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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?

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                Jenn Beach

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

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                Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                4. Feed Your Brain

                Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                6. Write it Down

                If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                7. Listen to Music

                Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                8. Visual Concepts

                In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                9. Teach Someone Else

                Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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