Flaxseeds, commonly known as Jawas, are tiny nutritional powerhouses that have gained popularity for their remarkable health benefits. These small, unassuming seeds are packed with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.
Whether you’re looking to boost heart health, improve digestion, or enhance your overall nutritional intake, flaxseeds offer a versatile and convenient way to do so.
In India, flaxseed is commonly known as Alsi, and in Marathi, flax seeds are referred to as alashi or jawas. It’s a highly sought-after food, especially among vegetarians and vegans, who prefer to obtain their omega-3 fatty acids from non-animal sources.
Whole flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, lignan precursors, and flaxseed mucilage have shown significant potential in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Additionally, flaxseed has earned recognition as a ‘good mood food,’ suggesting its potential to positively impact mood and well-being.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the various forms and uses of Jawas or flaxseeds, shedding light on their incredible versatility and the advantages they bring to your well-being.
How to Eat (Flax Seeds) Jawas?
Flax also known as Jawas is readily available in supermarkets and health food stores these days, and it comes in four different forms. This variety allows you to choose how you’d like to consume it and for what specific purpose you want to purchase it.
1. Whole (Flaxseed) Jawas
- Whole flaxseed, found in the market, can be consumed as is or added to various dishes.
- When eating whole flaxseeds, it’s essential to chew them thoroughly to fully access the nutrients they contain.
- Inadequate chewing can lead to undigested flaxseeds passing through the body, resulting in the loss of valuable nutrients.
- Another option is to consume whole flaxseeds after grinding them using a coffee grinder, which can enhance their digestibility and nutrient absorption.
2. Ground (Flaxseed) Jawas
- Many people prefer to purchase ground flaxseed, often opting for milled flax or flaxseed flour.
- Ground flaxseed is versatile and can be used in cooking, baking, or added to uncooked foods. The grinding process releases more nutrients from flaxseed, making it potentially more beneficial.
- Grinding makes it more effective than chewing whole seeds for nutrient absorption.
- Ground flaxseed typically has a shelf life of up to four months when stored in a cool, dry place. For extended freshness, it’s best to refrigerate it in an airtight container.
- You can incorporate ground flaxseed into your diet in various ways, such as mixing it with hot or cold cereal, yogurt, rice, salads, pasta, and more.
3. (Flaxseed) Jawas oil
- Some individuals prefer to use flaxseed oil in cold preparations like smoothies or salad dressings.
- Flaxseed oil can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for flax seeds, typically following a ratio of 3:1 (3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed for 1 tablespoon of oil).
- It’s important to note that flax oil is not recommended for frying foods as exposure to high temperatures can make it unstable and lead to the breakdown of beneficial compounds.
- Keep in mind that flaxseed oil is relatively low in protein and fiber compared to whole flax seeds. Additionally, it has a shorter shelf life and generally expires quickly, typically within 6-8 weeks. To extend its freshness, it should be stored in the refrigerator.
4. (Flaxseed) Jawas pills
- Flaxseed pills or capsules may contain either linseed oil or ground flaxseed. It’s important to note that flaxseed pills share some of the same considerations as flaxseed oil, and they should be refrigerated for freshness.
- Flaxseed pills offer the same benefits as ground flaxseed, containing valuable nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. However, it’s often necessary to consume several capsules a day to obtain the equivalent benefits.
- These capsules are a convenient way to incorporate the advantages of flaxseed into your diet, particularly if you prefer a more controlled and measured approach to supplementation.
Other Indian Names for Jawas
- English: Flaxseed
- Bengali: Marshina
- Gujarati: Alasi
- French: Jagira, Tukhme Kattan
- Hindi: Alasi, Tisi
- Kannada: Agase
- Malayalam: Cheruchana Vithu
- Marwadi: Alasi
- Marathi: Alsi, Jawas, Ambaḍi Biya
- Marath: Javasu
- Sanskrit: Alasi, Neem Pushpi, Kshuma, Pichhala, Atasi
- Tamil: Ali Vidai, Ali Virai
- Telugu: Bittu, Alasi, Atasi
Although flaxseed has been used around the world since ancient times, it is in this recent time that people started realizing the benefits of folk remedies its nutritious, and various health benefits. Some of them are mentioned below.
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Cancer is an ailment in which many types of research and scientists are looking for supplements to cope with it. Recent studies indicate that there is a relationship between flaxseed and reduced risk of cancer and this study is also supported by the American Institute for Cancer Research.
In the initial stage, it was found that flaxseed is effective against breast cancer, in further studies, it was found that it is also beneficial in the fight against ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.
It was found that high levels of lignan contained in flaxseed help to protect against breast cancer by blocking the enzymes involved in hormone metabolism which are responsible for the growth and spread of tumor cells. So consuming flaxseed in your diet can be a good way to keep cancer at bay.
2. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Regular consumption of flaxseed may help to lower bad cholesterol in your body. A research study published in “Nutrition Research 2010” found that daily consumption of 100 mg of flaxseed was effective in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood and also reduced the risk of liver disease in men with high cholesterol levels.
