Flaxseed: what does it do to your body and how do you use it?

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Flaxseed: what does it do to your body and how do you use it?
Marjolein Dubbers regularly receives emails from women who ask her for quick tips to balance their hormones. We all want quick results. Unfortunately, our female body is a slow organism, but there are some smart, quick tips. Using linseed properly is one of them.

Flax seed; small seeds, big impact

Flaxseed, also called flaxseed, is the seed of the flax plant. Indeed, the plant from which linen is made. They are small brown or yellow seeds. They are widely available today in whole or ground form. Linseed oil is also available.

As small as they are, they can have a big impact on your health. It is best by far to buy whole flaxseeds, not the broken form because broken flaxseeds oxidize quickly in a store-bought bag. You don’t smell or see anything, but it’s actually spoiled. Eating oxidized flaxseed means an influx of free radicals into your body that can cause damage. Of course, you’d rather not have that. The disadvantage of the whole linseed, however, is that they are often not digested properly and you poop them out unused.

The solution is to buy whole flaxseed and grind it yourself in a small amount in a powerful blender or coffee grinder. Grind the amount of a small cup and keep it sealed in a jar in the refrigerator to prevent oxidation. This is also the reason why it is better to keep linseed oil in the refrigerator and preferably not to heat both the seeds and the oil.

How did we ever stay healthy without flaxseed?

Flaxseed: what does it do to your body and how do you use it?+

 

If you read all the benefits that are written about linseed, you wonder how our parents ever stayed healthy without linseed. An important property of linseed is that it is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega 3-fatty acid. In a healthy body, this ALA is partly converted to the even more important fatty acids EPA and DHA.

These are the fatty acids that contain powerful anti-inflammatories, with which you can protect your heart and blood vessels (1) and joints. They also have a positive effect on your immune system, which is very important for us women and they are essential for a healthy brain. There is some evidence that flaxseed can lower your LDL cholesterol and blood pressure and that it can have a positive effect on your skin and nails. Feed them from the inside with linseed oil or linseed. If you are vegetarian or vegan, regularly add a spoonful of flaxseed to your menu.

However healthy it may be: don’t eat linseed every day and don’t eat tablespoons full either! It is not necessary. Variety is much more important, there are many more nutrients you need.

Flax seed; miracles of hormone balance

Flaxseed: what does it do to your body and how do you use it?

But this is not all. There is another important reason to eat more flaxseed. Flaxseed contains substances called lignans that help you balance your female hormones.

Two hormones in your body that should always be in balance are estrogen and progesterone. If these two are out of balance, a cascade of health problems arises. Usually, they are out of balance because your body has too much estrogen compared to progesterone. Usually, this is not because your body produces too much estrogen itself, but because you come into contact with endocrine disruptors that act like estrogens in your body.

Lignans in the fight against cancer

Lignans are substances that fall under phytoestrogens. Like xenoestrogens, they can sit on your cells’ estrogen receptors. As a result, they tell your cells what they should do. Xeno-estrogens are aggressive estrogens, which can send messages to your cells that you would rather not have: for example, that they should start dividing like a spear. Xenoestrogens may therefore be involved in various hormone-sensitive tumors.

Phytoestrogens, on the other hand, promote the production of SHBG, a protein that ensures that xenoestrogens can no longer do their destructive effect. There is research  (2) showing that lignans may reduce the risk and growth of uterine and breast cancer. Lignans can ensure that cells destroy themselves at the right time. Tumors often disrupt this self-destructing property of healthy cells.

Also against wrinkles and other signs of aging

Flaxseed: what does it do to your body and how do you use it?

If your body does not have enough estrogen, which can often occur during menopause, phytoestrogens give your cells the message that your own estrogens would normally give. Estrogens are involved in up to 300 functions in your body, including keeping your skin, hair, nails, and joints supple. Feed them not only from the outside but also from the inside. Estrogens also protect you from too many wrinkles and keep your mucous membranes and eyes moist.

Make sure you have a healthy gut

The heart of your health starts in your gut I always say. Also now. The lignans in flaxseed must be converted by the bacteria in your colon into the substance that helps you balance your hormones. If not, you poop them out unused. So feed your intestines well with fresh, healthy food and as little sweets and chemical craft food as possible, so that you don’t eat the linseed for anything. There are no lignans in linseed oil, by the way, so you will really have to use (freshly ground) linseed for your hormone balance!

Lignans, where else can you find them?

There are also other sources of lignans, including vegetables, legumes, sesame seeds, seaweeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, and oat bran, and even coffee and tea. But there is a lot less in it than in linseed.

linseed crackers; do you have a really good recipe?

You can easily add freshly ground flaxseed to smoothies, soups, juices and salads. Keep in mind that everything that is liquid will become a lot thicker after an hour. Flaxseed makes it jelly-like.

You can also make flax seed crackers from it. There are many recipes of raw linseed crackers floating around the net. These are not heated above 40 degrees and I prefer that. I have tried several recipes but I have not yet found the ideal recipe. They all fall apart for me into little pieces. But I keep trying them! If you have a really good recipe I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comment and recipe below? Then I share it again.

In the meantime, I always have some raw linseed crackers in stock. Not homemade but bought. Always handy to have a box in stock.

 

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