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Flax Seed: The Superfood For Glowing Hair And Healthy Skin (And Other Benefits!)

Flax Seed: The Superfood For Glowing Hair And Healthy Skin (And Other Benefits!)

Want an easy and delicious way to boost your daily nutritional intake? Look no further than flax seeds, your new go-to miracle food. These stellar seeds are severely misunderstood as they are considered to be bland and dry. They are loaded with nutrients and have incredible binding properties which is a must-have for vegan baking. With the correct preparation, you will start to realize that they are a pantry essential.

It’s so versatile, you can wear flax as well as eat it!

Flax seed was originally cultivated in the Middle East around the era of 2000 B.C.[1] Through the effects of foreign trade and demand, flax production has dispersed throughout the globe, with Canada being it’s leading producer; followed by Russia, France, and Argentina.

Because flax seed was recognized for its abundance of fiber early on, it has always been used for both culinary and textile purposes. The flax seed market has been steadily increasing in recent years due to its long over-due recognition for its nourishing properties, as well as it’s textile durability.

Flax seed is little in size but it contains many nutrients!

Just 1 ounce of flax seeds (equal to 3 tablespoons) will provide you with:

• Omega-3

• Fiber 8g

• Protein 6g

• Vitamin B1 31% RDA

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• Mangenese 35% RDA

Don’t be fooled by their teeny tiny size, these little suckers pack quite a beneficial punch. In addition to the nutrients listed, flax seeds are also abundant in phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, copper and zinc. To ensure that you are getting enough flax, add at least 2 tablespoons to your daily routine!

Flax offers way more than just fiber!

If you are familiar with flax seed, then you may already know that it’s packed with fiber which is vital for regulating cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels. But what else do these helpful little seeds have to offer?[2]

Healthy Skin and Hair

Flax seeds contain ALA fats which benefit the skin and hair by providing essential fats and B vitamins which reduces flakiness and dryness which can lead to dandruff. It can also help to decrease the appearance of acne, rosacea and eczema. Flax has also been found to reduce dry eyes.

High in Anti-Oxidants

The antioxidants found in flax seeds are known as Lignans. These are fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with anti-aging benefits, as well as hormone balance and cellular health. Polyphenols support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and can help to eliminate candida or yeast growth. But that’s not all! They also contain anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial properties; strengthening your immune system.

Digestive Health

One of the reasons why flax is so beneficial is because of its high concentration of mucilage which is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and helps to aid in nutrient absorption. The ALA fats help to protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintaining overall GI performance.

Reduce the Risk of Some Cancers

It has been speculated that flax seeds can reduce the risk of breast cancer, and in some cases reverse the effects. The three lignans (antioxidants) found in flax seed naturally balance hormones, and are therefore extremely important for women’s health. Flax also has been reported to aid in battling colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer.

Alleviate Menopause

Because of its hormone balancing capabilities, flax and its derivatives are the elixir of life for women going through menopause because it contains estrogenic properties. It has shown successful results for the reduction of hot flashes.

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Cardiovascular Benefits

The ALA fats present in flax have extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties and can protect blood vessels from damage. Because it also helps to greatly reduce the presence of cholesterol, flax helps to keep the arteries clear of any clogging.

Treat Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

When applied directly to the wrist, flax seed oil can greatly reduce the progression of carpel tunnel, and perhaps even reverse it.[3]

Is there such a thing as too much flax?

Adding flax seeds to your diet could increase bowel movements, and in some cases cause gastrointestinal distress with symptoms such as: bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, stomachache and nausea.[4] Pregnant women are not recommended to consume flax because of the presence of estrogen.

There’s more than one way to eat a flax

Flax can be consumed in a few different ways:[5]

• There is brown flax seed which can be consumed whole as either raw or toasted.- To consume this, just sprinkle it on top of your granola, yogurt, salad, or literally anything.

• There is also golden flax seed, which like it’s brown counterpart can be eaten either as toasted or raw. – Serving instructions are identical to that of the brown flax.

• Flax is commonly ground into a meal, and incorporated into shakes or mixes for baking or cooking. It is a great base for raw breads and wraps, as well as an excellent binder and egg replacement.

• Lastly, flax seed oil is also readily available. Flax oil is more commonly used for topical purposes, but serves just as well as a food item.

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Some yummy flax seed recipes you need to try!

Flax Seed Crackers

    A crispy, satisfying way to add more flax to your snacks!

    Flax Seed Oatmeal Pancakes

      Start your day off right with a nutrient dense breakfast.

      Blueberry Super Smoothie

        After trying this recipe , you’ll be putting flax on everything!

        Keto Wraps

          An easy guilt-free addition for a low- carb meal!

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          Gluten-free Muffins

            You’re spoiled for choice with 25 muffin recipes!

            Banana Bread

              A classic favorite, with a hidden healthy twist!

              Apple Cinnamon Cookie Energy Bites

                A simple snack to chow on when you need a healthy pick-me-up.

                Too much of a good thing is bad, be aware of over-consumption!

                Because the over-consumption of flax seeds can lead to GI problems, it is not recommended that you exceed more than 50g of flax seed daily.

                To safely (and comfortably) reap the benefits of this miraculous seed, consume 2 tablespoons of ground flax, or 3 tablespoons of whole flax seeds daily.

                Reference

                [1] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Flaxseeds
                [2] Dr. Axe: 10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts
                [3] Green Med Info: External Flaxseed Oil Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
                [4] WebMD: Flaxseed
                [5] Health Castle: Flax Seeds – Which Kind to Choose and What Health Benefits?

                More by this author

                Jenn Beach

                Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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                Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                1. Exercise Daily

                It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                The basic nutritional advice includes:

                • Eat unprocessed foods
                • Eat more veggies
                • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                  5. Watch Out for Travel

                  Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                  This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                  If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                  6. Start Slow

                  Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                  If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                  7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                  Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                  My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                  If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                  I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                  Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                  More Tips on Getting in Shape

                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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