Flaxseed

**All videos are done by Dr. Michael Greger M.D. to learn more about Dr. Greger please visit his website or his YouTube channel by click here.

Flaxseed is a common substance imbibed for the prevention and management of diabetes. This is due to its large number of potential health benefits, most of which stem from two factors. The first factor is flaxseed’s richness in important dietary fibers. The second factor is the fact that flaxseed is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are a crucial component in preventing diabetes as well as improving one’s overall physical health. Flaxseed has been deemed such a healthy substance that it can even be used in the potential treatment of various cancers related to diabetes. Flaxseed can be eaten itself, though flaxseed oil is also available as a dietary supplement.

Fiber

The high fiber content of flaxseed and flaxseed oil has numerous effects. Dietary fiber in general has been studied in correlation with decreased levels of blood sugar as well as increased levels of insulin. Types of fiber specifically associated with flaxseed are believed to bond with cholesterol in the body in a way that inhibits its ability to metabolize into the bloodstream. The fibers in flaxseed are turned into chemicals known as lignans, which are known to help inhibit the effectiveness of harmful foreign bodies that can cause cell damage. This is a prime source of their ability to mediate the growth of various cancers that are related to diabetes. In addition, the high fiber content has positive effects for both the pancreas and the kidneys, both of which are key to the prevention and management of diabetes.

Dietary fibers also help in the regulation of the gastrointestinal system, making digestion much easier. This can help to regulate bowel movements while promoting weight loss. This is vital to the prevention of diabetes, of which obesity is one of the major causes. Increased weight loss also furthers flaxseed’s role in the reduction of unhealthy cholesterol levels as well as the reduction of risks related to heart disease.

Omega-3s

Along with fish, flaxseed is one of the best available sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help to reduce the risk of heart disease and hypertension by lowering the patient’s levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides are unhealthy particles of fat in the bloodstream which can lead to clogged arteries, increased blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. Flaxseed can also regulate levels of hemoglobin over long periods of time when used regularly. In people with type 2 diabetes that has shown aggressive symptoms, the ability of flaxseed to regulate blood fat may be somewhat limited. Nonetheless, a generally positive correlation between flaxseed and the reduced risk of heart disease has still be observed.

Conclusion

Consumption of flaxseed and flaxseed oil can be beneficial due to its high content of both dietary fibers and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have positive effects on the bloodstream. Since flaxseed oil can be taken as a daily supplement, there is no need to bend over backwards looking for recipes that involve flaxseeds. With just a spoonful or two a day, diabetics can greatly increase their consumption of omega-3s and ensure that their diet is rich in nutritious fibers that help promote weight loss and regulate blood sugar to healthy levels.

Author: hilley
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