What Are the Health Benefits of Flaxseed Tea?

Linseed, or flaxseed, is a plant that grows year-round. It originated in Asia and the eastern Mediterranean regions. Flaxseed is abundant in fibre and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an essential fatty acid, which is largely responsible for the plant's many health benefits, especially heart health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. To make a warm cup of flaxseed tea, you grind up the flaxseed, and add about 1 tsp to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and sprinkle with cinnamon or add a little honey, as suggested by

Cancer Prevention

According to the Mayo Clinic, flaxseed contains a kind of phytoestrogen known as lignan, which is a powerful antioxidant. It is thought by physicians at the Mayo Clinic that lignan may help avert various cancers, such as breast cancer. Lignan metabolites may attach to oestrogen receptors and stop breast cancer cells from growing. On the other hand, the Mayo Clinic also states that recent evidence suggests that there is not enough data to confirm this assumption.

Improve Intestinal Health

The high amount of soluble fibre and magnesium in flaxseed makes it beneficial for alleviating gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation and gastritis, as noted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Drink plenty of water alongside flaxseed tea to avoid aggravating problems, such as constipation, in the gastrointestinal area.

Improve Cardiovascular Function

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the essential fatty acids, particularly alpha linolenic acid, in flaxseed tea may help to improve cardiovascular functioning and reduce the chances of suffering from diseases of the heart. Flaxseed may lessen inflammation associated with heart disease, which improves blood vessel health and platelet function. Furthermore, drinking flaxseed tea may also help decrease irregular heartbeats, lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, as noted by the website World's Healthiest Foods.

Reduce Menopausal Symptoms

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the scientific reports are mixed as to the effectiveness of flaxseed in the treatment of menopausal symptoms, such as breast tenderness and hot flushes.

However, according to the World's Healthiest Foods website, a study published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology found that post-menopausal women who consumed 40 grams of flaxseed (crushed) everyday for roughly six weeks decreased hot flushes by almost 60 per cent.

Anti-Inflammatory Advantage

According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, your body uses omega-3 fats to make anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which are hormone-like molecules. Thus, you should consume a diet rich in omega-3 fats (like flaxseed) to help diminish systemic inflammation that can lead to many chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and asthma.

Your body requires both types of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) to maintain good health, but it is important to consume them in the proper ratio. According to Dr. Mercola's website, the ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fats is a one-to-one ratio. So, refrain from eating too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats, which are primarily found in processed foods, animal fats and vegetable oils, such as palm oil, soybean oil and corn oil.

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About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.