Flax Seeds and Soybeans May Help Asthma and Allergy

If you suffer from asthma and allergies, then you know how difficult the symptoms can be to control. New research presented during a news conference at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2014 shows that natural relief may be possible with flax seeds and soybeans.

flax seeds

Image Credit: sean dreilinger http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/

Jessica Savage, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the lead investigator in this research. Certain phytoestrogens in flax seeds and soybeans are being attributed to this relief.

Lignan phytoestrogens, found particularly in flaxseeds, have been shown to scavenge hydroxyl radicals and cause fatty acid peroxidation. Isoflavone phytoestrogens, found mainly in soybeans, have shown signs of reducing allergic airway inflammation. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are what afford these foods the natural ability to help control the symptoms of asthma and allergy.

The research involved a study of more than 7900 people who answered questions on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Even after the researchers adjusted for the influence of other phytoestrogens, smoking, age, and sensitization to environmental allergens, they still found a correlation between increased phytoestrogens and decreased asthma and wheezing…”(1)

While these results are exciting, Dr. Savage pointed out that they do not conclusively prove that eating more soy or flax seeds will reduce your risk for allergies and asthma. Nonetheless, it is always wonderful to see scientific support for addressing health issues with diet and lifestyle.

Adding more soy and flax seeds to your diet and healthy lifestyle will fight free radicals and help you control the damaging effects of inflammation. This has many wonderful health benefits beyond allergies and asthma as well.

Related Article: 8 Tips to Beat Inflammation With Your Diet

How to Get More Flax Seeds and Soybeans in Your Diet

Flax seeds are quite versatile. They can be added to many of the foods you are already eating and will provide a fantastic nutritional punch. Flax seeds also provide great, healthy fats. In order to preserve these, be sure to not cook them or use only low, dehydrating temperatures.

Flax seeds have a hard outer husk that is not easily digested by your body. In order to enjoy the wonderful health benefits of flax seeds, soak them for a few hours first or grind them. Which method you use depends on how you want to incorporate them into your recipe.

For example you can use a coffee bean grinder to grind the flax seeds. The ground flax can then be sprinkled over a salad. It can also be added to a smoothie. I like to add a couple tablespoons of fresh ground flax to my green smoothie everyday.

You can soak flax seeds in cold water for 8-12 hours to release the phytonutrients and healthy fats as well. Soaked flax seeds can then be used in various recipes. My favorite are flax seed crackers. These are delicious, non-carb alternatives to traditional crackers. Here is a link to a list of 5 Flax Seed Cracker Recipes.

Unfortunately, soybeans are one of the most genetically modified foods today. Consuming GMO soybeans will likely be counterproductive. So, the most important consideration is that they are 100% organic and non-GMO.

One of my favorites is Edamame. Edamame is young soybeans that are green and still in the pod. They make for a great, healthy snack. You can pick them up in most health foods stores and some general grocery stores as well.

Fermented soy products are also another safe and healthy way to enjoy soybeans. Products like natto, miso, and tempeh can be used in many recipes. There are many other forms of soy and soybeans. However, due to the GMO issue, they are best avoided.

So, what are you waiting for? Great health is not complicated. However, it will not be found in a bottle of pills or in a syringe of pharmaceutical drugs.

You can enjoy great health today. It starts with what you choose to put in your mouth. Add more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet and begin to experience great results. Get started today with these tips for incorporating soybeans and flax seeds.

References for this Article:

(1) Flax Seeds, Soy Beans May Help Asthma and Allergy.  Medscape. Mar 03, 2014. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/821326?nlid=50605_2601&src=wnl_edit_dail&uac=215510FK

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