Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t heard about this mystical ingredient called flax since it is something not often found in Asian cuisine. Surprisingly, flaxseeds have a much deeper history than we actually know it and it was first cultivated within the ancient civilisation of Babylon thousands of years ago from 3000 BC before it was brought out to the Egyptian empires and Chinese dynasties. It has even gotten a royal stamp of approval from Charles the Great, who was the Holy Roman Empire — he was the one who set a decree that all his subjects partook in flaxseeds for its nutritious and healthy value. Today, we are unsure if that decree still stands but that should only serve as motivation for us to start putting flaxseed into our diet.
Before going into the benefits of flaxseeds, let’s find out more about the superfood. As we know, flaxseed comes from the flax plant and in the past, the flax plant was more than just sustenance for the body — it was actually woven into linen since its fibres were up to thrice as strong as cotton. To date, flax is still used in clothing but the world is going ga-ga over flax for its seeds. Some people might prefer to consume flaxseed on its own but others also enjoy crushing and cold-pressing the seeds to create flaxseed oil which can be used to improve skin health. Excited to find out more about the health benefits of flaxseed? Read on for more.
It Improves Digestive Health
Flaxseeds are known to have both soluble and insoluble fibre that is a fundamental part of our digestive health. Why that high amount of fibre in flaxseeds is important to us is that it supports the better and smoother movement of food as it goes through our intestines. In particular, the mucilaginous fibre within flaxseeds has been known to help our intestines absorb nutrients with improved efficiency. Going back to the soluble fibre, it actually dissolves in water to create a thicker consistency and this is what keeps our stomach fuller for a long time. For those that are looking to go on diets, this helps keep your hunger in check since you are less likely to feel like your stomach is empty.
It Fights Inflammation
How the body reacts to having an omega-3 fatty acids deficiency is by inducing inflammation to remove whatever that is harmful and start healing. The side effects of inflammation are that you feel pain, redness and also bloatedness around your face and body. Why flaxseed is recommended here is that the ALA and lignans in the seed actually suspend the production of some pro-inflammatory agents. Similarly, when your body receives the boost of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseeds, your body gets further protected from inflammation.
It Helps Your Skin Heal
On the same topic of omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds, they also help quicken the healing process when you have wounds. If we were to look closely into our skin, there are actually tiny wounds that are not visible to the eye and this causes your skin to irate or break out in rashes. At the same time, the omega-3 fatty acids also support the growth and development of our skin cells — the lignans in flaxseeds actually reduce the amount of DHT androgen in our body and this is known to beautify our skin. From the anti-inflammatory support from flaxseeds, we can also reduce those skin irritation, while standing strong against the probability of contracting acne, dermatitis and psoriasis.
It Rids Acne
Those who are susceptible to having acne pop up on your skin would do good with a daily serving of flaxseeds. From flaxseeds, our production of sebum in our body is improved and this substance of oil that is released from our skin glands help halt the onset of acne. For those looking to introduce flax into their diet for a start can easily do so with milled flaxseed for a much youthful-looking skin.
It Promotes Stronger and Luscious Hair
Back again with omega-3 fatty acids, a deficiency could actually do worse things for your hair, on top of your skin. Your hair elasticity actually gets better with omega-3 fatty acids and it would be less likely to break or fall after your shower. Flaxseed is also great for your hair since its inflammatory properties put a stop to cicatricial alopecia, a condition that causes permanent hair loss. Cicatricial alopecia is even scarier than it sounds since it actually damages the hair follicles and the health of your hair will suffer. Those who suffer from dandruff would also welcome the addition of flaxseeds since the seeds promote the production of sebum in your scalp and this stops flaking and dandruff from showing up on your jet black hair.