As one of the most popular superfoods endorsed by health enthusiasts and recommended by fitness experts, flaxseed has a lot to live up to! But worry not, the many health benefits of flaxseed make it a true powerhouse superfood.
It is known to boost energy levels, reduce cancer risk, help improve heart health, and so much more. If you’re looking for ways to stay fit and healthy, flaxseed is certainly one of the best superfoods that you can add to your diet.
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Learn About the Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseed is one of the most powerful foods produced by Mother Nature. It is easy to find online or in your local health food store, and quite affordable given the health benefits.
After all, it is one of the top superfoods today. And if you’re looking to make positive and healthy changes in your life, then you should consider this natural ingredient.
What is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed, sometimes called the linseed meal, comes from the flax plant. The seeds of the flax plant are sourced to make flaxseed or linseed oil, which is known for its nutritional benefits.
So what exactly is flaxseed and what are its healthiest components?
Here are the three primary components of flaxseed, which make it as healthy as it is:
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids – If you’re not a fan of tuna or salmon, but you recognize the value of having omega-3 in your diet for the sake of your heart, then flaxseed is the way to go. When you add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your cereal or smoothie, you’re getting around 1.8 grams of plant omega-3.
- Fiber – Fiber can be both soluble and insoluble. Flaxseed has both of these fiber types.
- Lignans – Lignans are known for their antioxidant and estrogen qualities. Compared to other foods that contain lignans, flaxseed has between 75 and 80 times more lignan content.
Flaxseed or Linseed Benefits for Your Health
Flaxseed is as popular as it is because of its numerous health benefits. There are countless studies that have found what flaxseed can do for your health. Among these many health benefits are:
It’s true that there’s still no cure for cancer yet. And even those with the healthiest lifestyles can still be affected by cancer. However, a healthy lifestyle and clean diets can substantially reduce your cancer risk. (1)
According to recent studies, flaxseed may actually have protective components against several types of cancer, including colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. (1)
Flaxseed for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed also make it ideal for those who have heart problems, or would like to prevent cardiovascular diseases. It is already common knowledge that omega-3 does so much in protecting the heart, and flaxseed is rich with this ingredient. It is said to normalize the heartbeat, lower blood pressure, and may also help maintain normal cholesterol levels. (2)
Nutritional Value of Flaxseed
A tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains these nutritional values:
- Calories: 37
- Total fat: 2.95 grams
- Protein: 1.28 grams
- Carbs: 2.02 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Saturated fat: 0.26 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.53 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2 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
How to Add Flaxseed to Your Diet
Some consume it raw, others bake or roast it, while many more add flaxseed to their baked goodies, cereals, and other dishes. Flaxseeds taste quite nutty, so if you love that kind of taste on your food, then you will surely enjoy flaxseed as a regular part of your diet.
When you eat flaxseed raw, it can linger in your mouth and throat. So it’s a good idea to follow it with water so you don’t have a coughing attack, which can happen.
You can get flaxseed whole, ground, or you can also try out linseed oil. Health experts recommend getting whole flaxseed or ground flaxseed, and instead of oil.
The reason is that linseed oil only contains part of the flaxseed. If you want to maximize its benefits, then get natural flaxseeds instead.
To enjoy your daily dose of healthy flaxseed, here are a few suggestions on how you can add flaxseed to your diet:
- On the Go? Mix a tablespoon with a cup of water! This is the simplest way and always a solid go-to method.
- Ground Meat Dishes
- Bread and Other Baked Goodies
- Casseroles and Stews
- Shakes and Smoothies
- Protein Salads, Green Salads
- Cereal, Oatmeal
While flaxseed is very healthy in so many ways, not everyone should be taking it. According to medical experts, until more studies prove its safety, pregnant and lactating women should avoid flaxseed.
In addition, too much of anything is not always good. It is best to consult with your physician before taking too much flaxseed in your daily diet. Remember, flaxseed is also rich in fiber. When you have too much of it, it may have a negative effect on your digestive system, or worse, you may end up running for the restroom at the most unexpected hours.
Once again, flaxseed is a powerhouse superfood that’s natural and generally safe to consume. It will improve nearly every aspect of your health, and it’s a great habit to form.
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1. Magee, E. (n.d.). Flaxseed Health Benefits, Food Sources, Recipes, and Tips for Using It. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#1.
2. Ren, G.-Y., Chen, C.-Y., Chen, G.-C., Chen, W.-G., Pan, A., Pan, C.-W., Zhang, Y.-H., Qin, L.-Q., & Chen, L.-H. (2016). Effect of Flaxseed Intervention on Inflammatory Marker C-Reactive Protein: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808865/.