum usitatissimum, which is part of phytoestrogens with antioxidant capacity.
This helps fight the damaging effects of free radicals and their potential with anti-cancer activity.
Today there are numerous scientific studies
Improves heart health
The heart has many enemies in the form of food. Fats, cholesterol and excess sugars cause weakening of arterial walls and reduced blood flow.
Arterial obstruction is a very serious problem in the Western world and leads to diseases related to thrombosis, myocardial and cerebral infarctions.
Numerous studies, such as the one carried out at the important University of Cambridge, have successfully linked the properties of flaxseed and its effect on lowering cholesterol.
Therefore, we have to know that we have a powerful ally with flax as a protector of our circulatory system.
Linen as a complement to lose weight
Although its energy contribution is somewhat (more than 500 kcal per 100 grams), the fat content and especially cholesterol is zero. Therefore, it makes it a very satiating food but functional and that does not provide lipids that are fixed in our body.
Incorporating flax seeds into any recipe allows reducing the volume of carbohydrates and fats from other products, with the same satiating power.
How to take flax seeds
The consumption of flax seed involves an industrial transformation process, since raw are very hard and practically inedible.
A basic process to make them fit for consumption is to soften them in water, leaving the flax seeds soaked during the previous night, as a process similar to what is done with different types of lentils and chickpeas.
Another alternative is to grind these seeds, something that we can do with any grinder, such as coffee, or food crusher.
That paste in the form of flour can be used to bread or batter or introduce as a complement in different recipes.
Some recommendations for recipes that contain flax
Most recipes that contain flax seeds you will find in bread. Different loaves incorporate a potpourri of seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax and other nuts.
However, it has also become fashionable to use smoothies or smothies of fruits and vegetables that include seeds, such as flax.
Here are some recommendations we’ve come up with to go gradually incorporating the properties of flax seed to our daily lives.
- Toasted bread with avocado, flax and sesame seeds, tomatoes and ham.
- Zucchini cream with flax seeds
- Fruit smoothie with flax seeds
- Cookies with flax seeds and honey
Buy flax seeds
The fashion of flax seeds, well justified, continues and is expanding. This means that today we can find different formats of this product in almost all supermarkets or online stores.
Do the properties of flaxseed have side effects?
As always, a section must be dedicated to treating the possible side effects from the consumption of flax or its derivatives.
Most of the side effects that have occurred are related to allergic processes due to some of its chemical components. These allergy symptoms are characterized by inflammation of the respiratory system, dermatitis, stomach pains, etc.
The recommended consumption Of daily flax seeds is stipulated at about 30 grams. This amount is equivalent to approximately 2 tablespoons of coffee.
Due to its high fiber content, exceeding the recommended dose can produce diarrhea and laxative effect in sensitive people.
The positive effects on cardiovascular development can offer the opposite in case of having bleeding problems due to lack of coagulation. It is necessary to consult with a doctor to check the compatibility betweenre drugs of this type and flax seeds.
People who suffer from irritable bowel, they should also consult with a doctor to check if the consumption of this type of functional foods is inadvisable.
In pregnant people there is no negative pathology, but quite the opposite. The properties of flax seed are usually recommended for pregnant people.
Do you know more properties of flaxseed?