Discover the 9 shocking health benefits of flaxseeds.
For many years, people have honored and revered in some way the health benefits of flaxseeds, especially considering them as excellent seeds that serve to protect health.
In fact, some historians mention in their illustrious pages that personalities like Charles the Great ordered his subjects to eat flaxseeds to improve their health .
So it is not surprising that for something they acquired the name of “the most useful”, because the health benefits of flaxseeds are more than certified.
Today, flaxseeds are emerging as a “superfood” and this is partly because scientific research increasingly points to the health benefits of flaxseeds as something really palpable, especially in the area of health and medicine.
9 health benefits of flaxseeds
Here are 9 health benefits of flaxseeds that are backed by science;
1 | Flaxseeds are loaded with nutrients.
Cultivated since the beginning of civilization, flax seeds are one of the oldest crops, in the world there are two types, brown and gold , which are equally nutritious.
Those who consume this beneficial seed acquire a good amount of protein for each portion , fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals.
One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains the following:
• Calories: 37
• Protein: 1.3 grams
• Carbohydrates: 2 grams
• Fiber: 1.9 grams
• Total fat: 3 grams
• Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
• Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
• Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
• Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
• Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
• Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
• Folate: 2% of the RDI
• Calcium: 2% of the RDI
• Iron: 2% of the RDI
• Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
• Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
• Potassium: 2% of the RDI
Interestingly, the health benefits of flaxseeds are primarily attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids, ligans, and fiber they contain .
2 | Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fats.
If you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, flaxseed may be your best source of omega-3 fats.
They are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, which is broadly one of the two essential fatty acids that you have to get from the food you eat, since its body does not produce them.
Animal studies have shown that the ALA in flaxseeds prevented cholesterol from depositing in the blood vessels of the heart , also reduced inflammation in the arteries and suppressed tumor growth.
A recent extensive review of 27 studies involving more than 250,000 people found that ALA was linked to a 14% lower risk of heart disease; while numerous studies have linked ALA with a lower risk of stroke.
3 | They reduce the risk of cancer.
Lignans are plant compounds that have antioxidant and estrogen properties , which can help reduce cancer risk and improve health.
Interestingly, linseed or flax seeds as they are traditionally known, contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods, for this reason, the health benefits of flaxseed are empowered by science.
Observational studies show that those who eat flax seeds have a lower risk of breast cancer, particularly postmenopausal women .
Furthermore, according to a Canadian study involving more than 6,000 women, those who eat flaxseeds are 18% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who do not.
It is important to mention that men can also receive the benefits of flaxseed without any problem.
In a small study that included 15 men, who received 30 grams of flaxseeds a day, while following a low-fat diet, showed reduced levels of a marker for prostate cancer , suggesting a lower risk of this type of cancer in men.
Flaxseeds also seem to have the potential to prevent colon and skin cancer according to some laboratory and animal studies.
Some more advanced and precious studies are still needed to certify these potentialities, but so far the evidence shows that it is a valuable food to treat this chronic disease that takes so many lives throughout the world throughout the year.
4 | They are highly rich in dietary fiber.
Just one tablespoon of flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 8-12% of the recommended daily intake for men and women, respectively ; that is, according to their nutritional table.
Flaxseeds have both soluble and insoluble fiber, the former accounts for between 20 and 40% in each serving, while the latter covers 60-80% of the seed.
Both fibers are necessary for health, because by grouping in the large intestine they allow regular bowel movements, which improves digestion , that is, while soluble fiber acts individually on the one hand, slowing down its digestion and regulating blood sugar and cholesterol.
On the other hand insoluble fiber increases the water level in your stool, allowing a smoother digestion without constipation.
5 | Flaxseed can improve cholesterol.
Another proven and certified health benefit of flaxseed is its great ability to reduce and suppress high cholesterol levels .
In a study of people with high cholesterol, consuming 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of flaxseed powder daily for three months was shown to reduce total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by almost 20% ( 19).
In postmenopausal women, consuming 30 grams of flaxseeds daily lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by approximately 7% and 10%, respectively.
These effects appear to be due to the fiber in flax seeds, as it binds to bile salts and is then excreted by the body.
To replenish these bile salts, cholesterol is drawn from your blood into the liver . This process lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
This definitely makes it clear that the benefits of flaxseed are of great help for all those who want to improve their cholesterol health.
6 | Flaxseeds lower blood pressure.
