Jul 072020
Flax Seeds & Health Benefits
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Welcome to my 'Flax Seeds & Health Benefits' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. For centuries, flax seeds (also known as linseeds) have been prized for their numerous health benefits. Charles the Great ordered his subjects to eat flax seeds for his or her health.

Over time they acquired the name Linum Usitatissimum, meaning "the most useful." Nowadays, flax seeds are emerging as a "superfood" as more research project points to their health benefits.

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

What are Flaxseeds?

Flaxseed or linseed comes from the flax plant, a herbaceous plant of the family of Linaceae which is commonly used for medicinal purposes. Flax is a fiber crop that came from Southern Europe and Asia. The seeds vary from a golden yellow to red color.

Grown since the start of civilization, flax seeds are one among the oldest crops. Flaxseed has been eaten as a food or used as a drug since 5000 BC. There are two types of flax, golden and brown and both have the same nutritional value. They are used for several different health benefits.

The seeds contain phytoestrogens, which are similar to the hormone estrogen. The seeds also contain soluble fiber and oil. Linseed oil contains the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). We find these fats in foods such as salmon, avocado, Sardines, and olive oil. This liquid also contains Omega 6 type acids, as well as proteins and fiber, two essential elements for good health.

Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

The components that we mentioned in the previous section make flaxseed oil a product that brings numerous benefits to our health. This oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, antioxidants, and other essential minerals, which can improve your health and combat a wide range of disorders.

This is one of many ways to be naturally healthy.

Flax Seeds are Loaded with Nutrients...

Flax seeds are good sources of the many nutrients. Their health benefits are mainly thanks to their content of omega-3 fats, lignans, and fiber. The health benefits associated with flax seeds are mainly attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber they contain.

1 tablespoon (7 grams) is considered a typical serving size for ground flax seeds is 1 tablespoon (7 grams). It provides an honest amount of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, additionally to being an upscale source of some vitamins and minerals. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains:

  • 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 Omega-3 Fats

Flax seeds are a solid source of the omega-3 carboxylic acid (ALA), a mostly plant-based omega-3 carboxylic acid. Plant-based ALA fatty acids are proven to possess heart health benefits and are linked to a lower risk of stroke. ALA is one of the 2 essential fatty acids that you need to obtain from the food you eat, as your body doesn't produce them.

If you're a vegetarian or don't eat fish, flax seeds are often your best source of omega-3 fats. Animal studies have shown that the ALA in flax seeds prevented cholesterol from being deposited within the blood vessels of the guts, reduced inflammation within the arteries, and reduced tumor growth.

A Costa Rican study involving 3,638 people found that those people that ate more ALA had a lower risk of heart attack than those that consumed less ALA. Also, an outsized review of 27 studies involving 250,000 people found that ALA was linked to a 14% lower risk of heart conditions. Numerous studies have also linked ALA to a lower risk of stroke.

Flax Seeds Contain High-Quality Protein...

There is a growing interest in flaxseed protein and its health benefits. Flaxseed protein is rich within the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. Studies show that flaxseed protein helped improve immune function, lowered cholesterol, prevented tumors, and had anti-fungal properties.

Flax seeds are a rich source of plant-based protein and an alternate protein source for people that don't eat meat. In fact, in a recent study, 21 adults got an animal protein meal or plant protein meal.

The study found no difference in terms of appetite, satiety or food intake noted between the 2 meals. Both the animal and plant protein meals likely stimulated hormones within the gut to cause the sensation of fullness, which resulted in eating less at subsequent meals.

Flax Seeds May Reduce Cancer Risk...

Flax seeds are a rich source of nutrients called lignans, which have powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties. Lignans are compounds found in plants that have antioxidant and estrogen properties. They help in preventing breast and prostatic cancer, also as other sorts of cancer.

Did you know that flax seeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods? Observational studies show that those that eat flax seeds have a lower risk of breast cancer, particularly postmenopausal women. Additionally, consistent with a Canadian study involving quite 6,000 women, those that eat flax seeds are 18% less likely to develop breast cancer.

However, men also can enjoy eating flax seeds. In a small study including 15 men, those given 30 grams of flax seeds each day while following a diet showed a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Flax seeds also seemed to have the potential to stop colon and skin cancers in laboratory and animal studies. Yet, more research is required to verify this.

Nevertheless, the evidence so far points to flax seeds being a potentially valuable food within the fight against various cancers.

Flax Seeds Are Rich in Dietary Fiber...

It improves daily bowel function and is an accurate antidote against related problems, such as constipation. One tablespoon a day, which can be added to yogurt, bread, and buns or even taken alone, is the recommended dose that many nutritionists suggest.

