Cancer-fighting foods are generally not very appealing. But you don’t always have to think green, leafy vegetables because they can also come in foods you wouldn’t expect them to be, in this case, a cocoa cassava bar sprinkled with flaxseed.
Flaxseed, aside from being a good source of omega-3 fats, is also rich in phytoestrogens called lignans. Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in plants that may act like the estrogen produced naturally in the body.
The main component of lignans in flaxseeds is called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDGs), the main precursor of enterodiol and enterolactone, which are active phytoestrogens in humans.
SDGs have demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Studies show that when high amounts of lignans are present in the blood and urine, women have a reduced risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses.
Further studies suggest that women who consume significant levels of lignan precursors to promote optimal breast health can also experience other health benefits such as improved mood, and reduced levels of hot flashes, irritability, cramping, bloating, breast tenderness, headache and insomnia.
Lignans are also thought to be able to bind to testosterone and help remove it from the body, which could help slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Besides its cancer-fighting properties, the lignans in flaxseed have shown promise as a possible alternative treatment for type 2 diabetes. Cell culture studies show that SDG can suppress the gene expression of a key enzyme involved in the production of glucose in the liver.
A clinical trial conducted in Shanghai, China on the effects of SDG on type 2 diabetics also revealed a small but statistically significant improvement in glycemic control.
Nutritional bars can offer you all sorts of things but how many can beat the potential health benefits that the flaxseed in cocoa cassava bars provide?