Benefits of flaxseed for MS


Long back when I was diagnosed with MS, people suggested I should consider having fish as I happened to be a vegetarian. I could have done so but looked for vegetarian alternatives. I was certain there would be something available for vegetarians.

It was then that I read about flaxseed that is supposed to be even better than fish as a powerhouse of nutrition. Flaxseeds are extremely beneficial to most people, especially those combating ailments. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. Our bodies don’t produce these fats naturally and they are essential to our well being. Most of us are not getting enough Omega 3s. They are extremely nutritious, and can even be called  disease-fighting compounds, containing Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans (among a host of other nutrients).

Lignans are natural antioxidants that reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, slow down the ageing process, and increase overall wellness. Flax contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant sources. Lignans are phytoestrogrens, active substances derived from plants that mimic the action of estrogen hormones in the body. Research continues to show their potential for treating menopausal symptoms without traditional drugs and reducing breast cancer. Lignans also possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These are only present in ground flaxseeds and not in flaxseed oil.

Researchers have also found flaxseeds helpful in preventing heart disease, protecting against inflammatory illnesses and decreasing cholesterol.

Even Prof George Jelinek, an MS patient and researcher of MS has mentioned that it is highly anti-inflammatory, prevents cell degeneration and helps to nourish and protect the myelin sheath of nerves.

In India, Flaxseed called alsi is something many people, especially those in Maharashtra take regularly. This has made me incorporate flaxseed in my daily diet. Initially, I added this in my vegetables and then realized it does not gel with everything. So, now I roast the flaxseeds, add a few pods of garlic and make a dry powder. This is something that both me and my entire family have every day.

In the process of getting better, I have learnt that there are solutions for every problem one may have.

One just needs to look for them.

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