It was found that several flavonoids in flaxseed helped lower levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) known as “bad cholesterol” and may also reduce the risk of heart disease.
The soluble fiber contained in Flaxseed also helps to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
Dose: Daily Consumption of 2 to 4 tablespoons can help lower LDL cholesterol.
3. Solves Hair Loss Problems
Flaxseed can be a healthy diet to keep your all hair problems at bay. As flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids it can nourish the hair follicles to make them strong and healthy.
The vitamin E in flaxseed also provides nourishment to the hair roots and scalp helping to treat hair loss and preventing baldness. It can be helpful to people to recover from hair loss-related problems such as psoriasis.
So consuming flaxseed or oil can be a good idea to solve hair loss problems diet. Those having problems with curly and frizzy hair can also use a hair gel prepared by boiling linseed in water.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
If you are looking for a weight loss diet flaxseed can be the best option, It contains three main components that can aid weight loss, it’s due to properties like omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber.
Flaxseed contains healthy fat and fiber that helps to suppress your appetite, keeping you satisfied and fuelled for a longer time.
In addition to this, it also contains vitamins B, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, which are necessary for weight loss. It has been found that an inflamed body always tends to hold on to excess weight and consuming flaxseed can reduce inflammation.
To get the best result for weight loss use ground flaxseed rather than the whole ones. You can use it sprinkling on salads, yogurt, smoothies, soups, mixed juice, or vegetables .
5. Improves Digestive Health
A healthy fiber diet is essential for a healthy digestive system and flaxseed is high in fiber which is good for the body. Consuming flaxseed can help to smooth the passage of food through the intestines and even boost the intestinal absorption of nutrients.
In addition, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil work as natural laxatives that may relieve constipation. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed also protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain gastrointestinal health.
Note: Make sure that when you consume flaxseed, drink a lot of water, which can cause some side effects. People who suffer from diarrhea and chronic, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis digestive, irritable bowel syndrome, or disorders should avoid flaxseed due to its laxative effect.
6. Makes Skin Healthy
Flaxseed oil and flaxseed have a lot to give to your skin, healthy fats and vitamin B in flaxseed oil can benefit your skin in many ways.
It can minimize skin irritation, tissue inflammation, rashes, and even redness. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed can help to keep your skin hydrated and smooth and can accelerate the healing of skin wounds.
You can use linseed oil with a few drops of essential oil and apply it to the skin; it can be a natural skin moisturizer. Eating flax seeds on a daily basis can also keep you healthy with younger-looking skin.
7. Eases Menopausal Symptoms
Regular consumption of flaxseed can help to improve symptoms of menopause. A study has shown that flaxseed can be very effective in combating the symptoms of menopause for menopausal women.
The Lignans in flaxseed have estrogenic properties that can help to reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood disorder.
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that women can take 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed 2 or 3 times a day to treat symptoms of menopause and to keep menstruate in a regular cycle and promote fertility.
8. Protects Against Heart Disease
A doctor always says that healthy nutrients can keep many heart diseases at bay and flaxseed contains all the nutrients that can keep a heart healthy. It is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats along with omega-3 fatty acids that are important to keep your heart in optimal health.
A study shows that people who eat a healthy diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) are less likely to have a heart attack.
In addition, flaxseed helps to reduce heart disease and stroke by reducing build-up plaque in the arteries, and inflammation that are known to promote the hardening of the arteries. So if you want a diet for a healthy heart, you can include flaxseed.
9. Aids Detoxification
The main objective of detoxifying your body is to make sure harmful toxins, cholesterol, and other waste products that are processed by the liver are properly removed.
Flaxseed contains soluble and insoluble fibers that are very effective in flushing toxins from the intestinal tract. In addition, flaxseed is loaded with essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for many functions of cleaning and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
When the body is free of toxins, you are less likely to suffer chronic fatigue, weakness, swelling, and congestion. It can be used both as a whole and as ground flaxseed for detoxification.
- Soak 1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed in a small bowl or cup of water and keep it overnight.
- The next day morning, consume both the seeds and gel.
- Repeat daily for 2 weeks.
- You can also add ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon) to any green smoothie detox.
10. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Regular consumption of flaxseed can improve levels of blood sugar in people with type-2 diabetes. A study published in “The Public Library of Science 2007” stated that people who consumed flaxseed for 12 weeks had shown lower levels of blood sugar it is due to the lignan supplements found in flaxseed.
In addition, alpha-linolenic acid, protein, and fiber contained in flaxseed oil played an important factor in controlling blood sugar. Many complications such as kidney failure and reduced risk of heart disease can be prevented by maintaining a normal blood sugar level.
Note: If you are consuming flax seed for diabetes control, you can consult your doctor as consuming it along with other medications can create problems. To avoid the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar always monitor your blood sugar levels
Jawas Oil Benefits
1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Jawas oil is a potent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. These healthy fats are known to support heart health, reduce inflammation, and enhance brain function.
2. Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in Jawas oil may help lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and support overall cardiovascular health. This can lower the risk of heart disease.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Jawas oil has anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for individuals with conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
4. Digestive Health: The oil can help promote digestive regularity due to its lubricating and soothing effects on the digestive tract. It can alleviate constipation and promote bowel regularity.
5. Skin and Hair Benefits: Applying Jawas oil topically or consuming it can contribute to healthier skin and hair. It may help reduce skin dryness, acne, and dandruff.
6. Weight Management: Some studies suggest that the healthy fats in Jawas oil can help regulate appetite and promote weight management.
7. Potential Cancer Prevention: The lignans in flaxseed, which are also present in the oil, have antioxidant properties and may play a role in reducing the risk of certain cancers, particularly breast and prostate cancer.
8. Mood Enhancement: Omega-3 fatty acids can positively impact mood and may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
9. Hormone Regulation: For women, Jawas oil might help regulate hormones and alleviate symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings.
10. Joint Health: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may be beneficial for individuals with joint pain or arthritis.
Note: While Jawas oil offers numerous potential benefits, individual responses may vary. It’s essential to incorporate it into your diet in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific health concerns or conditions.
Side Effects And Precautions
According to WebMD
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil a supplement seem to be well tolerated with few side effects reported.
- The fiber in flaxseed may decrease the body’s ability to absorb drugs taken orally. Flaxseed should not be taken along with conventional oral medications or other dietary supplements.
- Like any fiber source supplemental, Flaxseed should be taken with plenty of water; or it could worsen constipation. In rare cases, it can even cause intestinal obstruction. Both flaxseeds, flaxseed oil can cause diarrhea.
- Tell your doctor about what complementary health practices you are using. The information must be given in detail about how you manage your health so that it will help to ensure coordinated and safe care.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Jawas-flax seeds
Q1: What are Jawas or flax seeds?
A1: Jawas, also commonly known as flax seeds, are small, oil-rich seeds derived from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). They come in brown and golden varieties and are used for their nutritional and culinary benefits.
Q2: What are the nutritional benefits of Jawas or flax seeds?
A2: Flax seeds are rich in dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans, which are antioxidants. They can help improve heart health, aid in digestion, and provide essential nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus.
Q3: How can I incorporate Jawas or flax seeds into my diet?
A3: You can add flax seeds to your diet by sprinkling them on yogurt, oatmeal, or salads. They can also be used in smoothies, baked goods, and as an egg substitute in vegan recipes. Grinding them can make it easier for your body to absorb their nutrients.
Q4: Are there any potential health benefits associated with consuming Jawas or flax seeds?
A4: Yes, flax seeds have various potential health benefits. They may help lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. They also promote digestive health due to their high fiber content.
Q5: Can I eat Jawas or flax seeds if I have allergies?
A5: Flax seeds are generally considered safe for most people, but some individuals may be allergic to them. If you have a known seed or nut allergy, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding flax seeds to your diet.
Q6: What is the recommended daily intake of Jawas or flax seeds?
A6: The recommended daily intake varies, but a common guideline is around 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds per day for adults. It’s essential not to consume excessive amounts, as they are calorie-dense.
Q7: Can flax seeds be stored for an extended period?
A7: Yes, flax seeds can be stored for an extended period if kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place like a pantry. Refrigerating or freezing them can further extend their shelf life.
Q8: Are there any side effects or precautions to consider when consuming Jawas or flax seeds?
A8: While flax seeds are generally safe, consuming excessive amounts may lead to digestive discomfort. It’s crucial to drink plenty of water when adding flax seeds to your diet to avoid potential digestive issues. Also, consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or are on medication that may interact with flax seeds.
Q9: Are there any differences between brown and golden flax seeds?
A9: Brown and golden flax seeds have similar nutritional profiles. The main difference is in their appearance, with brown flax seeds having a darker color. Some people may have a preference for one over the other based on taste or appearance, but their nutritional value is comparable.
Q10: Are flax seeds suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet?
A10: Yes, flax seeds are an excellent addition to vegan and vegetarian diets. They can serve as an egg substitute in recipes and provide essential nutrients that may be lacking in plant-based diets, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Only a small amount of flax seed oil each day is needed to provide the body with enough beneficial fatty acids found in these seeds. Use flaxseed oil but do not overuse it as it is a very rich food with calories. It is true that it is a very healthy form of fat, but still contains 900 kilocalories per 100 grams.
- The Effect of Flaxseed in Breast Cancer: A Literature Review(1)
- Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but magnitude of effect depend on food type(2)
- A Research Perspective on Flaxseed Oil for Hair Loss(3)
- Impact of weight loss diet associated with flaxseed on inflammatory markers in men with cardiovascular risk factors: a clinical study(4)
- Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health(5)
- Flaxseed – Uses, Side Effects, and More(6)
- The effect of flaxseed powder on insulin resistance indices and blood pressure in prediabetic individuals: A randomized controlled clinical trial(7)
- Flaxseed: Composition, detoxification, utilization, and opportunities(8)
- The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid(9)