Just one tablespoon of flax seeds contains 3 grams of fiber, which is 8–12% of the daily recommended intake for men and ladies. What's more, flax seeds contain two sorts of dietary fiber — soluble (20–40%) and insoluble (60–80%). This fiber duo gets fermented by the bacteria within the large bowel, bulks up stools, and leads to more regular bowel movements.

Soluble fiber increases the consistency of the contents of your intestine and slows down your digestion rate. Research shows this assists in regulating blood glucose and lowers cholesterol. Alternatively, insoluble fiber allows more water to bind to the stools, increases their bulk, and leads to softer stools. This is often useful for preventing constipation and for those that have irritable bowel syndrome or diverticular disease.

Flax Seeds May Improve Cholesterol...

The high fiber content lowers cholesterol and the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Several studies have shown that flaxseed oil can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body by around 18%.

Flax Seeds May Lower Blood Pressure...

If you suffer from high blood pressure, this may be a good substitute for you as they have been proven to lower blood pressure.  They regulate blood pressure, cardiac function, urinary function, hormone synthesis, and gastrointestinal secretions.


Flax Seeds May Help Control Blood Sugar...

Their insoluble fiber content can lower blood sugar and can be a beneficial addition to the diet of people with diabetes.

Flax Seeds May Aid Weight Control...

They are known for keeping you fuller for longer and reducing hunger cravings. This is particularly useful for people looking to lose weight.

Optimal Visual Health and Flaxseed Oil...

Now, what would you say if I were to tell you that it provides properties for good visual health? It does this by regulating cholesterol levels in the body, a function that decreases the risk of suffering from obesity diseases and, at the same time, is manifested through vision disturbances.

Flaxseed oil also favors our eyes by improving cardiovascular and circulatory function, since the blood that runs through our body and irrigates the eye area acquires better quality. This single element favors a more effective functioning of the brain, which is the organ responsible for interpreting all the nerve impulses that are derived from the images we see daily.

Add Flaxseed to your Diet...

Flax seeds or linseed oil are often added to several common foods. They are versatile and can be added to numerous different recipes. Try the following:

  • Adding them to water and drinking it as a part of your daily fluid intake
  • Drizzling linseed oil as a dressing on a salad
  • Sprinkle ground flaxseeds over your hot or cold breakfast cereal
  • Mixing them into your favorite yogurt
  • Add them into cookie, muffin, bread or other batters
  • Mixing them into smoothies to thicken up the consistency
  • Add them to water as an egg substitute
  • Incorporating them into meat patties

Consume Ground Seeds Not Whole...

Opt for ground flax seeds, as they're easier to digest. You won't reap as many benefits from whole flax seeds, as your intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.

That being said, still buy whole flax seeds, just grind them during a coffee mill and store the bottom flax seeds in an airtight container. Eating whole foods has many benefits.

What About Flaxseed Oil?

The resurgence of the utilization of linseed oil is thanks to its nutritional properties and health benefits. The oil is sensitive to heat and lightweight, and therefore it is best kept in dark glass bottles and stored during a dark, cool place. Because a number of its nutrients are heat sensitive, linseed oil isn't suitable for high-temperature cooking.

Linseed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains 1.6 grams, while one tablespoon of linseed oil contains 7 grams. Nonetheless, flax seeds contain several other beneficial nutrients that aren't included in its extracted oil, like fiber. To completely reap the health benefits of flax seeds, ground flax seeds will make an excellent first choice.

Flax Seeds & Health Benefits: The Final Verdict!

Ground flaxseeds that offer a variety of notable health benefits. Although they are small in size, they are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acid ALA, lignans, and fiber, all of which have been shown to have many potential health benefits.

It is a versatile food that is easy to add to your diet. Opting for flaxseed oil is a more convenient option but will not get all the health benefits. With many proven health benefits and possibly more, there's no better time than now to grab some flax seeds and start adding them to your diet.

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Catherine,
    Thanks for this amazing post, I knew flaxseed has some health benefits but didn’t know about its anti-cancer properties. Also, you mentioned that it helps with weight loss, which was really interesting. Does it matter how much one takes? Because I was wondering if it is natural and have all these health benefits, why can’t I just consume a lot of it to get 100% of the benefits?
    Thanks for the great post.

    1. Hi Benson, you are more than welcome.

      The best way to consume flax is to add it to your diet. You wouldn’t want to just eat flax because you need a balanced diet in order to be healthy. I would just add it to your foods as I suggest above.

      All the very best!

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