Flax Seeds are a plant based food which provides healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber to the body.
These tiny seeds supply our body with a wealth of health benefits and that is why they are also called “Functional food” or “Super food” as these can be eaten to boost a person’s overall health.
Flax seeds are now available in many forms like seeds, oil, powder, capsules, tablets, and flour.
People consume flaxseeds for many purposes like:
- A dietary supplement to prevent constipation (as they are high in fibers)
- To control diabetes
- To keep high cholesterol, heart disease, & other diseases at bay
- And several other purposes.
Some of the nutrients in flaxseeds are lignans, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or omega-3.
Flaxseeds are popularly known as a rich source of omega-3. These fatty acids are proved to be very helpful in many conditions and one of those is muscle building.
Omega-3 fatty acids help in increasing the protein synthesis, which is the process your body goes through when it turns the protein you consume into the fuel for your muscles to help them grow and stay strong.
Just like the above, there are more benefits of Flax seeds which will be enough to make you add flaxseeds in your daily diet.
Let’s discuss the health benefits of flax seeds in detail
- Flax seeds are loaded with nutrients
Flax seeds are one of the oldest crops, as these are grown since the beginning of civilization in ancient Egypt and China.
It also had a role in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years in Asia.
A typical serving size of flax seeds is 7 grams (1 tablespoon). And just 1 tbsp of flax seeds provides a fair amount of protein, fiber and fatty acids.
Moreover, they are also rich in vitamins and minerals (micronutrients).
Here are the nutrients available in one tablespoon of flax seeds:
- Calories: 37
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Carbs: 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
- Flax seeds are high in antioxidants
Flaxseeds are rich in lignans and not just any rich, they contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
Lignans are compounds, found in plants, that have antioxidants which can help lower the risk of cancer.
Particularly for postmenopausal women, studies show that eating flaxseeds may help in lowering down the risk of breast cancer.
- Flax seeds are rich in dietary fibers
As mentioned above, just one tablespoon of flaxseeds contains 3 grams of fibers which is 8-12% of your daily recommended intake for both men and women.
Having said that, flax seeds are rich in both soluble (20-40%) and insoluble (60-80%) types of fibers.
On one hand, soluble fiber helps in increasing the contents of your intestine and slows down your digestion rate. This might help in regulating your blood sugar level and cholesterol.
whereas on the other hand, insoluble fibers bind more water to the stools to improve their quantity and to ensure softer stools. Thus ensuring regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
- Flax seeds help in lowering blood pressure
Studies have shown that flax seeds also have a natural ability to lower down blood pressure.
For people who are already on blood pressure medication, flax seeds have proved to lower down their blood pressure even further and decreased the number of patients diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- Flax seeds are a rich source of protein
Flaxseeds are a great source of plant based protein as they are rich in certain amino acids, and there’s growing interest in plant based protein and their health benefits.
If you are planning to cut down your meat intake but couldn’t just cause you are worried about your body’s protein requirement and appetite, well flax seeds may just be your answer.
Protein from flax seeds have proved to improve the immune system, prevent tumors, lowered cholesterol and more.
Moreover, it is likely to believe that both animal and plant-based protein diets stimulate hormones in your stomach to bring up the feeling of fullness, resulting in eating less at the next meal.
- Flax seeds may help in control blood sugar level
Diabetes is a major problem worldwide, especially type-2 diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes increases blood sugar level as a result of which body is unable to secrete insulin or resist it.
Studies have found that people diagnosed with type-2 diabetes added 1-20 grams of flaxseeds in their daily diet for a month, and saw a reduction in their blood sugar levels by 8-20%.
This noticeable effect on the blood sugar level is due to the insoluble fiber content present in flaxseeds. Insoluble fiber slows down the release of sugar in the bloodstreams and hence, reduction in blood sugar levels.
- Flax seeds may improve cholesterol levels
Having the ability to lower down the cholesterol levels is another health benefit of flaxseeds.
In one study, people with high cholesterol consumed 3 tbsp of flaxseeds daily for 3 months. As a result, it lowered down their bad cholesterol level by 20%.
In general, if people with diabetes take one tbsp of flaxseeds daily may see a positive result in their cholesterol level in a month.
In conclusion, flax seeds can be really helpful in controlling cholesterol levels.
Above are some of the common and important health benefits of flaxseeds.
Now, after knowing about the health benefits of flaxseeds you must be wondering how you can add them in your daily diet?
This is how you can add flaxseeds in your daily diet
Oatmeal, according to me, is a meal that is friendly for almost every ingredient to be added.
One tablespoon of flaxseeds either in their natural seed form or in the powdered form, either way, added in the oatmeal will just make it more nutrient-rich and healthy.
Flaxseeds can be added in any sort of smoothie or shake.
Whey protein shake, banana shake, or any other shake just a spoon of flaxseeds and you are good to go.
- Homemade cookies
One of the benefits of home-cooked food is that you can decide the ingredients to be added. If you make cookies at home then adding flaxseeds to your cookies is also a smart way to make them healthy along with tasty.
Flaxseeds can also be added in this other homemade food, pancakes. Protein pancakes or otherwise, you can add them in any type of pancakes you make.
Adding flaxseeds to your daily water intake and give energized fuel to your body.
Basically, you are free to add flaxseeds in pretty much everything you eat in the entire day.
How much flaxseeds do you need daily?
Above mentioned health benefits of flaxseeds are examined on just one tablespoon of flaxseeds.
There are no potential noted side effects of eating excessive flaxseeds. However, it is recommended to not go beyond 5 tablespoons per day.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to the nutritional richness, flaxseeds are the right choice.
They are loaded with health benefits like digestion health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol level, reduced risk of cancer & heart diseases, and more.
With these many proven health benefits and possibly more to it, there’s no better time than now to grab some flax seeds from your local grocery store and start adding them to your daily diet.
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