For centuries, flax seeds are valued for their health-protective properties. In fact, Charles the Great ordered their citizens to eat the flax seeds for their health. So it’s not surprising that they got the name Linum Usitatissimum, which means “very effective.”
Flaxseed comes as a superfood that has been researched by scientists. Let’s take a look into the best health benefits and nutritional facts of flax seeds backed by science.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
1.High in Omega-3 Fats
Generally, we all know that fish contain omega-3 fats, but if you are a pure vegetarian and won’t eat fish, then the flax seeds are the best alternative. It is high in omega-3 fats.
Flax seeds are the Best Source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and mostly plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. ALA is one of the two primary fatty acids that you need to get from the food because your body does not provide them.
Some animal studies found that the flax seed’s ALA prevents cholesterol from being collected in the blood veins of the heart, reduces the growth of the tumor, and decreases inflammation in the arteries.
One Costa Rican study shows that people who eat high ALA have a lower risk of heart attack than those who consume low ALA.
Another large study found that the ALA was connected to a 14% lower risk of heart disease. Several studies have linked ALA to a lower risk of stroke.
Moreover, a review of recently observed data shows that ALA has cardiovascular health benefits comparable to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), making it one of the most prevalent omega-3 fats.
2.Decrease the Risk of Cancer
Ligans are the flaxseed plant compounds that come with estrogen and antioxidant properties. Both can reduce the risk of cancer and help to increase the body’s health.
Fortunately, the flax seeds come with 800 times more lignans when compared to the other food plants.
Observational studies found that people who consume flax seeds had a lower risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women.
Moreover, a Canadian study, including more than 6,000 women, found that people who ate flax seeds had an 18% lower risk of developing breast cancer. Men can also get the benefit if they are eating flax seeds.
A small study, including 15 men, showed that people who consume 30 grams of flax seeds per day following a low-fat diet had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
An animal study showed that flax seeds have the potential to prevent colon and skin cancers. However, more analysis is required to prove this.
Although the proofs available so far indicate that flax seeds are valuable food to fight against several cancers.
3.Rich in Dietary Fiber
One tablespoon of flax seeds includes 3 grams of fiber, which is 8–12% of the highly suggested intake for both men and women.
In addition, the flax seeds have two types of dietary fiber: 60 to 80 percent of insoluble and 20 to 40 percent of soluble.
These fibers get fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, increasing bowel movements and leading to regular bowel movements.
On the one hand, soluble fiber improves your intestinal contents’ consistency and reduces your digestive rate. It has been proven to help control blood sugar and low cholesterol.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber allows more water to bind to the stool, increasing their aggregate and resulting in softer stools. To prevent constipation, it may be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome or diverticulum.
4. Treat Constipation
Flaxseed has a good amount of insoluble fiber, it does not dissolve in water that has in the digestive tract after food consumption. Flaxseed absorbs water that helps to promote constipation. Anyhow, the research conducted by NCCIH proves flaxseed will help to treat constipation.
Also, the NCCIH says eating flaxseed with a very small amount of water may worsen constipation and leads to intestinal blockage. And, consuming more flaxseed may cause diarrhea.
5.Decrease Cholesterol Level
One of the best health benefits of flax seeds is decreased cholesterol levels. In a study of high-fat people, eating 30 grams (3 tablespoons) of flaxseed powder every day for up to three months reduces total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by almost 20%.
Another study of patients showed that consuming 1 teaspoon (10 g) of flaxseed powder every day for a month can increase “good” HDL cholesterol by 12%.
For postmenopausal, taking 30g of flax seeds every day can reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 7% and 10%, respectively. Due to the fiber in flax seeds, they bind to bile salts and are then eliminated by the body.
The fat is pulled from your blood into your liver to replace these bile salts. It can help to reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood. It is great news for those who want to increase fat.
6.May Lower Blood Pressure
Some studies have concentrated on flax seeds’ natural ability to reduce blood pressure. In the Canadian study, consuming 30 grams of flax seeds every day for up to six months can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ten mmHg and seven mmHg, sequentially.
For those who are already taking antihypertensive drugs, flax seeds further lower blood pressure and reduce the numerous patients with uncontrolled hypertension by 17%.
As per the significant review observed at 11 studies’ data, daily intake of flax seeds for more than three months reduced blood pressure by two mmHg.
Although it is irrelevant, a 2-mmHg decline in blood pressure can reduce the risk of death stroke by 10%, and heart disease by 7%.
Generally, flax seeds are the best sources of plant-based protein that provide a lot of health benefits. Flaxseed protein is high in glutamic acid, amino acid arginine, and aspartic acid.
The flax seeds protein helps increase immune function, reduces cholesterol, and inhibits tumor growth in Numerous lab and animal studies. It has antifungal properties too.
If you are worried about cutting back on meat and hungry, the flax seeds have the answer. In fact, in a recent study, 21 adults ate animal protein or plant protein foods. The study found that there is no difference in hunger, satisfaction, or food consumption noted between the two diets.
Both animal and plant protein foods excite the gut’s hormones to produce a sense of fullness, resulting in less eating at the next meal.
8.Help to Maintain Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is one of the major health issues globally. High blood sugar levels define the result of either the body’s failure to cover insulin or resistance to it.
Some studies have shown that people who had type 2 diabetes consume 10 to 20 grams of flax seeds powder to their everyday food at least 8-20% lowering blood sugar levels.
