Nowadays flaxseeds are getting more and more popular among people who are supporting a healthy lifestyle.
They are commonly available on the shelves of the major grocery stores or online.
Health benefits of a flaxseed make it one of the food items that need to be introduced to everybody who would like to improve their health and feel great.
Flaxseeds have a nice pleasant nutty flavor that is particularly great for baking.
Flaxseeds can be consumed raw or mixed with any other food, for example in granola cookies (check my granola cookies recipe over here).
Flaxseeds are available whole grained or grounded. Whole and ground flaxseeds have the same nutritional value. However, the whole grain flaxseeds have a longer lifespan and cannot be easily affected by oxidation.
Now let’s have a close look at the health benefits of a flaxseed. Some health benefits of flaxseeds are highlighted below:
1. Flaxseeds Are Rich In Protein
Flaxseeds are a great source of plant-based protein.
Flaxseeds are rich in the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
So if you are planning to cut on meat it will be a great source of protein that is able to fill you up similar to the animal-based protein.
Moreover, because flaxseeds are able to fill you up faster, it will assist you in your weight loss journey if that is your primary goal.
2. Flaxseeds Contain High Level Of Fiber
One tablespoon of flaxseeds contains up to 3 grams of fiber which sums between 8-12% of your daily norm.
The flaxseeds contain two kinds of dietary fiber that are insoluble (60-80%) and soluble (20-40).
The soluble fiber slows down the rate of digestion and increases the consistency of the contains in your intestine. This may assist to reduce the cholesterol level.
On the other hand, the insoluble fiber tends to allow more water to bind to the stools which increases their bulk and leads to softer stools. This helps in preventing constipation and also assists those who have a diverticular disease or an irritable bowel movement.
3. Flaxseeds Are Loaded With Nutrients
Flaxseeds sometimes referred to as ‘superfoods’. One of the reasons for that is that a flaxseed is rich in nutrients that are vital for our body.
Some nutrients that a flaxseed can offer are:
Vitamin B-1 and B-6
Vitamins B-1 and B-6 play an important role in our body’s metabolism and help to produce neurotransmitters and red blood cells.
In particular, Vitamin B-1, or thiamine, helps to convert food into energy.
While Vitamin-6 helps our bodies to produce enzymes responsible for the production of red and white blood cells that support our immune system.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Flaxseeds have become nutritionally very important due to their high content of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytochemicals.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an Omega-3 acid that is found in flaxseeds which assists to maintain the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, which improves bone health.
Due to its anti-inflammatory property, Omega-3 fats play a vital role in the treatment of asthma, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and migraines
Magnesium mineral that is also found in flaxseeds, keeps the airways relaxed, thus preventing a severe asthmatic attack
Lignan is an antioxidant phytochemical found in flaxseeds.
Lignans are converted into two very important substances called enterolactone and enterodiol.
Lignan also contains estrogen and antioxidant properties which can assist to reduce the risk of cancer. It has been found that people who eat flaxseeds have fewer chances of getting breast cancer especially the postmenopausal women.
Lignan is known to balance the female hormones. Many types of research suggest that lignan may promote fertility and reduce peri-menopausal symptoms like irregular menstrual cycles, fluid retention, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, tumors, fibroids, and heavy bleeding.
The lignan in flaxseeds can also assist the men. A recent study showed that regular consumption of flaxseed may reduce prostate cancer in men.
4. May Help With The Weight Loss
Flaxseeds may help with obesity and weight loss.
Because flaxseeds contain a lot of healthy fats and fiber, it helps with the hunger. What it means is that flaxseed consumption will fill you up faster with less amount of calories taken. That in its order will help with the weight loss.
Omega-3 fatty acid also helps to reduce inflammations and helps to stabilize hormonal balance, that could also help with the weight loss. It is very common for people who suffer from digestion issues and inflammation to have a hard time losing weight.
5. May Assist In Controlling Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes has been a major problem in the world.
The level of blood sugar characterizes it is high as your body is not able to secrete insulin. A study by the nutritionists revealed that individuals who had type 2 diabetes and they tried to use 10-20 grams of flaxseed powder in their diet for at least two months experienced a reduction of blood sugar level up to 20%.
This effect of lowering the blood sugar level in the body was due to the fact that flaxseeds had an insoluble fiber content. This insoluble fiber reduces the blood sugar and slows the release of sugar.
6. May Help Lower Cholesterol
The recent study found that regular consumption of flaxseeds may reduce cholesterol levels (3).
It was found the soluble fiber conceals cholesterol in the digestive system, preventing it from being absorbed. It also conceals bile, that consists of cholesterol itself in the gallbladder. The bile is excreted through the digestive system, making the body to produce more bile by using the excess of cholesterol in the blood.
7. Flaxseeds Are Gluten-Free
Flaxseeds are great in absorbing a lot of liquid similar to the chia seeds.
It is commonly used in baking recipes to bind the ingredients together. However, unlike the flour, flaxseeds do not contain gluten that is hard to be digested by many people and is a common cause of inflammation.
Flaxseeds are a great choice for people who are suffering from celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.
Where to Find and How to Use Flaxseeds
Nowadays a lot of major grocery stores have flaxseeds available on the shelves. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, check health food stores or online.
Flaxseeds are best-consumed ground. The reason for that is that our bodies cannot properly digest the whole seeds.
Whole seeds will mostly pass through the digestive system without leaving any nutrients in our body. Therefore, the best way to consume it is to either grind the whole flaxseeds or buy flaxseed meal to get the most health benefits of flaxseeds.
If you decide to grind it, make sure to do it right before the consumption as flaxseeds lose most of it qualities due to oxidation.
Because flaxseeds contain plenty of fiber it is recommended to consume plenty of water or other fluids.
No matter what are your health goals, consumption of flaxseeds will benefit a lot of us.
Aim to eat at least two tablespoons of flaxseeds a day to enjoy the benefits it will provide you with.