The benefits of flax seeds are numerous and include constipation relief, clearing up acne, smooth skin, they assist in building muscle and burning fat, they’re good for heart health and they might even help with depression and arthritis.
Flax seeds are small seeds that at first glance look like the sesame seeds used on hamburger buns. They are very inexpensive and you can chew them up in their natural form. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3 oils. Omega 3 is not something the body produces on its own.
You can find flax seeds at your health food store or places that sell natural foods in bulk. Flax seed can be chewed in its seed form or you can buy vitamin supplements of flax seed oil in pill form. The seed form is much cheaper in price and you can buy a pound for just a few dollars.
Drink plenty of water when using ground up seeds or chewing the seeds. Be sure to keep the flax seeds refrigerated. And never heat flax seeds as that may cause a chemical breakdown in the seeds and could be even carcinogenic as a by-product.
When it comes to constipation, the flax seed has been proven to be very effective. Flax seeds are astringent and have a laxative action. They are good for mild to moderate symptoms of constipation. It’s not as harsh on the system as some of the fiber alternatives, yet it does act quickly. You can even grind the seeds in a coffee grinder to make into a powder. You can eat the powder or add it to a nondairy smoothie, a juice, or on cereal. It’s even tasty when sprinkled onto salad.
Up to 3 tablespoons twice a day should get the results you’re looking for. But do be careful. Consuming an large amount of flax seeds can contribute to back up in your colon. Flax seeds also have small traces of prussic acid, which in excessive amounts is toxic. But it would take a lot of flax seeds to reach a toxic level.
Since our bodies do not produce their own Omega 3, so we need to get it from our diet. Flax seed oil capsules are high in Omega 3 (although fish oil capsules have even higher concentrations of Omega 3). Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid which, as it passes through the digestive tract in the human body, it breaks down existing cholesterol and deposits a thin barrier to prevent its reformation.
Omega 3 works to fight against the main cholesterol deposits that cause clotting of the blood. These clots then block blood vessels causing heart attacks or strokes if they reach the brain. The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 1000 mg. of Omega 3 for measurable benefits in heart health.
Flax seeds can also help to clear acne. It’s fatty acids that help control the production of excess androgens (hormones that peak during the teen-age years). The androgens cause excess sebum oil to clog hair follicles and can contribute to creating more acne. Because of this androgen control, flax seeds may also help with building muscle and burning fat and reducing water bloating (and possibly hair loss) that is sometimes caused through excess androgens.
Omega-3 may also be a good nutrient for the brain and concentration. Omega-3 fats seem to work by making the thin fatty membranes that surround the nerve cells in the brain more flexible. This allows more neurotransmitters to be successfully transmitted between nerve cells, increasing our ability to think faster and concentrate better. Omega-3 has also been shown to have a number of other effects that control harmful inflammation (arthritis) and even possibly prevent depression.
With flax seeds being so inexpensive, it’s worth giving them a try. Your local health food store should have them or be able to tell you where to find flax seeds.
Jessia Deets writes articles of interest in various areas. You can find out lots of information about flax seeds and see our articles at http://www.flaxseedinfo.com
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