What is Flaxseed Extract?
It refers to the fine powder in light yellow or yellowish-brown colour derived from the seed of the Linum usitatissimum L plant. The Flax crop is widely found in countries like Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. The crop is extremely rich in fibre which explains its immensely high nutrient value and huge popularity among the health-conscious population.
Flaxseeds are composed of phytoestrogens (similar to the estrogen hormone in our body), soluble fibre, and oil. These seeds are being consumed since as early as 5000 BC either in the form of food or as medicines owing to the significant value that they add to drugs.
Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits this ancient and natural seed offers to mankind.
Uses of Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are mostly taken by mouth, though in some cases they may also be used externally in the form of flaxseed oil. Here are some popular uses of the seed in everyday life:
1. Controlling diabetes
Flaxseed extract has been proven highly effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Maximum benefits are reported in case of taking whole flaxseeds for at least 12 weeks regularly.
2. Reducing high cholesterol
Flaxseed is great for bringing cholesterol levels back to normal as well. Scientific research has proven the efficacy of this amazing natural ingredient in lowering cholesterol in both men and women, when taken in varying preparations such as ground flaxseed, partially defatted flaxseed, flaxseed extract, and flaxseed bread and muffins too. A great combination of good health and taste.
3. Lowering hypertension
Did you know that you could reduce your blood pressure by eating flaxseed bread daily for 6 months? The ingredient works best in a number of baked and semi-cooked food preparations, helping to retain the nutrient value of the food item while providing a number of health benefits too.
4. Helpful in breast pain
Severe pain in breasts in some women, usually during the start of their menstruation cycle, can be taken care of by eating a flaxseed muffin every day for 3 months. Besides, flaxseed powder can also help control similar symptoms when taken for 2 months daily.
5. Helps lose weightWeight
control is a fairly common concern among today’s population everywhere. And this ancient seed can work wonders in this field. Try taking about 30 grams flaxseeds daily for nearly 12 weeks and see for yourself how it helps reduce your body weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), and waist size.
Possible side effects of taking flaxseed extract
There isn’t much evidence available to strongly confirm any harmful side effects of taking flaxseeds. It is mostly considered safe to be taken by mouth in most adults. However, just like any other food item, flaxseeds too may cause slightly unusual changes in the body in case it doesn’t suit a particular individual.
In this case, the possible side effects of taking flaxseeds may include gastrointestinal disorders such as higher frequency of bowel movements in a day, bloating, gastric trouble, pain in the upper or lower abdomen, constipation, and nausea. However, these are relatively minor concerns owing to the high fibre and fat content of the seed and may not require medical attention.
It needs to be remembered though intake of unusually higher amounts of flaxseed or its preparations may result in blocking of intestines. This may occur due to the laxative effects of flaxseed which may cause bulk formation. To prevent such an occurrence, it’s advisable to drink plenty of water when eating flaxseed.
The only possible harmful form of flaxseed mentioned in researches so far is its raw or unripe form, which is considered to be poisonous.
Drug interactions to be avoided
Flaxseeds should not be taken in combination with any medicine taken for controlling diabetes or for slowing down blood clotting process.
Flaxseed extract is high in fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, taking about 3-4 tablespoons per day is a good idea to keep problems like constipation and other stomach-related issues at bay. It can be safely taken by toddlers too – just about 1 tbsp daily for gas or constipation.
Flax is a great source of nutrition and if included in our daily diet in some form – bread, muffins, cereal, or yoghurt – it can offer a great combo of good health and yummy taste.