Flax as a way to healthy stomach
Our grandmothers used it, and today it returns to favor and is called the Polish superfoods. Flax, because of him, is the seeds that constitute the treasury of beneficial ingredients for us. According to Gandhi, wherever flaxseed is consumed quite regularly, people enjoy better health. Its impact on health deserves long descriptions. In this article, you will learn what benefits you can expect from using seed.
Flax – characteristics
The ordinary flax (Latin: Linum usitatissimum) is a plant that has been accompanying people since the beginning of civilization. Its Latin name in translation means very useful, which undoubtedly indicates its real value. The first areas of use of flax were the areas of the Mediterranean Sea and West Asia, where initially its fiber was a thread suitable for hemming the skins. Strings were woven from it, and as the skills were acquired it was also used to obtain fibers. One of the textile works of contemporary civilizations was found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Flax was also the raw material for obtaining oil as a result of pressing seeds. This one-year-old plant has a tall stalk with a delicate structure, the top of which is decorated with blue flowers. Flax seeds have a brown-gray color, are small and slightly flattened. Their characteristic feature is swelling in contact with the liquid (water) with the secretion of mucus and the formation of a specific suspension with a jelly-like consistency.
Flax – nutritional value
The health-promoting properties of flax seeds result from the ingredients contained in it, which is a whole lot. Linseed contains some vitamins, including E, C and those from group B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, or folic acid). However, it should be noted that in processed seeds their content will be lower. Flax is the source of such minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc. The phosphorus mentioned in the seeds is a phospholipid component, among which lecithin dominates.
From a nutritional point of view, some of the most valuable components of flax are fatty acids from the omega-3 family, of which alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) dominates in seeds. With omega-3 acids, attention is also paid to their ratio to acids from the omega-6 family. In the feline, it is 0.31 and it is adequate concerning the generally recommended one (14). In flax, total fat accounts for 35-40%. Among them are also monounsaturated (oleic, linoleic) and saturated (palmitic and stearic).
Flax seeds are a source of protein that is comparable to biological soybean seeds. Limiting amino acids in linseed is lysine, which is provided, for example, by dairy products. In the common folic acid, there are large amounts of dietary fiber in both the soluble fraction (pectin, gum, mucus) and insoluble (cellulose, lignin). Lignans contained in linseed have antioxidant properties and also play the role of phytoestrogens.
Flax – health and healing properties
The first mention of the use of flax seeds for medicinal purposes dates back to the 6th century BC. They describe the use of seeds by physicians in Greece and Rome in diseases such as mucositis, diarrhea, and pains located in the abdomen. Former Slavic peoples used flax to treat ulcers, heartburn and to get rid of worms. In these ailments, oil was used primarily. At present, many health-promoting properties are observed in flax seeds, which allow it to be used in various diseases.
Due to the content of lignans, flax seeds should be included in the diet of people with disorders regarding the level of sex hormones. These compounds support the regulation of estrogen levels in both excessive amounts and deficiencies. Thanks to this, their use in the prevention of hormone-dependent cancers (such as breast and ovarian cancer) is worthy of interest.
Linseed can also affect the alleviation of symptoms during menopause (including hot flushes), as well as in the post-menopausal period. It is especially recommended to include it in the diet for people who suffer badly or can not use hormone replacement therapy. Lignans, in a way, replace the action of estrogens in the calcium-phosphate economy of the body, especially when it comes to the effect on skeletal mineralization. This allows you to define them with compounds that have a protective effect against the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
It has been shown that linseed reduces the risk of developing diabetes, and also has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels in people with already diagnosed disease. In studies, the addition of up to 10 g of ground seed produced a significant reduction in fasting glucose, postprandial glucose, and so-called glycated hemoglobin (this indicator shows the average glycemia from the last 3 months).
Support weight loss
Due to the high content of dietary fiber, the addition of linseed in the diet of slimming people can greatly facilitate the fight with extra kilograms. Fiber increases the feeling of satiety, which can stop the desire to snack between meals. Interesting conclusions are provided by some of the tests carried out on animals. It is indicated that high ALA content affects increasing the concentration of one of the hormones that affect hunger and satiety. Talking about leptin, which indirectly affects appetite suppression.
