All discussions about health and nutrition these days revolve around flaxseeds. These tiny seeds, also known as Alsi seeds in Hindi, come from the flax or linseed plant that originated in the Republic of Georgia. These seeds occur primarily in two colors, yellow and brown, and are termed as a superfood that is known to have tremendous health benefits. Not just this, they are also loved for the crunchy texture that they add to dishes along with a nutty and earthy flavor that makes both savoury and sweet foods delicious.
What is the nutritive value of flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds or Alsi seeds are known as a nutritional powerhouse for their unique contents. Here's how the nutritive value of flaxseeds looks like:
- Flaxseeds are low in calories. 10 grams of these contain approximately 55 calories.
- They contain rare and essential plant compounds like Ferulic acid, phytosterols, cyanogenic glycosides, and lignans.
- Alsi seeds are known to be amongst the richest sources of soluble and insoluble fibre.
- They are a great source of plant-based protein and amino acids.
- Flaxseeds are low in carbohydrates.
- The protein content of flaxseeds is quite high and contains amino acids arginine and glutamine.
- They are one of the richest sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Alsi seeds are one of the richest sources of the essential ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
- They are a good source of several vitamins and minerals like copper, magnesium, thiamine, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, etc.
What are the health benefits of flaxseeds?
Alsi seeds have tremendous health benefits for our minds and body. They help us in living a healthy life by preventing several diseases and disorders and meeting nutritional deficiencies. Here are some of the most important health benefits of eating flaxseeds on empty stomach:
- Flaxseeds, due to their high fibre content, act as a great laxative and help in maintaining digestive health. Consuming them regularly helps prevent irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gas, and flatulence.
- The lignans in flaxseeds help in regulating blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Wondering how to consume flaxseeds for diabetes? Since they have a hard exterior, just soak them in water overnight and mix with your rotis, salads, and even rice.
- The lignans in flaxseeds are natural anti-carcinogenic. They help protect against a variety of cancers such as that of the prostate, uterus, and breast.
- The high levels of protein in flaxseeds help in muscle building, better bone health, enhanced circulation, regulate hormones, and improved immunity that helps in fighting off infections.
- Lignans in them also help reduce the risk of heart diseases, blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol levels, inflammation in the arteries, and oxidative stress. All these contribute to a stronger cardiovascular system and better heart health.
- These lignans act as both antioxidants and phytoestrogens. Since they help balance the levels of estrogens in the body and control excess sebum, flaxseeds for acne are especially beneficial.
- ALA's in flaxseeds help in lowering the risk of kidney diseases and stroke.
- Being high in fibre, they are a great addition to your diet if you are trying to lose weight. They keep you satiated for a long time helping you do away with the need to overeat.
- Flaxseeds also help in improving your external appearance. One of the most important benefits of flaxseeds for skin is consuming them regularly helps in preventing premature ageing. They help in keeping the skin tight and prevent age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- Another great advantage of flaxseeds for skin is that their omega-3 contents help in keeping the skin hydrated, especially during the dry months.
- They are especially beneficial for preventing and managing the health issues of women. They promote normal ovulation and restore the hormonal balance that increases the chances of conception for women who are trying to get pregnant.
- Nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, etc. help in maintaining the health of your nervous system, kidneys, and bones.
Are there any side effects of consuming flaxseeds?
While flaxseeds are completely safe, there are some side effects that may occur due to their over-usage. These include:
- Consumption of large amounts of flaxseed may interfere with certain medications such as anticoagulants, anti-platelet drugs, estrogen replacement therapy drugs, etc.
- They may cause allergic reactions in some people and they may experience redness, itching, swelling, etc. In serious cases, this may cause vomiting and nausea.
- Consuming flaxseeds in large doses may cause new inflammations or flare up the existing ones.
- Since they are rich in fibre, they may cause constipation, bloat, diarrhea, or an increase in bowel movements. They may also lead to intestinal blockages, especially in people suffering from scleroderma.
What's an appropriate dosage of flaxseeds?
The general recommended dosage of flaxseeds is between 2-4 tablespoons to get their benefits. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor before including them in your diet.
How to consume flaxseeds?
We often consume how to consume flaxseeds to gain the maximum benefits that we can. It's often a question of how to eat flaxseeds raw or roasted? Here are some of the best ways to consume the seeds:
There's always a question if can we eat flaxseeds raw? Yes, you can. Just add ground and add them to your drinking water and make it a part of your fluid intake each day.
- Roasting them adds to their nutty flavour. Add roasted flax seeds to your breakfast cereal or look up the flaxseeds brittle recipe for instant energy.
- Add them to your cookies, muffins, bread, and other goods to enhance their flavour.
- They can be added to dips, yoghurt, and sauces.
- Flaxseed can be easily made into a homemade protein powder as a great addition to smoothies and milk shakes along with berries and other fruits.
- Flaxseeds can be spread on toast, with butter, to add a delicious punch to your breakfast.
- They make for great Indian foods such as flaxseed lauki kofta, homemade protein powder, flaxseed laddoo, flaxseed desserts, flaxseeds roti, flaxseeds chutney, etc.
- If you are using flaxseed oil, you can substitute it with other oils in salad dressings, dips, smoothies, etc.
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