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15 Health Benefits of Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil

Updated on July 7, 2017
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Lakshmi Menon is a published author . Writes both fiction and non-fiction. Also interested in writing health and travel articles.

Ground Flax Seed
Ground Flax Seed | Source

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds

Flaxseed may be helpful for...

  1. preventing and treating certain cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancer
  2. maintaining hormone levels in women of all ages and reducing hot flashes caused by menopause
  3. bones: preventing bone loss, increasing bone density, and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis
  4. reducing risk of cardiovascular disease because it is rich in antioxidants and good for reducing bad LDL cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol (thus protecting against heart disease)
  5. proper kidney function
  6. lowering blood sugar and pressure, and therefore helpful with diabetes
  7. decreased insulin resistance
  8. weight reduction
  9. relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  10. use as antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral
  11. brain development, especially in utero and during infancy, so it's especially important for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers
  12. the treatment of skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, sun sensitivities, and dandruff
  13. digestion and colon health, since as a natural lubricant and a rich source of fiber, it lowers the risk of and offers relief for constipation and diarrhea
  14. building immunity: the alpha-Linolenic acid and lignans decrease inflammation and promote healthy functioning of the immune system
  15. strengthening skin, hair, and fingernails

Brown, Ground, and Golden Flaxseed
Brown, Ground, and Golden Flaxseed | Source

Why Your Body Needs Flaxseed

Flaxseeds, originally from Mesopotamia, have been consumed since the Stone Age. These seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids (an essential fat your body can't make on its own). They are also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and manganese (required for proper nutrient absorption, enzyme function, bone development, and wound healing). They are also a good source of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, and rich in lignan phytonutrients (which are high in antioxidants and fiber and have anti-estrogenic effects).

One of its unique characteristics is the oil in the seed: Flaxseed is over 40 percent oil. Like other vegetable oils, flax oil is a mixture of fatty acids, but flax is the best source of omega-3s, fatty acids called alpha-Linolenic acid or ALA. It's also a great source of omega-6s, and the only seed that has both types.

ALA is a member of the omega-3 fatty acid family. The body cannot make these fatty acids, but they are necessary for normal growth and development. These fats must be attained via diet. Hundreds of studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Although flax has been around since the dawn of civilization, it was only recently that people started paying attention to its nutritious and healthy benefits.

Flaxseeds are...

  • rich in omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acid alpha-Linolenic acid or ALA) and omega-6 (linoleic acid or LA)
  • a great source of lignans, vitamins (vitamins B-1, B-2, C, E, and carotene), and minerals (iron, zinc, and trace amounts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium)
  • high in fiber
  • great antioxidants (significantly higher in polyphenol antioxidants than many fruits or vegetables)
  • a high-quality protein
  • full of a phytonutrient called lignin
  • ingestible as whole seeds, oil, powder, or capsules.

Homemade Flax Seed Crackers with Dip
Homemade Flax Seed Crackers with Dip | Source

Buying and Using Flaxseed

Whole flax seeds are sold inexpensively at natural food stores and some grocery stores. It is best to buy them whole and grind them as needed in a coffee grinder.

Flax seeds can be eaten alone, via capsule, or added to food. The whole seeds are more nutritious than just their oils. Although it might sound like a good idea, it's not recommended that you cook with flaxseed oil, since the heat can turn these healthful fats into harmful ones. You can add ground flax seeds or flax oil to already cooked foods, just before serving.

Note: It is a good idea to grind these tiny, hard-shelled seeds, or they will pass through the body undigested and your body will not benefit from many of the seeds' nutritional values. If you are using them for constipation, however, the whole seed can be ingested, since this combination of oil and fiber makes an ideal laxative.

Because flax oils turn rancid quickly, it's best to follow these rules:

  • Try to reduce its exposure to light, heat, and air.
  • If you're grinding your own, grind it as you use it rather than ahead of time, as this will preserve the flax oils longer.
  • Keep your flax in the refrigerator, preferably in a dark (light and air-tight) container.
  • Because after six weeks it's likely to go bad, buy it in small batches.

Easy Ways to Use Flax Seed

There are countless different ways of using flax seeds. Some of the easiest are noted here.

  • While making chapathis, add 3-4 tablespoons of flaxseed powder to the wheat flour before kneading. (Ratio: 2 tbsp. milled flax seed powder to every 1 cup of wheat flour)
  • Flax seed oil can be dribbled on the chapathis after cooking, in place of ghee or some other cooking oil
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tbs. flax seed powder in salads or smoothies
  • Add 2-3 tbs. to your bowl of cereal or cooked oatmeal
  • 2-3 tbs. flax seed powder can be added in the dosa batter while making dosas.

Identifying Flaxseed

Flaxseeds, also called linseeds, are flat, oval, glossy, and have a hard hull that's pointed at one end. They are light to dark reddish brown in colour.

