Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a high fiber food that has been cultivated for thousands of years around the world. It is a rich source of the healthiest type of fats – omega 3 fatty acids.
This group of healthy fats also includes salmon, walnuts, chia seeds and sardines. Flax is a complete protein source, containing all nine of the essential amino acids.
Research is showing that benefits of flaxseed include preventing menopause hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, improving heart health and benefiting blood sugar levels. It also improves breast and prostate health and is known to be an effective laxative which adds fiber and bulk to the intestines.
Mayo Clinic breast health specialist Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., recently conducted a study on crushed flaxseed for hot flashes and menopause symptoms. The women were given six weeks of flaxseed therapy, consisting of 40 grams (one and a half ounces) of crushed flaxseed eaten daily. Study participants were asked questions that were translated into their individual hot flash scores.
The result was that their frequency of hot flashes decreased by fifty percent. Participants also reported good improvements in mood, joint and muscle pain, chills, and sweating. This was a significant benefit to their health and quality of life. Dr. Pruthi said: “We are quite pleased with the improvements noted by these women in their quality of life. Not only does flaxseed seem to alleviate hot flashes, but it appears to have overall health benefits as well.”
There may be a way for men with high cholesterol to lower it without using drugs. The Iowa State University Nutrition and Wellness Research Center recently studied ground flaxseed for this purpose and found that it decreased cholesterol in men by around ten percent over the three month study. The men ate three tablespoons of flaxseed daily.
Flaxseed was recently studied for the improvement of blood sugar levels in a study from the “Nutrition Research” journal. In this study, overweight men and postmenopausal women who had pre-diabetes consumed ground flaxseed daily for 12 weeks. This resulted in decreased glucose and insulin levels and also an improved insulin sensitivity in the participants.
Flaxseeds are available as whole seeds, ground seeds and flax seed oil. The ground seeds may be the healthiest option as they contain the most protein and fiber. Flaxseeds blend well into many foods, such as smoothies, hot and cold cereals, sprinkled on salads or hot vegetables, and even in home-baked goods like muffins. The seeds are best stored in the refrigerator to preserve their benefits.
This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II. Besides being an insomnia remedy, Sleep Minerals II is also beneficial for women with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats.
For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.