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Flaxseeds are one of the world’s first cultivated superfoods, which have been consumed by people since 6,000 years ago.
It contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant elements called lignans that help support hormonal balance and several other advantages of flaxseed.
Flaxseed helps improve digestion, cardiovascular health, skin, cholesterol, and hormone balance while fighting cancer and even sugar cravings, and many more.
✅ What Is Flaxseed?
Flaxseeds are also known as linseeds. Flaxseeds are brown, tan, or golden-colored seeds.
It is an excellent source of dietary fiber and minerals like thiamine, manganese, magnesium, and plant-based protein.
It is also one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid, globally. They are also a great source of lignans in human nutrition.
Flaxseed comprises about seven times as many lignans as the sesame seeds.
Grinding flax seeds can help you absorb fiber from it, letting you take advantage of even more of the benefits of flaxseed.
Additionally, flaxseeds make flaxseed oil, which can be quickly digested and a concentrated source of healthy fats.
They’re sold whole, roasted, ground/milled, and as a supplement.
✅ What Does Flaxseed Taste Like?
The flaxseed flavor isn’t as prominent as the texture. It gives a nutty essence with the brown and golden seeds. The brown seeds tend to have a toasty aspect, while the golden ones prove a bit sweeter.
Using ground flaxseed can give you a nutty to your dish. However, if you don’t like its taste and want to take all its benefits. You can consume a flaxseeds supplement.
✅ Benefits Of Flaxseed
High Fiber Content
Flaxseeds contain high levels of mucilage gum content which is one of the excellent benefits of flaxseeds. This fiber is water-soluble and moves through your gastrointestinal tract undigested.
Once you eat it, mucilage from flaxseeds can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine, increasing nutrient absorption and making you feel fuller.
Flaxseeds also help with fat loss and can reduce your sugar cravings. Most people should aim to consume between 25–40 grams of fiber from high-fiber foods daily.
High Omega-3 Fatty Acids Content
Flaxseeds are widely known for their anti-inflammatory properties. As we all know, fish oil contains EPA and DHA. Although flaxseeds do not contain EPA or DHA, they have the type of omega-3 called ALA.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and hypertension. It also improves platelet function, supports healthy endothelial cell function, reduces inflammation, and protects arterial function.
ALA is considered a healthy fat and should be incorporated into a balanced diet.
Makes Hair and Skin Healthy
Flaxseeds help in making hair stronger and shinier. The ALA fats present in flaxseeds helps skin and hair by contributing necessary fatty acids and B vitamins.
It also supports symptoms of acne and eczema. Flaxseeds can help reduce dry eye syndrome as well.
You can mix it with essential oils and use it as a natural skin moisturizer that can reduce your skin’s dryness.
Helps Lower Cholesterol
Adding flax seeds into your diet can reduce cholesterol. The fiber content of flaxseed keeps cholesterol and fat in the digestive system; thus, it cannot be absorbed.
The flax fiber traps bile, which is made of cholesterol in the gallbladder. The bitterness is then excreted into the digestive system, pushing the body to make more and lowering cholesterol.
Studies show that flaxseeds can significantly lessen symptoms of Hyperlipidemia.
Flaxseeds are gluten-free. They are also an excellent choice for getting omega-3 fats from fish for people with seafood allergies.
Helps Improve Diabetes
Flaxseed is widely known for its effects on blood sugar spikes, which makes it a helpful tool for diabetics.
It may also help improve insulin sensitivity in glucose intolerant people.
High in Antioxidants
One of the major benefits of flaxseed is that it is full of antioxidants, known as lignans, that are unique fiber-related polyphenols.
Lignans provide us with antioxidants that help decrease free radical damage.
It helps in anti-aging and hormonal balancing.
They can be found in unprocessed plant foods, including seeds, beans, berries, whole grains, and nuts. Unhealthy lifestyle practices, such as poor gut health, antibiotics, smoking, and obesity, all affect circulating lignan levels in the body, which is why a nutrient-dense diet is vital for restoring levels.
Eating Flax frequently may help lessen the number or severity of colds and flu as lignans present in Flax are known for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Flaxseed may lead to a notable decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. If you want to improve your overall blood pressure, ground flaxseed can be your best option.
Supports Digestive Health
Flaxseed has the ability to support digestive health. The ALA present in Flax can help lessen inflammation and protect the lining of the GI tract. It also promotes gut flora in people with “normal” digestive systems.
Flax is high in soluble and insoluble fiber, making it helpful for maintaining normal bowel movements. You can also get plenty of magnesium from Flax, which helps improve digestive health by relaxing the muscles.