"Flaxseed" in Different Languages

Language
Word(s) for "Flaxseed"
Kannada
agase
Tamil
ali vidai, ali virai
Telugu
bittu, alasi, atasi
Malayalam
cheruchana vithu
Sanskrit
alasi, neem pushpi, kshuma, pichhala, atasi
Hindi
alasi, tisi
Gujarati
alasi
Marath
javasu
Bengali
marshina
Arabian
kattan
French
jagira, tukhme kattan
Marwadi
alasi

Using Flaxseed for Weight Loss

An Indian Doctor's Recommendation (in Hindi)

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or health care provider before taking any home remedies.

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    • profile image

      Shridhara C R 7 months ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      subhankar mondal 8 months ago

      very good information

      thanks

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 11 months ago

      Thank you for that information.

    • profile image

      Surjit kaur 14 months ago

      yesterday i bought flax powder from Indian grocery and today i took it in my smoothy. it was very tasty .i started it for diabeties, cholestrol and thyroid. after one month i will see the effect.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 20 months ago

      Please consult your doctor, for advice.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 23 months ago

      I'm sorry. I can't answer this. Please consult your doctor.

    • profile image

      shivamma. s 23 months ago

      i have undergone hysterectomy and after that i got severe hot flashes from past two years. I dint find a way to get rid of the sweat from hot flash. please suggest me whether this flax seeds can help me to get rid of my problem. I have severe hair fall also. my weight is also increased.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 24 months ago

      thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      mohamed kasim 24 months ago

      thanks for the information about flax seeds

    • profile image

      Khaleel 2 years ago

      I've a very bad hairfall..'m not even touchin non-Veg Jus b'coz of dis hairfall..plz suggest me how to use dis flaxseeseed..i wanna Get rid of dis prob..i love my hair's.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      Thanks Mrs aamir for this information. It will be very helpful to our readers.

    • profile image

      Mrs aamir 2 years ago

      I was suffering from Heavy bleeding from last so many years.I am using alsi seeds from last two months and I,m very happy with the results.Alsi seeds r very good for our health u can take them in every season.

    • profile image

      Muhammad jawed 2 years ago

      I am suffering from constipation since a long time. I want get rid of this problem. How to use flexseed.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      Yes, you can get oil also in the shops, and online like amazon.in.

    • profile image

      Pavitra 2 years ago

      Flaxseed ka oil bhi milta hai Kya

    • profile image

      jasmeet kaur 2 years ago

      It is Useful for under active thyroid or not plz give me and

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      Glad to know that you are getting benefitted with flax seeds. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      venu gopal 2 years ago

      l use 1tablespoon flax seed powder morning with walmwater before walking night before tiffine 1 tablespoone flaxipowder with walmwater daily twotimes verygood results with in month reduce the suger levels beforeuseing 150/190 after reguler using testreports 110/151 i sufferwith motionproblum after using flaxipowder daily 2 times free motion skin shining jiont pains also better

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      O Great information! Thank you for commenting on this.

    • profile image

      Pbs 2 years ago

      I am soaking it in water for 2 to 3 tea spoonfuls for about 2 hours.Then remove water and add a little jaggery powder.It tastes very good.By not heating or crushing the nutritional values will be in tact.

    • profile image

      jaisee bheo bangalore rural district 2 years ago

      Thak for all information.its helpful to all age group. Thanks once again.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      Flax seeds are available in super markets. Also available in online stores like amazon.in .

    • profile image

      anjaneyulu 2 years ago

      where these are avilable...anji002@gmail.com

    • profile image

      bia Rani 2 years ago

      Amazing ...thank you so much for information about flax

    • profile image

      parmardeepak 2 years ago

      I m used alsi Good test & smooth item from ahmedabad gujrat & I have a available stock (Limited) 09016501278

    • profile image

      anil talwar 2 years ago

      It is a very usegul information if it is true.

    • profile image

      Sukra sai vijay 2 years ago

      Really excellent information about flax seed which u shared with i am going to use this flax hereafter n .i ll share my benefit too once after month.

      saivijay

      sivaganga

    • profile image

      Bhargava Donakonda 2 years ago

      Iam suffering from migrain. As i found that these seeds can help in reducing it. Is that true? Can you help me with other diet to reduce my headache. Thanks in advance.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      The sources of information for this hub are mentioned there. Please read them for more information.

    • profile image

      Amjad Hussain 2 years ago

      I came to know about this flex seed, we also called it tisi in our local language, however the information you have shared in your website is true, if yes i want to know more about this if possible.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      It is better that you consult a doctor.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      I think once a day is ok. we use once a day only by adding in chappatis or dosas.

    • profile image

      ananthan 2 years ago

      I have red all the benefits. now I wanted to know how much I should take daily. Is it once in a day? or twice once in morning and once in evening. please confirm since I am health concisious

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      Thank you for that valuable information. For your question about BPH, please check this article -

      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice...

    • profile image

      ARUN ACHARYA 2 years ago

      As doctor instructed me to reduce cholesterol and someone told about ALSI ie. Flex-seed and benefits in reducing cholesterol, I have started consuming after roasting the same. After 4-5 days added lime drops and salt at the time of roasting, it is now tasty and often use for mouth taste or as Mukhvas. But today I got much more important informations from your HUB. Thank for that. One question that " is it also useful in BPH?"

