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What are the benefits of flax seeds?

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Quick Answer

The benefits of flax seeds include reducing cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and the risk of certain cancers. Flax seeds also help regulate bowel movements and reduce inflammation.

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Full Answer

Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which benefit the cardiovascular system because of their anti-inflammatory actions and their ability to help lower blood pressure. The fatty acids may also help reduce cholesterol, because they help lower the "bad" cholesterol levels in blood. Flax seeds might also prevent hardening of the arteries, as well as impede plaque from being deposited along artery walls.

The omega-3 and lignans found in flax seeds help protect the body against breast, prostate and colon cancers. These two components might also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, as well as increase survival rates of those suffering from breast cancer. Lignans might also protect the body against cancer by interfering with the spread of tumor cells.

Flax seeds are a good source of insoluble and soluble fiber, which is critical for a healthy bowel system. The lignans in flax seeds help reduce inflammation associated with plaque build up in the arteries, which can help prevent strokes and heart attacks. Additionally, those suffering from Parkinson's disease and asthma may see a reduction in the inflammation that accompanies those ailments.

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