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The Many Faceted Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

One of the greatest health benefits of flax seeds is clear, youthful-looking skin. I know this because I've seen the magic flax seed benefits firsthand.

For a few months after I first went vegan, my skin went absolutely crazy. I had abnormally clear skin throughout high school and college, and then as soon as I hit "adulthood," karma paid me back, with a vengeance.

health benefits of flax seeds

On top of that, when I cut out cheese, milk, eggs, and all the remaining seafood from my diet, my face broke out. I assumed it was an effect of the detoxification that my body was doing from the dairy, and I was probably right to some extent. After all, the rest of my body felt so much better; I was more energetic, I dropped some weight from my torso, hips, and thighs, and I was happy with it all.

But, how good can you feel when the first thing people see is your pimply face?

It took me a few months to realize what had gone wrong. I cut out the bad stuff, but I had inadvertently also cut out one good thing from that animal-rich diet, omega-3 fatty acids. I was eating much healthier, but I wasn't eating enough good fat, and that was destroying my skin.

Flax seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linoleic acid, which gives your body oils that keep your skin soft and clear, with just the right amount of moisture. The human body doesn't naturally create omega-3 fats, so you need to get them from your diet.

Before I found out about the skin-improving health benefits of flax seeds, I tried tons of acne medications, lotions, and salves, even going so far as to purchase one of the famous acne systems sold on TV, which cleared my skin up for some time and then turned it into a hyper-sensitive mess (don't use that stuff!) that I can now only treat with absolutely natural products.

A few weeks after I started eating flax, my skin cleared up.

If I ever feel like my skin is deteriorating now, I just increase my flax intake and immediately see the flax seed benefits of beautiful skin. Flax seed benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant, and

You can even use ground flax seeds on the outside of your body as a facial or body mask. I mix a tablespoon or so of ground flax seeds with water and then apply them to clean, damp skin and allow the mask to dry. Wash it off after about 10-15 minutes and you'll notice your skin feel exfoliated, soft and smooth.

People even believe a flax seed paste can be used to help reduce the look of scars and fine lines. That's up for debate in my book, but it certainly can't hurt.

Internal Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

Flax seeds benefits include weight loss, lowered total cholesterol levels and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

Studies seem to show that flax seeds can take on the gauntlet of cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases. The healthy omega-3 fatty acids are amazing for blood circulation and overall heart health, the fiber helps to clean out the digestive tract and keep your arteries unclogged, and flax seeds also have a high level of plant estrogens which work to reduce inflammation and remove free radicals in the body.

Some studies show that the health benefits of flax seeds include help balancing hormone levels, which helps people experiencing premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. When you're pregnant, they might be able to help balance your crazy emotions. Some studies also show that the omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds benefit fetal brain development.

You might want to talk to your doctor about the lignans in flax, the phytochemicals work like estrogens in the body, because some people worry about being hormone-sensitive during pregnancy.

Most of these studies are unconfirmed and some doctors remain skeptical of the true benefits, but I often feel they are being conservative so as not to call foods miracle superfoods.

Storing Flax Seeds

You can buy flax seeds at most health food stores and online all over the place. I typically look for the brown flax seeds, but yellow ones have just as many flax seed benefits, they just have a lighter flavor than the brown seeds.

As soon as you open them, store them in a dark container in the refrigerator to maintain the health benefits of flax seeds. Flax seeds have high oil content and the oil can actually spoil if the seeds get warm or are exposed to air.

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