The role of flax seeds in disease prevention

Foods & DrinksFood

  • Author Kevin Smith
  • Published April 15, 2020
  • Word count 401

One of the most popular products on the list of proper nutrition is certainly flax seeds that have played an important role in human health for more than 5000 years. Until now, they have been valued as assistants in reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancer, but linen seeds have now begun to stand out in promoting cardiovascular health.

The main health benefit of flax seeds comes from a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble and insoluble plant fibers. Flaxseed oil contains almost twice the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil, but unfortunately, this information refers to alpha-linolenic acid, which is only partially converted into much more important fatty acids-EPA and DHA in the body (which can be found in fish and seafood). On the other hand, flax seeds are the most prevalent source of lignan. These components are fibrous compounds that have a mild estrogenic effect and are therefore considered phytoestrogens. They can eat up estrogen receptors and thus reduce the effect of estrogen on a breast or prostate tumor (breast and prostate tumors are estrogen-dependent tumors). The lignans also increase the production of the SHBG compound, i.e. hormone-binding globulin. This protein regulates estrogen levels by binding it to itself and transmitting it to blood. 

Consumption of flax seeds may also lower blood pressure. In a double-blind study conducted at the Research Center at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Canada, consumption of 30 g of flaxseed per day lowered systolic pressure by an average of 15 mm Hg, while diastolic pressure was lower on average by 7 mm Hg in patients with hypertension.

The second study relates to an assessment of the effect of linseeds on cholesterol-lowering in patients with clinically significant peripheral artery disease. After one month of consumption of 30g ground flax seeds per day, the concentration of circulating LDL decreased by 15%.

Most of the research conducted focused on the use of ground flax seeds since this form allows for easier release of useful compounds compared to consuming whole seeds. When buying flax seeds it is recommended to buy whole seeds which you can then grind in your house as needed (this reduces the possibility of oxidation and spoilage). You can add flax seeds to cereals, smoothies, yogurts or flax flour you can prepare bread, pastries, cakes, tortillas.

Moreover, the wood fiber cleaning cloths are also eco-friendly and act as an effective sanitizer for disease prevention.

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