Have you ever heard about flaxseeds? They are small brownish-gold seeds from flax plants, that may help improve your cardiovascular and digestive health.
This amazing health food can easily be added to your diet by sprinkling ground flaxseeds into your meals.
Now, discover 5 health benefits of flaxseed and why you should be eating flaxseeds every day.
5 Health Benefits of Flaxseed
1. Flaxseeds Contain High Amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Flaxseeds can reduce the risk of heart disease, fight inflammation, and decrease liver failure because they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)).
Flaxseeds are rich in ALA. According to the US Institute of Health, one tablespoon of flaxseed oil contains 7.26 grams of ALA. Since this omega-3 cannot be produced by your body, flaxseeds should become an essential component of anyone's diet.
2. Flaxseeds Contain Large Quantities of Fiber
Ground flaxseeds contain up to 2 grams of insoluble and soluble fiber, which are very important compounds for your overall health.
Fibers are needed for good digestive health. Insoluble fiber can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation, while soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel, which slows digestion.
3. Flaxseeds Improve Cholesterol Levels
Flaxseeds may help lower bad cholesterol (‘LDL cholesterol'), thus diminishing risks of heart diseases.
According to small study, the LDL cholesterol levels in patients who ate 30 grams of ground flaxseed daily for one year decreased by 15% and total cholesterol levels decreased by 11% after one month of supplementation.
4. Flaxseeds Is High in Lignans
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans, a tablespoon containing about 31.5mg.
Also known as phytoestrogen, lignans have similar chemical structures to estrogen and produce similar responses in the body than the female sex hormone.
According to nutritionists, lignans may help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers like breast and prostate cancers.
Phytoestrogen also has antioxidant properties, thus preventing cells from oxidative stress and reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
5. Flaxseeds Help Regulate Blood Sugar
The fiber contained in flaxseeds helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the body, thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
According to a scientific study, patients eating 10g of flaxseeds daily saw a 19.7% average reduction in blood glucose levels after one month.
It Is Easy to Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet
To get the full benefits of flaxseeds, you have to eat them ground. Moreover, flaxseed oil doesn't contain lignans.
If you do have whole flaxseeds, grind them up in a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor.
Now that you have your seeds ready, follow some of the suggestions below to add ground flaxseeds into your diet.
- you can mix them into smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.
- you can add them to baked goods, pancakes, or French toast.
- you can sprinkle them on top of salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and soups.
- you can use ground flaxseeds in place of breadcrumbs in cooking.
Since flaxseeds are rich in fiber, you shouldn't eat too much (2-5 tablespoons per day) and drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of uncomfortable side effects like bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
I would however highly recommend flaxseeds as an healthy food supplement, which may even help improve your cardiovascular and digestive health.