Help Lower Cancer Risk
Flaxseeds might help prevent specific types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.
Studies show that consuming flax seeds might reduce the risk of breast cancer by reducing tumor growth.
The lignans present in flaxseeds can be converted by the intestinal bacteria, which can help to balance hormones. It can also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Help with Weight Loss
As we know, Flax is full of healthy fats and fiber. The ALA fats present in flaxseeds may also help reduce inflammation and help with hormonal balance, which eventually helps losing weight.
An inflamed body tends to hold on to excess weight, plus it becomes common to struggle with digestive issues such as constipation.
Helps in Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Flaxseed can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy and balance hormones due to lignans’ estrogenic properties.
It can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well. It can even help menstruating women by supporting them to maintain cycle regularity.
✅ Nutrition facts
Flaxseeds include 534 calories per 100 grams. It consists of 29% carbs, 42% fat, and 18% protein.
10 grams flaxseeds provide you the following nutrients:
- Sugar: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Calories: 55
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Fat: 4.3 grams
- Water: 7%
- Protein: 1.9 grams
Fiber and Carbs
Flax seeds consist of 29% carbs, 95% of which is fiber. It means they are low in carbs, which makes them a low-carb food.
20 grams of flax seeds give about 6 grams of fiber. This is approximately 15–25% of the RDI for women and men.
The fiber content is comprised of:
- 20–40% of soluble fiber.
- 60–80% of insoluble fiber.
The soluble fiber helps to regulate cholesterol levels and blood sugar. It also supports digestive health by maintaining your good gut bacteria. Eating flaxseeds can help to prevent constipation and lessen your risk of diabetes.
Flax seeds comprise 42% fat.
This fat content is comprised of:
- 27% monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
- 73% polyunsaturated fatty acids, like omega-6 fatty acids and the omega-3 fatty acid ALA.
Flax seeds are one of the great sources of ALA. ALA is a crucial fatty acid that your body cannot produce. So, you need to get it from the food you consume.
Flaxseed oil comprises the highest amount of ALA. Eating the seeds whole can give you the least amount of ALA, as the oil is inside the fibrous structure of the flaxseed. It is one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
As they have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, they have a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Thus, a lower risk of various chronic diseases.
However, solin, the yellow variety of flax seeds, is not as nutritious as regular flaxseed. It is low in omega-3 fatty acids and has a different oil profile.
Flax seeds consist of 18% protein. They also contain amino acids. Although they contain essential amino acids, they lack the amino acid lysine. Hence, they’re regarded as incomplete proteins.
But, flax seeds are high in the amino acids glutamine and arginine, which are essential for heart and immune system health.
Minerals and Vitamins
Flax seeds are a good source of various vitamins and minerals which are needed for optimal health. These include vitamin B1, molybdenum, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
- Copper: It is an essential mineral, vital for growth, development, and several other bodily functions.
- Thiamine: It is also known as vitamin B1. It’s necessary for nerve function and normal metabolism.
- Magnesium: A vital mineral with multiple functions in your body, found in high amounts in nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
- Molybdenum: This essential mineral is abundant in seeds, grains, and legumes. Flax seeds are rich in molybdenum.
- Phosphorus: It is normally found in protein-rich foods and supports bone health and tissue maintenance.
✅ Other Plant Compounds
Flax seeds include numerous beneficial plant compounds:
- Cyanogenic glycosides: It may form compounds known as thiocyanates in your body, weakening thyroid function in some people.
- p-Coumaric acid: It is one of the primary antioxidants found in flax seeds.
- Ferulic acid: This is also an antioxidant, and it may help prevent various chronic diseases.
- Lignans: These are present in almost all plants, acting as antioxidants. Flax seeds are rich in lignans, including up to 800 times more than other foods.
- Phytosterols: Phytosterols can be found in the cell membranes of various plants. They have cholesterol-lowering properties.
Flax seeds are one of the excellent sources of lignans. It functions as phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. They have low antioxidant and estrogenic properties. They decrease the risk of heart disease as they lessen fat and glucose levels in our blood.
Flax lignans also help decrease oxidative stress, blood pressure, and inflammation in your arteries.
Flax seeds comprise soluble fiber, which supports weight loss by reducing your hunger and reducing cravings. You can take it as a part of your weight loss diet.
Studies show that flax seeds support weight loss in obese and overweight people.
Flax seeds have been linked with significant benefits for heart health because of their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber.
