What are the Health Benefits of Lecithin?
Lecithin is an emulsifier found in a wide variety of food from around the world. It can also be used as a supplement in a variety of commercial and medical usages. The additive can be produced from soybeans, sunflower seeds, or even eggs yolks.
One of its best properties is when it’s used as an emulsifier. In this case; lecithin is used to mix water-based ingredients with oil-based ingredients to achieve a smooth and even blend throughout the infusion, cookie, brownie, or other edible.
Now you can understand why this might be an important additive to consider bringing into your edible creations as well.
There Are Important Differences Between The Sources Of The Lecithin To Be Aware Of
Soybeans are the most commonly used ingredient to make lecithin. However, many varieties of soybeans are genetically modified and people are often allergic to them. For either reason, many people prefer to use another option- sunflower lecithin.
Sunflower seeds are used less frequently than soybeans but do not contain GMOs like soy often does. Additionally, making sunflower lecithin does not require harsh chemicals.
Those are two very good reasons to consider sunflower-based lecithin- add allergies and you have three.
Note: Many that have sunflower allergies are fine with sunflower-based lecithin because, through the refinement of the oil, most of the offending/allergenic proteins are stripped away in the process.
Using Lecithin to Lower Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health
On the other hand, it’s considered that soybean lecithin can help lower cholesterol.
Specifically, it can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Other components of soy lecithin can contribute to cholesterol management.
Less LDL may reduce fatty plaques in the arteries, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The increase in HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol and then moves it to the liver for processing, which can mean fewer blockages in the arteries.
Can Help Breastfeeding Mothers
Some breastfeeding mothers have recurring clogged ducts, which can be painful and can cause redness in the area of the blockage. A blocked duct can lead to mastitis, an infection in the surrounding tissue. This can make the mother feel like she has the flu- as her body fights the infection.
Lecithin can help with blocked ducts and mastitis by lowering the viscosity of the breast milk, making it less likely to clog the ducts. Mothers can take a daily dose of lecithin of 1,200 milligrams up to four times a day to help alleviate the problem.
*Please consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes, especially when breastfeeding.
Can Improve Digestion
Ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel symptom can sometimes be improved with lecithin. With ulcerative colitis, lecithin’s emulsifying properties can improve the mucus in the intestine.
This can ease the digestive process while protecting the lining of your digestive system. This same property can help improve irritable bowel syndrome.
Mental Health Conditions Might Be Helped by Lecithin
Lecithin contains choline, a neurotransmitter that helps different parts of the brain communicate and may improve the brain’s functional pathways. There is considerable research on just what a supplement like lecithin can do for the brain.
Note: It’s thought that adding lecithin to your diet can improve memory and help those with symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Lecithin is a Moisturizer That Can Soothe Skin
Aside from being an emulsifier, lecithin is also considered an emollient, which can soften the skin. It makes the skin feel smooth and healthy by restoring hydration. That’s why you can find lecithin in many skin creams, as an ingredient named; hydrogenated lecithin.
Some people even claim to have used lecithin to cure acne and eczema. Though there is not much direct evidence to support that.
Over time, lecithin has proven beneficial to many, while exhibiting very few risks. Adding lecithin to your existing dietary supplements may be beneficial to your general health, cholesterol, and organ functions- and certainly to your infused baked goods.
Note: It’s always best to discuss your particular situation with your doctor before adding anything new to your supplement regimen.
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