8 Health Benefits Of Flaxseed That Prove It’s A Superfood

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Arguably flaxseed’s most unique health benefit is its ability to affect your menstrual cycle. According to a study in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, flaxseed contains high levels of lignans, which are phytoestrogens — plant forms of estrogen — that contribute very small amounts of estrogen in the body.

“Flaxseed has been found to actually improve your progesterone to estrogen ratio in the luteal phase, which is the PMS phase of your cycle,” Samuel says. Basically, this means eating flaxseed can potentially help regulate your PMS symptoms.

Studies referenced:

Cockerell, K M, et al. (2012), Effects of linseeds on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot randomised controlled trial, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01263.x.

Javidi A, et al. (2016), The effect of flaxseed powder on insulin resistance indices and blood pressure in prediabetic individuals: A randomized controlled clinical trial, Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122190/.

Kajla, P. (2015). Flaxseed—a potential functional food source. Journal of food science and technology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375225/

Katta R and Desai S P, (2014), Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106357/.

Parikh M, Netticadan T, and Pierce G. (2018), Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits, American Journal of Physiology, https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00400.2017.

Phipps WR, et al. (1993), Effect of flax seed ingestion on the menstrual cycle, National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8077314/.

McRae M. (2018), Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5883628/.

Ren G, et al. (2016), Effect of Flaxseed Intervention on Inflammatory Marker C-Reactive Protein: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, Nutrients MDPI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808865/.

Rodriguez-Levya D, et al. (2010), The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989356/.

Slaven, J. (2013). Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

Zwickey H, et al. (2019), Effect of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet in People with Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Feeding Study, J Restor Med, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6550471/.

Experts:

Kristen Carli R.D., owner of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness

Tamar Samuels R.D., co-founder of Culina Health

Jennifer Mimkha, plant-based registered dietitian

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