I just love flaxseed, and one I supplement with daily. Flaxseed has an amazing amount of benefits to help promote overall health. In saying that, how can one find flaxseed? What actual benefits does organic flaxseed provide? Can it help prevent your blood sugars from spiking? For that and much, much more, continue reading!
Flaxseed oil is an excellent supplement that supports the body’s vital systems. It is rich in the omega-3 essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. Although omega-3s are crucial to human health, they are not manufactured by the body, so it’s important to get a steady supply through dietary sources and supplements.
There are two types of essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Most Americans get enough omega-6 fatty acids from dietary sources such as meat, eggs and dairy. Omega-3s are necessary for growth, heart health and brain function, but many of us do not get enough of them from dietary sources. MayoClinic.com reports that multiple studies have shown that omega-3 supplements may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
These supplements have also been studied as a treatment for depression and other mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, ADHD, osteoporosis, and even cancer prevention.
Benefits Of Flaxseed:
Flaxseed oil offers a wide range of health benefits. There are some studies showing that flaxseed oil can reduce total cholesterol and LDL (low density lipoprotien also known as bad cholesterol). This, however, is dependent on how well the alpha-linolenic acid is broken down into EPA and DHA. Flaxseed oil is likely to make platelets less sticky, which could help to reduce the risk of heart attack.
Flaxseed may also lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels (fat in the blood). Flaxseed oil has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to regulate the heartbeat, further supporting good cardiovascular health. In addition, the flax seed contains compounds called lignans. Studies show that patients taking lignans had a 75% reduction in atherosclerotic plaque buildup.
Flaxseed itself is recommended for those who suffer from Crohns disease or irritable bowel syndrome because it is thought to be able to heal the lining of the stomach and reduce inflammation.
The ALA found in flaxseed inhibited tumor growth and incidence in animal studies. In addition, the lignans in flaxseed are thought to bind to estrogen receptors, reducing the risk of estrogen driven breast cancer.
Flaxseed As An Antioxidant?
Overall, flaxseed is an antioxidant, which contributes to its ability to help combats different types of ailments. One study shows that taking flaxseed daily improves the dry eye condition that occurs with Sjogrens syndrome. This condition is an autoimmune disorder where the immune systems attacks salivary glands and tear producing glands.
Flaxseed is also thought to help stabalize and improve blood sugars, assisting in the treatment of diabetes. Here’s a study that was done by the National Institute of Health.
In addition, it aids in general digestion because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The ALA and lignans found in flaxseed block pro-flammatory agents in the body.This action provides relief for many ailments. For instance, this could improve conditions for people with asthma. It can help with the recovery of sprains and other injuries where inflammation is present.
For women in the menopausal stage, one study reports that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed twice per day reduced the number of hot flashes by 50% and the intensity by 57%. This is likely due to the estrogenic properties of the lignans. For this reason, flaxseed is an effective supplement to treat some symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
Flaxseed And Blood Sugars:
More research certainly needs to be done and I can only speak for myself as a type 1 but one of the main reasons why I love flaxseed oil and I supplement with it is that I always notice that my blood sugars are much more stable and I don’t see as many of those major spikes throughout the day, especially with my morning fasting blood sugars.
There are a couple of studies out there that I also found interesting but this one I can definitely relate to. A Canadian study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition that showed subjects who consumed 50g of flaxseed in meals for four weeks experienced a 27 percent decline in blood sugar levels after eating. You can read that by clicking here.
Another 2007 Chinese study showed that consuming a flaxseed, a derived dose of 360 mg lignan for 12 weeks modestly lowered hemoglobin A1C levels in type 2 diabetics. Again, you can read about that by clicking here.
Now I’m not encouraging you to run out and start sucking down bottles of flaxseed oil, but this could be another tool (a health tool) to add to your arsenal so make it appoint to talk to your doctor if you think this is something that can benefit you. Not only that, you want to make sure it will not interfere with any other medications that you may be taking along with asking them how much you should take starting out.
Also, if you do decide to get a flaxseed oil, please make it appoint to get Non-GMO, organic flaxseed oil that is cold pressed. There are so many variations out on the market today and a ton of knock offs that are highly processed and hold little to zero nutritional value.
If you have questions on the ones that I use, feel free to send me a message or post a comment below and we can discuss.
Now that we have talked about the good, what about the bad? Ground flaxseed may produce some initial flatulence, but this won’t last long. Ensure that you drink plenty of water to prevent ground flaxseed from swelling up and obstructing your throat or digestive tract.
Some side effects of flaxseed are stomach discomfort, diarrhea and nausea. Other rare side effects include watery eyes, difficulty in breathing and rash.
Individuals who are allergic to the Linaceae plant family will need to avoid this. Possible side effects of flaxseed allergy may include rash, itching or shortness of breath. Be cautious when taking flax seed if you have high blood sugar level.
Pregnant women are not advised to take flaxseed for fear of birth defects and spontaneous abortion. Consumption of flaxseed may reduce the effectiveness of many drugs, vitamins and minerals.
If your looking for a fantastic source of flaxseed to incorporate into your, then check out my very own organic, non-gmo blend that is incorporated into all of our nutritional lines 😀
Thanks for Reading!