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The Beneficial Effects Of Flaxseed On Health And How To Properly Consume Them

Flax seeds are the perfect addition to muesli, salads, etc. The flax seeds are delicious with their slightly nutty taste and aid digestion, lower cholesterol, and help with weight management. However, there are a few things you have to pay attention to when consuming the superfood.

A few years ago, chia seeds were The trend among the nutrition-conscious, but the more environmentally friendly flax seeds are slowly replacing the chia superfood. While chia seeds have to be imported from far away from Mexico and are correspondingly CO2 polluting and expensive, the healthy flax seeds are a product of a native plant – flax. Most of the crop grows in Europe and therefore takes a shorter route to our supermarkets. In addition to the more positive environmental factor, flax seeds are in no way inferior to chia seeds in terms of nutrients. 

Make Sure You Get Enough Water When Consuming Flaxseed

First things first: In general, there is one important rule to be observed when using flaxseed. You should drink AT LEAST one and a half litres of water (or unsweetened tea) throughout the day if you include flaxseed in your diet. This is essential so that the mucilage can swell – for this; they need contact with water. Without sufficient fluid intake, they would have to fall back on the reserves in the intestine. This can cause sticking in the intestine and thus abdominal pain, severe constipation and, in the worst case, an intestinal obstruction.

In the case of intestinal obstruction (ileus), the intestinal wall has been damaged so much that it can no longer be transported. The corresponding part of the intestine could die and be broken down by bacteria – with the possible consequence of life-threatening blood poisoning. But if you drink enough water or tea, nothing stands in the way of enjoying flaxseed and its positive health effects.

Flaxseed Is Suitable For Blood Lipid Levels

Flax seeds are sometimes brownish and sometimes yellowish, have a slightly nutty taste and consist of around 30 percent fat. As with nuts, this is of the “good” variety, They are polyunsaturated linolenic acids that the body can convert into omega-3 fatty acids, for example. And: “Vegetable omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive effect on blood lipid levels and fight inflammation in the body,” explains Müller.

Flaxseed As A Healthy Weight Control Tool

One hundred grams of flaxseed has an average of 380 calories – not a few! Nevertheless, they are suitable for a figure-conscious diet. Dietitian Müller explains why: “Flaxseeds are high in fibre and relatively high in protein and are therefore very filling. They help regulate blood sugar and postpone the next hunger for a while.” This is useful if you want to eat less or lose a few pounds.

Above all, however, the food is known for its so-called mucilage, which can aid digestion. Therefore, flax seeds (incredibly crushed ones) are considered an effective natural laxative. Your mucous substances swell up in the gastrointestinal tract, causing the intestinal contents to enlarge and soften, stimulating the bowel movement.

But be careful: this only works if – as already mentioned – you make sure to drink enough water. Otherwise, the symptoms can even worsen dramatically.

So Much Flaxseed A Day Will Help Relieve Constipation

To relieve constipation, one to two tablespoons of flaxseed should be consumed daily, for example, in the morning and the evening. Theoretically, these portions could be eaten pure; But flax seeds are more delicious if you stir them into the yogurt or sprinkle them over the muesli and make it even healthier. By the way, they can also upgrade hearty dishes. Whether mixed with herbal quark, on the fried egg or in the bread dough, you can get creative here.

Even With Flaxseed, There Is “Too Much”

Unlike medicinal preparations, it can take a few days for the laxative effects of flaxseed to set in. So please do not increase the dose unnecessarily. Some may have heard of hydrogen cyanide, which in large quantities can cause stomach pain. And that is precisely what flaxseed contains, albeit in tiny amounts, as nutritionist Müller explains: “If you eat one or two tablespoons of flaxseed a day, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.”

This is also confirmed by the Federal Center for Nutrition and describes 15 grams per meal as harmless. As a guide: A regular tablespoon is roughly eight grams, so there is no need to worry about the recommended amount.

Tips On How To Incorporate Flaxseed Into Your Diet

The gastrointestinal tract cannot digest whole flaxseed because of the hard shell. Therefore, you should use crushed flaxseed. When grinding, you can, if necessary, lend a hand with a coffee grinder or buy flax seeds that have already been ground.

You can then use the crushed flaxseed as a healthy topping for salads, yogurt or muesli or incorporate it into baking or in a smoothie. Otherwise, you can add the flaxseed to your water for weight control or as a health booster and take it with your daily fluid intake.

What About Linseed Oil?

What about the linseed oil that is made from flaxseed? Linseed oil is also very healthy and has even more good omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseed. However, the cold pressing, i.e. the oil production, causes other essential nutrients in the seeds, such as fibre, to be lost. Even when frying or deep-frying, the oil can lose nutrients due to the high temperatures.  Incidentally, after purchase, linseed oil should be stored in a dark, dry place and used up within three to six months.

Conclusion: Crushed Flax Seeds In Moderation Bring The Most

If you want to spice up your muesli, yogurt or salad, you should use flaxseed regularly from now on because the small nutrient bombs are proven to be suitable for digestion, cholesterol levels and blood sugar. The body uses the seeds best when they are ground and eaten pure. But if you prefer to use linseed oil, you should make sure not to use it for frying or deep-frying, as otherwise nutrients can be lost. As is so often, the right amount is also essential when it comes to superfood flaxseed. You should make sure that you do not consume too much of the healthy delicacy, limit it to 2 tablespoons a day and then drink enough fluids so as not to risk an intestinal obstruction.


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