A diet rich in flaxseeds can prevent the risk of dying from breast cancer by 40percent, according to a new German study.
The researchers at German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, noticed that a diet rich in seeds, vegetables, and wheat, contain phytoestrogens, a special plant compound, that can ward off cancer cells and prevent secondary tumours by curbing the growth of new blood vessels.
â€˜Lignansâ€™ are the most important phytoestrogens, which are found in plenty in flaxseeds, the researchers claim.
A similar study was conducted by Thompson and her colleagues at Department of Nutritional Science, University of Toronto. Their report suggested that flaxseeds can have a positive effect in reducing growth of tumours, particularly the type of tumour found in post-menopausal breast cancer in women. The positive effects have been due to the presence of â€˜lignansâ€™, which are additive with those of tamoxifen. The initial studies indicate that flaxseeds, when included in the diet, have beneficial effects in other kinds of cancers too, such as prostate cancer in humans.
Flax (Linseed) belongs to the family Linaceae, and is native to the region from Middle East to India, although widely cultivated in ancient Egypt. The other proven major health benefits of flax seeds are that, it helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and prevents formation of plague in arteries.
Flax seeds are available in two basic varieties â€“ yellow and brown. A tablespoon of ground flax seeds can be mixed with three tablespoons of water and consumed. Else, it can also be mixed with oatmeal, yogurt, salads or any other food item requiring a nutty flavour. It is also available in the form of capsules.