High blood cholesterol is a recognized risk factor for heart disease. Daily consumption of flax seeds or flaxseed oil might lower the cholesterol level by 6 to 11%.
Studies found that flax seeds caused a further 8.5% decline in bad cholesterol among those who were on medication.
Lignan in flax seeds bind with cholesterol rich bile acids and send them down your digestive tract. This decreases cholesterol levels in your body.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital. They benefit different aspects of heart health, including inflammation, blood platelet function, and blood pressure.
Flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acid ALA. They decrease heart disease risk by lessening inflammation in the arteries.
Various studies link ALA with a lower risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Flax seeds may help against heart disease by decreasing blood pressure and regulating blood cholesterol. Consuming flax seeds is an effective way to lower your blood pressure.
✅ Other Health Benefits Of Flaxseeds
Constipation and diarrhea cause significant distress and can even threaten your health.
Numerous studies have found that flax seeds prevent both diarrhea and constipation. The insoluble fiber content in flaxseeds adds bulk to your digestive waste, serving as a remedy and relieving constipation.
Soluble fiber is also known to bind to water in your digestive tract. It causes it to swell and build the bulk of your stool, preventing diarrhea.
Studies show that individuals with type 2 diabetes supplementing with 10 to 20 grams of flaxseed powder or supplement per day for 1 to 2 months may lessen fasting blood sugar by up to 19.7%.
Nevertheless, not all studies find flax seeds to help improve blood glucose and insulin levels.
The connection between flax seeds and type 2 diabetes may be considered a safe and healthy addition to your diet.
Studies show that flax seeds might suppress the formation of different types of cancer, such as the breast, skin, colon, and lungs.
Flax seeds might lower serum levels of sex hormones in overweight women, which reduces breast cancer risk. It can also protect against prostate cancer.
Note: It is recommended to drink plenty of water if you consume flaxseeds or flaxseeds supplements.
✅ Adverse Effects
Flax seeds include plant compounds called cyanogenic glycosides. It can bind with sulfur compounds in the body to form thiocyanates.
Moderate portions of thiocyanates are highly unlikely to cause any adverse effects in a healthy individual. Nevertheless, those with thyroid problems should consider avoiding high amounts of flax seeds.
Flax seeds contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is often considered an anti-nutrient, as it might lessen the absorption of minerals such as zinc and iron.
People deficient in minerals like iron and zinc or who follow an imbalanced diet should avoid flaxseeds.
People who are not comfortable eating a lot of fiber, including flax seeds in their diet, can cause mild digestive problems.
These include gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.
They can start with small doses and work their way up to 1 to 2 tablespoons daily.
Risks during pregnancy
Flax seeds might have unwanted effects during pregnancy. It is due to the phytoestrogens present in the seeds, which act similarly to the female sex hormone estrogen.
Studies show that flax seeds may cause lower birth weight and affect offspring’s reproductive system development.
It is advised to limit your intake of flax seeds and other dietary sources of phytoestrogens while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
High doses of omega-3 fatty acids might have blood-thinning effects. People with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners or other medications should consult with their doctor before adding huge amounts of flax seeds into their diet.
How to Consume Flax Seeds for PCOs
Flax seeds are a great way to improve your health for those with PCOS. They are high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, and they are packed with antioxidants. You can consume them in a variety of ways, including as part of a healthy breakfast or snack, or as part of your regular diet.
Here are some tips on how to consume flax seeds for PCOS
- You can eat flax seeds as is or ground into a powder.
- You can add them to oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, smoothies, or any other breakfast or snack.
- You can also use flax seeds to make healthy breads and muffins.
- You can also use flax seeds to make homemade salad dressings and sauces.
Another way to incorporate flax seeds into your diet is to add them as a dressing to your salads.
You can do this by sprinkling the seeds on your salads just before serving.
You can also add the seeds to yogurt or oatmeal for a nutritious breakfast, or you can add them to your smoothies or cereal.
Flax seeds and Flaxseeds supplements have become popular because of their high omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other plant compounds.
They support weight loss and improve blood sugar control, as well as heart health.
You can buy them online if you want to boost your health.
✅ Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much flaxseed should I consume?
Ans. You can take 1-2 tablespoons or tablets daily. You should take a flaxseed supplement every day to get its full benefits.
Q. What is the best way to consume flaxseed?
Ans. You can add 2-3 tablespoons to a coffee or add them to any food. The best way is to take a flaxseeds supplement.
Q. What is the best time to take a flaxseed supplement?
Ans. You can take it half an hour before your meals. It will help you eat less. Thus you will lose weight, simultaneously strengthening your immune system.