flax seed oil safety
FLAX SEED - A PANACEAL REMEDY

Flax seeds produced by the flax plant are one of the oldest crops in the world. Its origins are found in Mesopotamia. They are highly nutritious. Since time immemorial their medicinal properties have been explored and researched by people. They contain ample amount of calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorous and vitamin E. One of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, sprouted flax seeds could be consumed in salad. Flaxseeds produce a vegetable oil known as linseed oil or flaxseed oil. It has been used as a drying oil in painting and varnishing for centuries. However, one must read the contents and other details of the products well before consuming. It is advisable to consult a doctor before actually consuming flax seeds. They may cause allergic reactions or side effects.

FLAX SEEDS

The two basic varieties of flax seeds are brown and yellow. Both have similar nutrient values except that the yellow variety is extremely low in omega-3 fatty acid. Flax seeds are actually not grains but their nutrient qualities are similar to grains. In fact the content of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber make them even more nutrient rich. Flax seeds could be grinded and stored up to four months without any damage in their smell or taste. Preferably store them in a cool, dry place. Its taste is a little nutty. Flax seed is very low in the carbohydrate content. Thus, it could be easily consumed by health conscious people or who are asked to take a low carbohydrate diet. They are produced by Canada, China, India and USA and across Europe. It is a good substitute to eggs. Thus, people who avoid the intake of eggs, flax seed could be a convenient option. Flax seeds are extensively used as cattle feed.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Flax seeds contain ample amount of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help in increasing the energy. This essential oil may also help in improving nerve impulse transmissions. They have very high fiber content. This facilitates in stabilizing the blood sugar alongwith proper functioning of the intestines. Lignans are supposed to benefit the heart. They are capable of lowering cholestrol. Some studies also prove that they contain anti cancer and anti tumor properties. They are supposed to have anti prostate cancer properties. Its high fiber content and low carbohydrate content makes it a suitable diet food. Dieters are found to be satisfied after its consumption. Flax seeds being a good source of magnesium help to reduce the severity of asthma. Regular use of flax seeds may benefit people suffering with brittle nails and dry hair problems. Skin problems arising due to lack of omega-3 like acne or eczema could be cured by the consumption of flaxseeds. They are supposed to have properties to reduce the damage to cell membranes and other degenerative diseases.

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SAFETY ISSUES

Consumption of large amounts of flax seeds is not advisable. Consumption of raw flaxseeds or flaxseed oil may increase the cyanide levels in the blood. Thus, it is advisable to consume them roasted. Another reason that discourages raw consumption is that raw seeds are hard to be absorbed by the body. They leave the body as it is without being assimilated. This is a poisonous component and may prove to be extremely dangerous. They are supposed to impair the effect of certain oral medications. This is attributed to the high fiber content present in the seeds. Excessive consumption without plenty of water may result in intestinal blockage and bowel obstruction. It should be avoided by people suffering from diarrhea or irritable bowels due to its laxative effects. People who have a known allergy to flaxseed, flaxseed oil, or any other members of the Linaceae plant family must avoid flaxseed products. Consumption may result in allergic reactions. Patients with hypothyroidism must consume it with caution. Similarly, people with bleeding disorders must also consult the doctors before consuming the same. Consumption by mouth may result in vomiting, nausea or abominable pain. Flaxseed or flaxseed oil must not be applied to open wounds. Pregnant and feeding mother should avoid the intake of flaxseeds. They could prove harmful to pregnancy. Flaxseeds are supposed to have hormonal effect and may even effect the menstrual cycle.

Suggestions to serve:

  • Raw or toasted flax seeds could be sprinkled over cottage cheese, yogurt, breakfast cereal, or may be added to shakes.
  • It could be added to other food products
  • It could be added to other baked products like in place of eggs.

Nowadays flaxseeds are also available in the supermarkets as health food. One could easily include them in their diets in suitable quantities of course. This grain might look small but it is extremely mighty. It is a source of certain vital nutrients that are often skipped especially in a pure vegetarian diet.





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