Effects of consuming flaxseed on the body:
Flaxseed is high in protein, rich in fiber, B vitamins and minerals. Its thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus contents are outstanding. Yet, its health benefits, which have been studied in many recent scientific publications, can be traced back to the special oils and lignans it contains.
About 35% of the weight of flaxseed is provided by various vegetable fats. More than half of the oil content is alpha-linolenic acid, one of the omega-3 fatty acids. It is essential, that is, a fatty acid that the human body needs but is unable to produce. Lignans are among the so-called phytoestrogens of plant origin, which are related to female sex hormones. An essential condition for the effect of biologically active substances in flaxseed is the grinding of the seed before consumption. Without it, due to its tiny size, the nucleus passes through the digestive system largely unchanged.
What diseases and conditions is flaxseed effective for?
Numerous scientific studies have already been performed on the beneficial cardiovascular, metabolic and menopausal effects of flaxseed, flaxseed meal, flaxseed oil and various extracts, the results of which are reviewed below.
According to some studies, the consumption of ground flaxseed slows down the process of atherosclerosis, but does not reverse the changes that have already occurred. The beneficial effect can be attributed to the fact that flaxseed lignan reduces blood fat levels and inhibits the body’s inflammatory processes. Due to the lignan content, the level of total cholesterol in the blood decreases, the level of low-density lipoproteins increases, while that of high-density lipoproteins increases, which has a positive effect on the balance of blood fats. On the other hand, however, according to a 2009 review study, the evidence for the effects of flaxseed on blood fats is unclear and the beneficial effect only appears to be demonstrated at relatively high initial cholesterol levels.
Flaxseed lignan has a definite antihypertensive effect, while flaxseed oils have anticoagulant effect. The beneficial effects could be demonstrated with long-term (more than 12 weeks) regular consumption.
The beneficial effects of flaxseed on diabetes and glucose metabolism have been confirmed by several studies. For example, in a study involving a smaller number of overweight men and postmenopausal women, it was found that regular consumption of flaxseed in people with pre-diabetes (prediabetes) lowers blood sugar and blood insulin and increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin.
One study looked at the effect of ground flaxseed and flaxseed extract on the complaints of menopausal women. Ninety women were randomly divided into three groups: the first group received 1 gram of flaxseed extract per day, the second group received 90 grams of flaxseed meal per day, and the third group received placebo. At the beginning of the experiment and after six months of treatment, the severity of menopausal symptoms was measured. According to the study, both ground flaxseed and extract reduced the symptoms of menopause to a statistically significant extent. No serious adverse events were observed during the study.
Studies summarizing the results of several studies have looked at the effect of flaxseed on the symptoms of breast cancer in menopausal women. It was found that consumption of flaxseed somewhat reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes, significantly increased tumor tissue destruction, and to a lesser extent inhibited cell proliferation. The data suggest that the reduction in hot flushes and antitumor effects can be explained by the anti-angiogenic effects associated with regular consumption of 25 grams of flaxseed or 50 mg of lignan per day. Observational studies suggest that there is an association between flaxseed consumption and reduced risk of primary breast cancer, improved mental health, and reduced mortality in breast cancer patients.
When to treat flaxseed with caution?
In addition to the proven or suspected beneficial effects, the potential hazards must also be mentioned. Due to the possible hormonal effects, the consumption of significant amounts of flaxseed during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended, as its safety has not been verified. Due to the phytoestrogen content of flaxseed, caution is recommended in all diseases in which changes in female hormonal balance may be adversely affected, such as endometriosis, breast, uterine or ovarian cancer, polycystic ovaries or even low-hormone contraceptive pills. Due to incomplete and contradictory scientific data on these diseases, it is recommended that the advice of a physician be sought before initiating a diet or dietary supplement containing significant amounts of phytoestrogens.
How to consume flaxseed?
Flaxseeds, like all fiber-rich foods, are recommended to be consumed with plenty of fluids, otherwise they may worsen constipation complaints. On the other hand, both flaxseed and flaxseed oil can cause diarrhea. Due to gastrointestinal effects, its use is not recommended in case of diarrheal complaints, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, gastrointestinal stenosis. Similarly, larger amounts of flaxseed are not recommended for patients with scleroderma.
Omega 3 fatty acids:
– The ideal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in our diet would be 1: 3, but unfortunately the ratio is 1:15 and even 1:30 instead.
– The biological and genetic development of the body cannot follow the nutrition embodied by modern foods.
– Recommended daily intake: 2,000 mg Omega-3, 6,000 mg Omega-6.
What is the reason for the poor Omega-3: Omega-6 ratio?
– Vegetable and animal fats, butter, margarine, pork, duck, goose fat Sunflower, olive, corn, rapeseed oil.
Why is an Omega-3: Omega-6 ratio of 1: 3 or better important to us?
– The predominance of omega-6 reduces the permeability of the cell membrane.
– Dietary omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) is converted in the body to omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA), which is stored in our cell membranes. Bioactive ingredients made from omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) are responsible for both the initiation of acute inflammation and the continuation of chronic inflammation in the body, which can cause many lifestyle-related health problems.
– Omega-6 strengthens, while omega-3 inhibits inflammatory processes.
– Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammatory processes within our cells through several signaling processes.
– Inflammation is part of the body’s immediate response to infection or injury, but uncontrolled inflammation damages tissues. In fact, uncontrolled inflammation plays an important role in the pathology of diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and atherosclerosis. The ability of omega-3 fatty acids to affect arachidonic acid metabolism is at the heart of their proposed anti-inflammatory effect.
In various diseases, the risk increases drastically if the following proportions are exceeded:
– Rheumatoid arthritis Ω3 / Ω6 1/3.
– Asthma Ω3 / Ω6 1/5.
– Cardiovascular diseases Ω3 / Ω6 1/4.
– Colon cancer Ω3 / Ω6 1/3.
Correct 1: 3 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6:
– Restores inflammatory processes.
– Improves the normal functioning of cells.
– Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cold pressed flaxseed oil.
Average nutritional value in 100 ml:
|Energy content||min. 3570 kJ (850 kcal)|
which unsaturated fatty acids
|min. 95 g|
min. 8 g
from which sugars
Omega-3 fatty acid 64%.
Omega-6 fatty acid 10.6%.
Omega-9 fatty acid 18%.
Saturated fatty acid 4%.
– 5 ml / day.
– 500 ml.