It’s important to keep your heart healthy because it is one of the most important organs in your body. It is the body’s central blood pumping station. The heart is the one that collects blood from all areas of the body, pump the blood to the lungs where it receives oxygen, collect the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs, and pump it to all areas of the body while simultaneously removing waste.
By making good choices, especially on the food you eat, you can keep your heart healthy and properly working.
Flax is a nutritious seed which is considered as one of the most powerful plant food on the planet. It owes its healthy reputation to its three primary components:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA) – According to studies, these “good” fats can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and hypertension. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Fiber – Both the soluble and insoluble types of fiber are found in flaxseeds. This can help with nutrient absorption and make you feel fuller.
Lignans – which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. It was found that flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Lignans help reduce free radical damage which causes aging, hormonal imbalance, and cellular damage.
Flaxseeds Are Great For Your Heart For A Number Of Reasons
Flax For Your Heart Muscle
Regular consumption of flaxseed was found to be beneficial at improving the function of the heart muscle itself.
Results of a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that eating foods low in saturated and trans fats, and rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – particularly omega-3 fatty acids- can help prevent heart diseases. Furthermore, the results revealed that the risk of fatal heart attack can be lowered by including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) rich foods in your diet. Flaxseeds are rich in absorbable ALA.
The Department of Physiology at the University of Saskatchewan reports that:
“Flaxseed and its components may improve cardiovascular health because of their numerous attributes. Flaxseed contains 35% of its mass as oil, of which 55% is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Flax meal, which is devoid of oil, contains the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). Flaxseed, flaxseed with very low ALA, flaxseed oil, flax lignan complex (FLC), and SDG reduce the development of hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis.”
This only means that, even if you eat flaxseeds in different forms, your heart will still greatly benefit from it.
Flax And Your Blood Pressure
According to a number of studies, if you have high blood pressure or hypertension, adding flaxseeds in your diet can help regulate your blood pressure levels.
The American Heart Association claims that the potassium content of flax can also be the reason as to why it can help maintain a normal blood pressure level.
In a study conducted by the TriHealth Heart Institute, it was reposted that:
“110 patients with high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease added 30 grams of milled flaxseed to their diet each day for six months. Results were compared to a similar group of people who added a placebo to their diets. The group with the flaxseed in their diet showed a measurable decrease in blood pressure.”
Remember that high blood pressure negatively impacts your heart as it increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. You can keep your blood pressure in check by making flaxseeds a part of your daily diet.
Flax And Your Cholesterol Levels
Flax is a high fiber food. Aside from preventing you from overeating, it also lowers your LDL cholesterol levels. Eat freshly ground seeds to enjoy these benefits.
In a study published in the Nutrition Research, the result revealed that men with moderately high cholesterol levels experienced a reduction in their blood cholesterol levels because of their daily consumption of 100 mg of flaxseeds.
According to HealthCentral, the of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA found in flaxseeds is the one that can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Your body can absorb more of the ALA if you’ll be consuming a teaspoon or two of flax oil in addition to ground seeds.
Adding Flax To Your Diet
Here are some of the suggestion on how you will add flaxseeds into your diet:
- Mix ground flax in super shakes
- Sprinkle ground flax over berries
- Sprinkle on cooked vegetables
- Add ground flax to whole grain cereals
- Add ground flax to salads
- Add ground flax to salad dressing
- Combine ground flax with cinnamon and use as a dip for fruit (like apples)
- Add ground flax to hummus
- Add ground flax to nut butter
- Combine flax and cinnamon to canned pumpkin