Flax seeds are one of the oldest fiber crops in the world. In this post, we will talk about health benefits of flaxseed.
Flaxseed or linseed plant is cultivated for the fibre got from the stem of the flax plant. The healthy properties of flaxseeds are attributed to the rich dietary fibre content along with the antioxidants. People uses flaxseed oil, powder, meal and flour to get maximum health benefits.
- Healthy fats
- Vitamin B1
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)
It lowers the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Many of the health-giving properties have to be validated by scientific research.
Health benefits of flaxseed
1. Weight loss
People suffering from obesity can benefit by adding flaxseed oil to their diet. The healthy fat and fibre improves the quality of digestion and lowers the blood cholesterol.
Improved digestion with lower cholesterol helps the body rid the excess fat. The fibre helps improve the bowel movement thus preventing the food from staying too long in the colon. It prevents the colon from absorbing the sugar and this helps in weight loss.
2. Controls cholesterol
The omega-3 fatty acid is the good fat that improves the HDL cholesterol levels. Improving the HDL to LDL ratio helps the body act on the plaque in the blood vessels and removes them. This prevents the clogging of the arteries and lowers the amount of bad cholesterol present in the blood.
The fibre traps the fat in the blood and prevents it from entering the digestive cycle. Soluble fibre traps bile that is processed from the cholesterol in the gallbladder. The bile is excreted from the body and this lowers the amount of cholesterol present.
3. Healthy skin and hair
Adding ground flaxseed to your salads and health drink will improve the health of your nails, hair, and skin. This is due to the ALA fats that help prevent dryness and flakiness of the skin.
It helps to alleviate the symptoms of eczema, rosacea, and acne. Flax seeds help cure the dry eye syndrome. You can add flax oil to other essential oils to improve its texture and aroma for external application on skin and hair.
4. Flax seeds high in fibre and low in carbs
You see high amounts of mucilage in flaxseeds. Mucilage is the soluble fibre that forms a water-soluble gel. It has fantastic health properties for the intestinal tract.
Mucilage keeps the food in the stomach and prevents it from emptying into the small intestine. Food gets absorbed in the small intestine. The mucilage prevents excessive absorption of the food and improves the detoxification of the colon. It reduces sugar cravings and promotes fat loss.
5. Cure menopausal symptoms
You can use flaxseeds instead of hormone replacement therapy since it shows effective benefits for menopausal women. The lignans have estrogenic properties.
Even menstruating women will benefit because it helps maintain the frequency of the menses cycle. Try to include flaxseed oil or flaxseeds in your diet.
6. Good amount of omega-3 fatty acids
Unlike the fish oil that contains EPA and DHA fatty acids, flaxseeds have ALA fatty acids another type of omega-3 fat. ALA can be converted to both EPA and DHA fats but the amount is low. Only 20% of the ALA undergoes conversion to EPA and 0.5% to DHA. Young women show a greater conversion (2.5 times more) compared to men.
7. Fight cancer
Flax seeds show great potency in fighting cancer of all types – prostate, breast, colon, and ovarian. They act in like this. The three lignans in flaxseeds undergo conversion by the intestinal bacteria to enterodiol and enterolactone. They balance the hormones and reduce the incidence of cancer.
8. Improve the digestive health
The gastrointestinal health improves due to the presence of ALA in the flax seeds. It protects the lining of the digestive tract thereby alleviating the suffering from Crohn’s disease. It reduces the gut inflammation.
9. Good amounts of lignans and Gluten free alternative
Lignans are the antioxidants found in flaxseeds. These polyphenols help augment cellular health and balance the hormones. It also shows anti-aging properties.
Many grains contain gluten and many people are allergic to gluten. Flaxseeds show the gluten-free way forward. People who have seafood allergy can use the flax seed to supplement their omega-3 fats.
Nutrition value of flax seeds (Calories 534)
Amount Per 100 grams Percentage of daily requirement
Total Fat 42 g 64%
Saturated fat 3.7 g 18%
Polyunsaturated fat 29 g
Monounsaturated fat 8 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 30 mg 1%
Potassium 813 mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 29 g 9%
Dietary fiber 27 g 108%
Sugar 1.6 g
Protein 18 g 36%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 1%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 25%
Vitamin B-12 0%
We see flax seeds are high in dietary fibre and magnesium giving us more than our daily requirement in one serving. Also, it has high amounts of polyunsaturated fats that lower cholesterol and improves heart health. You can see from the table how flaxseeds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
How to eat flax seeds
The ideal goal is to have 1-2 tablespoons of flax seeds daily. Flax seeds come in two varieties, whole and ground flaxseed. The ground flaxseed variety is easy to digest and so many people prefer this.
If you take care to store the seeds in plastic containers in a dark place, they will stay for 4 months without spoiling. If you need to store it for a longer time, you can store it in sealed plastic container inside a refrigerator.
Among the many ways to eat the flax seeds, the most popular ones are these:
- Sprinkle some flax seed powder over your morning oatmeal breakfast.
- Make green salads with a vinaigrette made from flaxseed oil.
- When you make egg or met preparations, add some ground flaxseeds.
- Add ground flax seed to your soups – you get a nutty and crunchy flavour.
Improve your health with some simple additions such as flax seeds. These are inexpensive and easy on the stomach. Plus, they make a great taste addition. The best way to have flax seeds is to grind them as this improves the digestion. Include these in your diet to get flaxseed oil benefits and all health benefits of flaxseed.
- WebMD The Benefits of Flaxseeds http://www.webmd.com/
- Axe 10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts https://draxe.com/
- Medical News Today Flaxseeds: Health Benefits, Facts, Research http://www.medicalnewstoday.com