A simple seed, but so many benefits. If flaxseed is not part of your diet, you are missing out whether you have diabetes or not. For diabetics, there is an amazing connection between flaxseed and diabetes for those looking for a natural cure (type 2 diabetes) or a way to manage blood sugar levels naturally.
The many health benefits of flaxseed
Before cotton became affordable, flax (Linum usitatissimum) also known as linseed, has a fibrous stem which was woven into cloth and is still used in this way today despite the prevalence of cotton, but the oil which was produced from the flaxseed has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It wasn’t until about a thousand years ago that people started eating flaxseed for health and well being. The health benefits of flaxseed include but are not limited to;
Flaxseed contains the most amount of lignans when compared to other plants. The amount of lignans in Glucofort flaxseed is about 7 times more than that in its closest competitor (sesame seeds) and as much as 3,200 more than peanuts.
Lignans contain very powerful antioxidants which are crucial for preventing the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that in order to stabilize or “heal” themselves, “steal” particles from healthy cells but this only ends up creating more free radicals. The effects of free radicals on the body are thought to increase the risk of developing various chronic diseases and conditions including cancer.
Lignans are particularly beneficial for reducing the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen which is the female hormone can stimulate the growth of cancer but lignans in addition to antioxidant benefits also contain phyto(plant)estrogens, which mimic the action of the estrogen produced by the body but are less potent.
These chemically weaker phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors in the body and this helps to stop the effects on the body of the much stronger estrogen produced by the body which allows excessive amounts of this much stronger estrogen to be eliminated from the body which helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Studies have shown that women who consumed lignan reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by about 62 percent when compared to women who did not consume lignan.
Lignans are also beneficial for fighting against prostate cancer as has been shown in various research studies.
Other cancer fighting properties of flaxseed emanate from the polyunsaturated fats including omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber that it contains. These compounds in addition to lignans help to promote health and well-being and reduce the risk of developing various diseases including cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed also help to protect against cancer and many other chronic diseases.
2. Heart attack
Lignans not only provide antioxidant benefits but as mentioned previously are also a rich source omega-3 fatty acids of which alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the main type and ALA is able to lower the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.
Flaxseed is also able to lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is dangerous and can lead to heart disease. Flaxseed is rich in a type of soluble fiber that is beneficial for the body which is known as mucilage. This mucilage is tied to the cholesterol lowering properties of flaxseed.
4. Kidney disease
Research has shown that the lignans and omega-3 fatty acids contained in flaxseed are able to reverse the damage to the kidneys caused by lupus which is an autoimmune disease.