Flaxseeds are an excellent addition to your diet!If you’re wondering why, here’s few health benefits:
Flaxseeds Are Loaded With Nutrients
Grown since the beginning of civilization, flaxseeds are one of the oldest crops. There are two types, brown and golden, which are equally nutritious.A typical serving size for ground flaxseeds is 1 tablespoon (7 grams).Just one tablespoon provides a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals.
Flaxseeds Are High in Omega-3 Fats
If you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, flaxseeds can be your best source of omega-3 fats.They are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a mostly plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.ALA is one of the two essential fatty acids that you have to obtain from the food you eat, as your body doesn’t produce them.Animal studies have shown that the ALA in flaxseeds prevented cholesterol from being deposited in the blood vessels of the heart, reduced inflammation in the arteries and reduced tumor growth.
Flaxseeds Are a Rich Source of Lignans, Which May Reduce Cancer Risk
Lignans are plant compounds that have antioxidant and estrogen properties, both of which can help lower the risk of cancer and improve health.Interestingly, flaxseeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.Observational studies show that those who eat flaxseeds have a lower risk of breast cancer, particularly postmenopausal women.Additionally, according to a Canadian study involving more than 6,000 women, those who eat flaxseeds are 18% less likely to develop breast cancer.However, men can also benefit from eating flaxseeds.In a small study including 15 men, those given 30 grams of flaxseeds a day while following a low-fat diet showed reduced levels of a prostate cancer marker, suggesting a lower risk of prostate cancer
Helps Decrease Menopausal and Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Lignans found in the flaxseed have been shown to have many benefits for menopausal women. In fact, flaxseed can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in some cases or as a complementary approach to balancing hormones due to the estrogenic properties that lignans have.
Due to flax’s ability to balance estrogen, flaxseeds may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even help menstruating women by helping to maintain cycle regularity, such as encouraging a normal length luteal phase (the period between ovulation and menstruation).
Flaxseeds Are Rich in Dietary Fiber
Just one tablespoon of flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 8–12% of the daily recommended intake for men and women, respectively.This fiber duo gets fermented by the bacteria in the large bowel, bulks up stools and results in more regular bowel movements.On one hand, soluble fiber increases the consistency of the contents of your intestine and slows down your digestion rate. This has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol .
Flaxseeds Improve Cholesterol
Another health benefit of flaxseeds is their ability to lower cholesterol levels.In one study in people with high cholesterol, consuming 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for three months lowered total cholesterol by 17% and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol by almost 20%.Another study of people with diabetes found that taking 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for one month resulted in a 12% increase in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol .
Flaxseeds Lower Blood Pressure
Studies on flaxseeds have also focused on its natural ability to lower blood pressure.A Canadian study found eating 30 grams of flaxseeds daily for six months lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg and 7 mmHg, respectively.For those who were already taking blood pressure medication, flaxseeds lowered blood pressure even further and decreased the number of patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure by 17%.Furthermore, according to a large review that looked at data from 11 studies, taking flaxseeds daily for more than three months lowered blood pressure by 2 mmHg.
Flax Seeds Help Control Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem worldwide.A few studies have found that people with type 2 diabetes who added 10–20 grams of flaxseed powder to their daily diet for at least one month saw reductions of 8–20% in blood sugar levels.
This blood sugar-lowering effect is notably due to flax seeds’ insoluble fiber content. Research has found that insoluble fiber slows down the release of sugar into the blood and reduces blood sugar.
Overall, flax seeds can be a beneficial and nutritious addition to the diet of people with diabetes.
Flaxseeds Help Make Skin and Hair Healthy
Why is flaxseed good for your hair? Flaxseeds benefits for hair include making it shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage. The ALA fats in flaxseeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fatty acids as well as B vitamins, which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea and eczema. The same benefits also apply to eye health, as flax can help reduce dry eye syndrome due to its lubricating effects.
Flaxseeds are Gluten-Free
Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains in recipes. Grains, especially those containing gluten, can be hard to digest for many people, but flax is usually easily metabolized and also anti-inflammatory.
Because flax can absorb a lot of liquid and help bind ingredients you’re using in cooking/baking recipes, but it does not contain any gluten, flaxseeds are a good choice for those who have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. As a gluten-free method of baking, you can use flaxseed along with coconut flour in recipes to add moisture, form a desirable texture and get some healthy fats. They are also a good alternative to getting omega-3 fats from fish.