By James DeMedeiros Men's Fitness
Ask any guy who’s serious about his health, and he’ll promptly tell you that an active lifestyle goes hand in hand with a proper diet. One way to maximize your efforts in the gym and in the kitchen is to ensure you’re always getting enough quality protein. Something else that could help, yet often overlooked, is fiber. Flaxseed is a quality source of both important dietary staples, and is available through supplement tablets, as well as in ground and oil form. However, its status as a protein and fiber source is far from its only benefits. We’ve compiled a list of the six best benefits of consuming flaxseed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in three Americans (68 million) has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. A normal blood pressure reading is 120 over 80. If you consistently exceed these numbers, visit your physician. According to Greek researchers, flaxseed oil should also be able to help. In their 12-week study of 59 middle-aged men, they discovered that flaxseed oil consumption resulted in significantly lowered blood pressure readings. Consider adding flaxseed oil to your diet and you may be saving yourself –literally– from the headaches associated with hypertension.
2. Skin Cancer
Do you dream of having a tan that would make George Hamilton or Snooki jealous? Nothing helps you look younger and highlights muscle quite like a tan, but there’s always a skin cancer risk. Forget indoor tanning. Research has proven just how damaging that is. If you’re lucky enough to be in a warmer climate, and the sun worshipper in you can’t be contained, apply sunscreen. Be smart and also consume flaxseed. Omaha researchers found that mice receiving 10% flaxseed supplementation were able to reduce melanoma tumors by as much as 63%.
It’s true: Depression hurts. It has the potential to impact on every moment of your day. There are plenty of antidepressants that doctors may prescribe, but according to a Japanese study, a simple dietary addition may also prove useful. Their study found that patients with significant depression levels also suffered from lower levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids that are found in various foods including fish, walnuts, and flax. If you’re depressed and haven’t yet investigated the effects your diet maybe having on you, there’s no time like the present.
4. Liver Disease
Are you living a healthy and fit lifestyle, yet still can’t shake the alcohol consumption? Just like any self-destructive behavior, you may be putting yourself at great risk. One very serious possibility is liver disease. Fortunately, for those who can’t seem to help themselves, there may be a way to decrease the risk factors involved with liver disease. Recent research conducted on 30 men found that those receiving flaxseed lignan capsules effectively reduced their liver disease risk factors. They concluded that 100 mg supplementation could be beneficial. Of course, a better idea would be to stop drinking.
Are you suffering from high cholesterol? Left untreated, your arteries could become clogged leading to a heart attack or stroke. Studies indicate that flaxseed can help. Interestingly enough, according to Iowa State University researchers, it only has the ability to lower the cholesterol of men. So, while researchers caution that it cannot match the cholesterol-lowering effects of prescription medication, if you’re looking for a drug-free, relatively inexpensive way to treat your problem, consider taking flaxseed lignan tablets or sprinkling some ground flaxseed overtop of your meals.
6. Prostate Cancer
Another male-exclusive benefit of flaxseed is its ability to assist in the fight against prostate cancer. In the United States there were 241,740 newly reported cases and 28,170 prostate cancer related deaths in 2012. With such ominous numbers, it’s no wonder researchers continue to search for ways to combat it. One study of 161 pre-surgery prostate cancer patients found that flaxseed appears to significantly reduce cancer cell creation rates. How? Another study indicates it’s likely because flaxseed has the ability to disrupt the events leading to cancerous cell production.