Due to the insoluble fiber of the flax seeds, the blood sugar level is lowering. One research found that its insoluble fiber can reduce blood sugar.
Due to the limited number of subjects and the use of flaxseed oil in the study, it may occur. The flaxseed oil doesn’t have fiber, so it can reduce the blood sugar of flaxseed.
After all, the flax seeds are the best nutritional addition and effective for people, especially those with diabetes.
9.Aid Weight Control
If you are too lazy to prepare a snack in between your meals, you can add the flax seeds to your drink to prevent hunger. Adding the flax seeds juice of 2.3 grams into the drink can decrease the appetite and the feeling of hunger.
Due to the flax seed’s soluble fiber, the feeling of appetite may reduce. In addition, it reduces stomach digestion, which excites several hormones. These hormones help to control hunger and give a fuller feeling.
The fiber content of flax seeds helps to control weight by subduing appetite and enhancing the fullness feeling.
You can add flax seeds or flax seeds oil into a variety of foods. Here are some tips to add to your food.
You can add the flax seed into the water and drink it as part of your daily fluid consumption.
Sprinkle with flaxseed oil as a garnish on salads.
You can drizzle the flax seeds on your hot and cold breakfast grain.
Also, you can mix them into your yogurt.
Eating Flax seeds or flax seeds oil with a muffin, cookie, and bread gives an extraordinary taste.
You can get the thick consistency when you add to the smoothies.
They are the best alternative for the egg.
You can also eat them with meat patties.
Possible Side Effects and Health Risks of Eating Flaxseed
Flaxseed is healthy, but not beneficial for everyone. If you are under any medicinal complications, you should consult your doctor before consuming flax seeds.
If you are using blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin, then the flax seeds are not suitable for you.
People who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs don’t consume flax seeds.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t use it because the flax seeds may mess with your hormones during pregnancy.
Having hormone-sensitive breast or uterine cancer issues should avoid it.
Don’t eat the raw and green flax seeds, because they may include poisonous compounds. Specialists suggest that they don’t consume the flax seed more than 5 tbsp per day.
Flaxseed oil may decrease your blood clot, so stop it from your diet before a couple of weeks from your surgery.
As it can reduce the level of high blood sugar, people who have diabetes should be careful while consuming it.
It is a better idea to consult with your doctor to make sure this flaxseed and its oil won’t interact negatively with any other medications that you are taking.
What About Flaxseed Oil?
Due to its health benefits and nutritional attributes, you can reuse flaxseed oil. The extracted method is called cold pressing.
Since the oil is sensitive to heat and light, you should store it in dark glass bottles and save it in a dim, cold area, such as a kitchen cupboard.
Flaxseed oil is not perfect for high-temperature cooking as it has heat-sensitive nutrients.
Even though, some studies found that flaxseed oil can be lightly stir-fried to 350 ° F / 177 ° C without any loss in oil quality.
The flaxseed oil has more ALA when compared to the flax seeds.
One tablespoon of ground flax seeds oil has 7 grams, and one tablespoon of flaxseed contains 1.6 grams.
Nevertheless, the flax seeds come with beneficial nutrients that are not involved in their extracted oil, such as fiber. The ground flax seeds are an excellent choice to reap the health benefits of flax seeds fully.
Are you interested in trying flaxseed? Then here is the recipe from the Flax Cookbook. It is the most powerful plant on the planet.
Fruity Flaxseed Muffins
The high-flavor flax muffins and moisture are good for your health; moreover, they are delicious.
- Crushed pineapple with juice – 1/2 cup
- Finely diced apples with peel – 1/2 cup
- Canola oil – 2 tsp
- Egg – 1 and Egg white from 2 eggs
- Higher omega-3 (if available), beaten lightly
- Fat-free sour cream – 1 cup
- Dark molasses – 1/4 cup
- Unbleached white flour – 1 and 1/4 cup
- Flaxseed – 3/4 cup
- Baking powder and Baking soda – 1 tsp
- Whole-wheat flour – 1/2 cup
- Chopped raisins, currants – 1/2 cup ( you can use any other dried fruit)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
Preheat the oven for up to 400 degrees celsius. Line the muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Coat the inside of the liners with a quick cloth of canola cooking spray.
Take the large mixing bowl, add pineapple juice, egg white, canola oil, egg, sour cream, apple, and molasses to make the mixture light and fluffy. Mix in raisins or dried fruit.
Take the medium bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt.
Combine the flaxseed mixture into the sour cream mixture.
After that, beat them on low speed till the batter will be a little thick.
Spoon mixture by 1/4 cup into processed muffin pan.
Bake the mixture in the oven for up to 20 minutes or till the muffins are golden brown and flexible to touch.
Now it is time to taste the delicious and yummy fruity flaxseed muffin.
Nutritional Facts of Flaxseed
The various nutrition contains and the value of 1 tbs of ground flax seeds.
|Dietary fiber||1.9 gm|
|Saturated Fat||0.3 gm|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||2 gm|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.5 gm|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||1597 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.3 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.1 mg|
When we are talking about the nutritional benefits flax seeds are rich in them.
Even though the flax seeds are small, they are high in fiber, lignans, and omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which provides plenty of health benefits.
It is used to increase digestive health, reduce blood pressure, remove bad cholesterol, decrease the risk of cancer, and is very beneficial for diabetes patients.
Since it is a versatile food ingredient, you can easily add it to your food.
As it comes with several proven health benefits, it is the best time to grab some flax seeds.