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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

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                Jenn Beach

                Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                Video Summary

                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                              How to hold a plank position

                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                • Prolapse
                                • After prolapse surgery
                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                • Previous childbirth
                                • Overweight

                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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