What are flax seeds? Before giving the answer to the question, let’s look at the history of flax, first of all: Flax is a plant that has been grown in Egypt and Asia since ancient times. The benefits of flaxseed have emerged especially in the Indian subcontinent. It still holds its place even in Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient health system. Flaxseed is also defined as a functional food because it contains healthy oils, antioxidants and fibers. Functional foods are defined as food or food components that, in addition to their nutritional value, have a positive effect on an individual’s health, physical performance, or mental state.
Common features of Functional Foods
- It must not be in the form of drugs, capsules or any dietary support,
- Its effects must be approved by the FDA,
- The nutritional components it contains must not have a negative effect on health,
- Must be safe in uncontrolled consumption as part of the diet
What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed?
- Just one tablespoon provides a good source of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as being a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
- Flax seeds are rich in Omega – 3 oils.
- If you cannot consume meat and meat products, flax seeds may be your best source of Omega-3 fats.
- Studies show that those who eat this seed have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women.
- Just one tablespoon of flax seeds contains 3 grams of fiber; This is 8-12% of the daily recommended intake for men and women.
- Since it contains mucilage, it provides positive results for those who have constipation problems.
- In addition, because of its high fiber content, it provides fullness for a long time.
Does Flaxseed Protect From Cancer?
Flax seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are a healthy type of oil. Studies have shown that this fatty acid inhibits the growth and development of cancer cells. Dr. Thompson revealed that flaxseed will play an effective role not only in cancer protection, but also in cancer treatment. The lignans contained in its content, if consumed as part of the diet and lifestyle, help protect against many types of cancer such as breast, prostate, uterus, and large intestine.
How Can I Consume Flaxseeds?
It is suitable to use the flaxseed by pounding due to its structure. Otherwise, the expected effect may not be seen. Flaxseeds are cheap, effective and excellent healthy life support if they are properly preserved and used consciously. Since it oxidizes very quickly and deteriorates easily, be careful to buy it unground. Aim to consume two to three dessert spoons in a day. Using it in excess can be harmful. It should also be consumed with plenty of water or other liquids. Because, according to researchers, when this seed is not taken with sufficient liquid, it can swell and cause blockages in the digestive tract. The amount of liquid to be taken for each 10-15 grams is 150ml. You should boil the powdered flaxseed in water for 8-10 minutes and drink after cooling.
How Can I Use Flaxseed in Food?
- You can consume it as part of your daily fluid intake.
- You can consume the flaxseed by adding it to your milk or kefir.
- You can consume it as a salad dressing.
- You can consume it by mixing it with yogurt.
- You can add it to your cookies, cake or bread you make at home.
- You can consume it by adding it to meatballs made from chicken or minced meat.
- You can add it to your breakfast on eggs and cheese.
- You can add it to your granola prepared with fruits.
Nutritional Values of Flax Seeds
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one tablespoon of 7g of ground flaxseed contains:
- 1 tablespoon (10 g): 37 Kilograms of calories
- Flax Seeds 100 g 1 tablespoon (10gr) *
- Carbohydrate 0 g 0 g
- Protein 28 g 2.8 g
- Fat 24.4 g 2.4 g
- Cholesterol 30.9 g 3.1 g
- Sodium 0 mg 0 mg
Percentage daily values were calculated based on a 2000 calorie daily diet. These values may be more or less according to your daily calorie needs. Flax seeds get most of their calories (77%) from fat.
Who must not use flaxseeds?
- Individuals using blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs (warfarin or aspirin)
- Individuals using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Individuals using cholesterol-lowering medication
- Individuals planning pregnancy, pregnant and breastfeeding
- Individuals allergic to flaxseeds
- Individuals undergoing cancer treatment
What Are the Side Effects of Flaxseed?
Because flaxseed can lower blood sugar levels, individuals taking diabetes medication may experience low blood sugar if they take flaxseeds. Flax seeds can lower blood pressure too much. Therefore, those using blood pressure medication should be careful when using this seed. The seeds should not be used by people with bleeding disorders, as they can slow blood-clotting.
The fiber, which is abundant in the content of flax seed, shows laxative properties. Therefore, excessive amounts of bowel movement can affect the urge to go to the toilet. Therefore, individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diverticula, Crohn’s disease should use it in a controlled manner.
Studies show that flax seeds, especially those with brown color, can cause allergies. As a result, it increases the risk of shortness of breath, drop in blood pressure and anaphylaxis. When flaxseed is taken in excess, it can create effects that mimic the estrogen in the body, causing irregularities in the menstrual cycle, thus making pregnancy difficult.
Does flaxseed have a weight loss effect?
- Flax seeds are supplementary foods used to fulfill the purpose of diets, like all other functional foods.
- It plays a big role in providing satiety as it has high fiber content.
- The main reason why it is preferred in diets is that it has soluble and insoluble dietary fiber together, which helps to keep the insulin level in balance.
- It prevents low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and prevents sweet needs.
- It prevents blood sugar fluctuations in patients with diabetes.
- It is a helpful food in diet lists in increasing metabolism rate.
- It prevents constipation with high fiber.
- It helps accelerate digestion.
What Is Flaxseed Oil?
There is a cellulose layer on the outer surface of the flax seed. When taken into the human body, it is necessary for the body to dissolve this cellulose layer in order to benefit the body. On the other hand, there is no enzyme that breaks down this cellulose layer in the human body. For this reason, people cannot benefit greatly from flax seeds. Therefore, the oil of this seed is produced and people benefit more from the oil of this herb.
How to Use Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed is used in the form of oil or kernel seed (ground or crushed). Grounded flax seeds, which spoil very quickly, should be consumed within 24 hours of being grounded. Therefore, small quantities of these seeds should be purchased.
You can also mix it in yogurt or consume it by sweetening it with honey. You can use it as an alternative to olive oil in your salads. As with every product, the expiry date is very important when purchasing this seed. You should store the flaxseed in a place without sunlight. Using natural flax seeds instead of processed flax seeds increases the bioavailability in the body. It is healthier to buy and consume flax seeds in small bottles, it should not be preferred to store them open for a long time.
Flaxseed oil can be used in food, but should not be used for cooking purposes or as frying oil. You can also use the oil of this seed by applying it on the skin. However, we recommend that you should first try the oil on a small area of your body to prevent your skin from showing allergic reactions.