    • profile image

      Anita sharma 2 years ago

      I m very thankful to u for this information

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 2 years ago

      If your question was in English I could have answered. I don't know Hindi that well.

    • profile image

      bharat bhushan 2 years ago

      Dear s/m

      M alsi ke Sevan ki puri jankari chahta hu ki iska Sevan Kaiser kare aur isle upar kya kya Khan ki chijo ka parhej hota h

      Mujko I ska jaldi utter due kirpya karke.

    • profile image

      SARAVANAKUMARAN 3 years ago

      We are promoting flaxseed .more details www.apexlive.in/9442899319 or touch with apex5star@gmail.com

    • profile image

      Khan 3 years ago

      I saw tisi from my childhood. People of our area uses tisi oil for burnish purpose.

    • profile image

      erwerew 3 years ago

      okka okka sugam

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      Flax seeds hair keliya benefit maloom nahi. Provision store (mall) mei milega.

    • profile image

      raj kumar 3 years ago

      Flax seeds kya hair k liye b benefit or kaha milege

    • profile image

      jayavalli 3 years ago

      Very useful msg about flaxseeds. Thank u very much

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      You can search in amazon.in for flax seeds. They are available there online. In many of the super stores flax seeds will be available.

    • profile image

      kailash Chandra 3 years ago

      I don't know the shops for purchase of Flax seeds

      Tell me by sms on my cell 09920362117

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      Thank you very much for this info. It will be of great help to our readers.

    • profile image

      karunaverma RANCHI 3 years ago

      We know in ourchildhood. We eat in form of salad

      To make salad-

      Roasted tisi powder 1/2cup,grated 1/2 onion,green chili 1 cutting small piece,some drop of lemon and water .

      All are mixed in like a batter then eat with rice or chapati.

      A wonderful taste likes all.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      It is nice to know that you want to give the herbs to your patients in charity. There are many hubs here about various herbs, and they cannot be mentioned in a message. Please check the following hubs -

      https://hubpages.com/health/Medicinal-uses-of-Kizh...

      https://hubpages.com/health/Health-Benefits-of-Tul...

      https://hubpages.com/food/Many-Uses-of-Mint-Leaves...

      There are more such hubs written by others too here. Please spend some time and do a thorough search. You will find many gems of information here on this site.

    • profile image

      Dr.D S Jadon 3 years ago

      Pls.give me complete details about more herbs. I want to give them my patients in charity. Thanks. Mob. 8955311621.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      It can be used at any time - winter or summer. I use every time.

    • profile image

      raghav 3 years ago

      flax should be used in summer or winter.

    • profile image

      vinod gupta 3 years ago

      it is very useful in constipation and in India it is available rostred form also u may take direct it is very testy also called ALSI GOLD

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      No, both are different types of oils.

    • profile image

      t.mullaivanam 3 years ago

      i want know the flax seed oil and the olive oil are the same one

    • profile image

      prabhat Parashar 3 years ago

      use it with curd.

      It is very true that our forefathers are using this in their daily diet. Many mordern people discarded it.

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 3 years ago

      As some people wanted to know how to use flax seeds in daily diet, I have now added that information and also added two videos. Hope it will be more useful to you now.

    • profile image

      R.L.Gupta 3 years ago

      How to use flax seeds.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I have to start using this for cholesterol and a few other issues mentioned here. To look at it you would've know how good this little seed it is for health. Thanks for writing such a helpful piece!

    • profile image

      Ganesh R 3 years ago

      I wish to know how to consume flaxseeds and the quantity to consume daily

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 4 years ago

      Thank you. I will add it.

    • profile image

      VDA 4 years ago

      In Kannada its called as "Agase"

    • profile image

      Sabih Ahmad Khan, Dubai 4 years ago

      This is available in Bihar Darbhanga we never know the benefits, mostly poor people was eating that

      Used as an oil, Tisi ka ghola, Tisi ka salad, for fishing also, test fantastic

      Need to inform media to advertise it.

      Sabih Dubai.

    • profile image

      DNH 4 years ago

      in Kannada , its called as 'Agashe'. Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      ganapathi 4 years ago

      good information

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comment. If you know other benefits please feel free to add them in the comment, which will be useful to other readers.

    • profile image

      bhanubhai prajapati 4 years ago

      very good seeds easily available in the market

    • profile image

      jha 4 years ago

      it is easily available in bihar it is called tishi .The people of bihar are used it on the daily bases of their diet i know about it very well but today i know its benefits .

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 4 years ago

      Flax seeds are available in India in the form of seeds, powder and oil. Powder can be mixed with atta while making chappathis, and oil can be smeared over the chappathis after removing it from the stove. The oil should not be cooked.

    • profile image

      pradip dey 4 years ago

      please let me know, in which form flax seeds are available in India. Can I use the power if it is available? What is the procedure to take it ?

    • profile image

      shakeel farooki 5 years ago

      very very good...

    • lex123 profile image
      Author

      lex123 5 years ago

      Thanks 2besure for visiting my hub and leaving encouraging comments.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I use have a bottle of flaxseed oil in my home. now that I know its many benefits, I will use it daily! Great hub.