Correct bowel function and gastrointestinal tract
Due to the high content of fiber, flax supports the proper functioning of the intestines. The properties of water-binding affect the volume of stool formed, and thus flax regulates the frequency of bowel movements. It is mainly recommended for people with tendencies to constipation. Its partially skimmed and coarsely ground form can also be used in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in constipation.
Due to the high content of mucus, the combination of flax seeds with water causes their swelling and the creation of a characteristic gruel. The locks have coating properties, thanks to which they can be used as a cover during the use of antibiotics, as well as in diseases of the digestive system.
As mentioned earlier, the addition of linseed can reduce the risk of developing cancers based on high levels of sex hormones. Due to the content of antioxidative compounds, linseed is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in anti-cancer prophylaxis. However, a beneficial effect is also noted in people with already diagnosed cancer. In studies on animal models, the addition of linseed oil to the diet influenced the reduction in the growth of cancerous tumors. The studies also used appropriate medicines, and the addition of linseed oil increased the beneficial effects of the treatment. At the same time, we note a decreasing effect of linseed on the concentration of the so-called Insulin-like growth factor (insulin-like growth factor 1). Its elevated level is correlated with a higher incidence of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Thus, the alleged additional effect of dietary fodder is to counteract these diseases.
The beneficial effect of flax in the prevention of heart disease is primarily seen in omega-3 content. It should be noted, however, that the flax found in seeds is a precursor of other omega-3 fatty acids (EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA – docosahexaenoic acid), which have many beneficial properties. It is still necessary to research the effects of ALA without conversion to the human body. Previously, it has already been noticed that its consumption is associated with a reduced risk of first and repeated myocardial infarction. Cytokine production was reduced in the studies, which are molecules that increase inflammation. This, in turn, accompanies many chronic diseases. Besides, the protective effect of fiber is also contained in linseed. Its soluble fraction binds bile acids, in which cholesterol is contained, and thus causes their excretion from the body. The studies draw attention to the effect of flax consumption on the reduction of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The beneficial effect of acid is also on blood pressure.
Linen – application
Flax until the 1990s was used primarily by the paper and linen industries. However, currently, due to the development of dietetics and an increase in nutritional awareness, consumers began to appreciate its beneficial properties on a larger scale. The use of flax depends mainly on the part of the plant that is to be the raw material. Stems, thanks to their durable and hard structure, are well suited for obtaining fibers. Seeds, in turn, can be used to produce an oil that has a yellowish color and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Such oil obtained as a result of cold pressing has culinary and healing applications. It is worth mentioning Dr. Budwig’s diet, which is based on just linseed oil. In addition to the food industry, flax is also used as feed for farm animals. Its properties are also used by the chemical industry. In this case, the oil is hot pressed and with its addition paints, pigments, putty, and other products are obtained. In cosmetics, linseed oil is an ingredient among other Lipsticks.
Linen – methods of use
Flax seeds can be consumed in raw form, you can mix them with yogurt or sprinkle them with a sandwich or salad. Very often, the seeds are infused with hot water and allowed to form a brew. It’s good to eat whole seeds with it. If you want to use ground seeds, it’s best to prepare them yourself. It’s good to grind seeds just before eating them. Fat fats contained in flax quickly oxidize, hence buying flax already in the form of ground reduces its value.
Flax in the form of oil should be used cold. Adding it to the dish before thermal processing will cause it to lose much of its value. You can mix the oil with finely chopped onion or crushed garlic cloves. Such a mixture will ideally fit, for example, into white cottage cheese. It is preferably also used simply as an addition to salads, salads, and salad dressings.
It is also important to eat the seeds in moderation. In flax, there are cyano compounds that can cause poisoning in excess. However, such cases are extremely rare.
Common flax is a seed with many pro-health qualities. They were appreciated in antiquity and now the interest in their consumption is still growing. It is worth using flax as a supplement in everyday meals and enjoying better health for many years.Posted on: September 2, 2019