Studies on flaxseed have also focused on its natural ability to lower blood pressure.
Less than two years ago, Canadian researchers determined that consuming about 30 grams of flaxseed per day for six months significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to their most standard levels, which is truly surprising.
For those who were already taking blood pressure medications, flaxseeds lowered blood pressure even more and reduced the number of patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure by 17% .
Additionally, according to a comprehensive review that analyzed data from 11 studies, taking flaxseeds daily for more than three months lowers blood pressure by 2 mmHg .
Although this may seem insignificant, a 2 mmHg reduction in blood pressure can reduce the risk of dying from stroke by 10% and from heart disease by 7%.
7 | They contain high quality proteins.
Based on all these studies, the immense amount of vegetable proteins that can be found in them has also been mentioned as another of the benefits of flaxseed, which ends up being a necessary and effective contribution for people’s health.
The richness that it has in glutamic acid, aspartic acid and amino acids such as arginine make it a really attractive seed.
Numerous laboratory and animal studies have shown that flaxseed protein helped improve immune function, lower cholesterol, prevent tumors, and had anti-fungal properties.
If you are considering cutting back on meat and are concerned that you will feel too hungry, you may find an answer to this in flax seeds.
Since it was recently determined that there are no major differences between the intake of plant protein foods and protein foods vegetable.
That is, the satiety produced by flaxseeds is similar to that of any other food.
It is likely that plant and animal protein meals stimulated hormones in the gut to cause a feeling of fullness, which resulted in eating less at the next meal.
8 | They work as a blood sugar controller.
One of the best known diseases in the world is type 2 diabetes , as there are a large number of people who suffer from it for different causes.
This condition is characterized by raising the sugar found in the blood to high levels, which ends up stimulating the body’s inability to create insulin or be resistant to it.
Some studies have found that people with type 2 diabetes who added 10-20 grams of flaxseed powder to their daily diet for at least a month saw 8-20% reductions in blood sugar levels.
This blood sugar lowering effect is especially due to the insoluble fiber content of flaxseeds.
Research has found that insoluble fiber decreases blood sugar release and lowers blood sugar.
However, a study did not find changes in blood sugar levels or any improvement in the management of diabetes, possibly, this conclusion is due to the small number of people who were subjected to the study and to the consumption of the oil of the linseed.
Flaxseed oil is lacking in fiber, which is credited with flaxseed’s ability to lower blood sugar, but adding flaxseed to the diet is generally believed to be beneficial because it provides essential nutrients to people diabetic
9 | Control the weight and take away hunger.
If you have a tendency to snack between meals, you may want to consider adding flax seeds to your drink to avoid hunger pangs.
One study found that adding 25 grams of ground flaxseeds to a drink reduced feelings of hunger and overall appetite.
The feelings of reduced hunger were likely due to the soluble fiber content of flax seeds, which slows digestion in the stomach, triggering a series of hormones that control appetite and provide a feeling of fullness.
The dietary fiber content of flaxseeds can aid weight management by suppressing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness.
Here are some tips on how you can add these little seeds to your diet.
• Eat ground seeds instead of whole ones
• Opt for ground flaxseeds as they are easier to digest.
• You won’t reap as many benefits from flaxseed, as your intestines can’t break through the tough outer coating on the seeds.
That said, you can still buy whole flax seeds , grind in a coffee grinder, and store the ground flax seeds in an airtight container.
What about flaxseed oil?
The resurgence of the use of flaxseed oil is due to its nutritional properties and health benefits.
It is commonly unsheathed through a mechanism known as cold pressing.
Since oil is sensitive to heat and light, it is best to keep it in dark glass bottles and store it in a dark, cool place such as a kitchen cabinet.
Because some of its nutrients are sensitive to heat, flaxseed oil is not suitable for high temperature cooking.
It is worth noting that flaxseed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds, a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains 1.6 grams, while a small teaspoon of this oil contains at least 7 grams of this property.
It is important to mention that within the flaxseeds there is a large amount of beneficial nutrients that is not within the nutritional values of the oil that is extracted from them , as is the case with fiber.
To fully reap the health benefits of flaxseeds, ground flax seeds will be a great first choice.
How much flaxseed do you need to consume per day?
The health benefits of flaxseed observed in previous studies determined that just one tablespoon (10 grams) of ground flaxseed per day is enough to obtain all its nutrients.