Flaxseeds with Anti-Cancer Benefits
Today we are putting the spotlight on flaxseeds. I’m sharing all of the health benefits and potential influences on cancer. This is definitely a food that you should add to your diet if you’re working through a diagnosis. Read on to find out why.
What are Flaxseeds?
Let’s start by exploring what flaxseeds are. They are seeds from a plant that has been grown and cultivated for thousands of years. Flaxseeds, scientifically called Linum usitatissimum, are also known as common flax or linseeds. These are relatively small oil seeds that are packed with beneficial nutrients. Flaxseeds can be found at the local grocery store or ordered online.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, though small in size, are mighty in nutrition. They are high in fiber, Omega 3’s, and phytochemicals (aka: antioxidants). Flaxseeds are a good source of vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and magnesium. Due to this combination of nutrients, flaxseeds are great at helping to improve digestive health, lower cholesterol, and support the immune system.
Fiber helps to keep food in the digestive tract moving by bulking and softening the stool and aiding in lubrication and transit in the colon. This prevents constipation and helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Additionally, fiber can help the body reduce the amount of cholesterol from the blood by binding to bile salts, which are then removed from the body through the stool. The body needs bile salts for digestion, so it is then forced to pull cholesterol from the blood to help reproduce it.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, otherwise known as omega-3s for short. This nutrient is a key building block to every cell in the body. Additionally, omega-3s help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by providing energy to keep the heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy and in working order.
Flax contains an antioxidant called lignans, the same kind that are found in soy foods. Flaxseeds are one of the best food sources of this antioxidant. Lignans have been shown to slow tumor growth. This happens when the lignans are fermented by gut bacteria. For this reason, flaxseeds may also help to reduce the risk of breast cancer as well as other hormone-sensitive cancers like uterus and prostate cancer.
How to get the Most out of Flaxseeds
Now that you know what amazing benefits flax can offer, you might be wondering how to incorporate them into your diet. It is recommended that you consume ground flaxseeds in order to get the most benefits. Whole flax seeds are more difficult to digest and do not absorb into the body as well as ground flaxseeds.
Flaxseeds can be easily added to meals to bump up the nutritional value. Try sprinkling them in oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, and smoothies or bake them into your favorite muffins and breads. They’re rich in protein and calories so if you’re trying to keep your nutrition up, this is a great addition for you.
Tell me, what is your favorite food to put flaxseeds in? I would also like to know if you prefer to eat your flaxseeds whole or ground. Drop a comment below!