You may have heard about flaxseeds. It’s a tiny brown-colored seed that is high in dietary fiber. Flaxseed has a variety of health benefits due to its high nutritional value. This superfood is high in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients that are required for the healthy functioning of your body.
The high fiber content in flaxseed is known for lowering cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to cholesterol in your intestine which prevents it from getting absorbed. This results in less risk of heart disease and stroke. According to some studies, the omega-3 content in flaxseeds can reduce inflammation which reduces the risk of chronic diseases. These include diabetes and certain types of arthritis. Chronic inflammation can increase the risk of cancer, particularly breast and prostate cancer.
You can incorporate flaxseeds into your diet by adding them to your smoothies, and baked goods. It’s also a great substitute for vegan cooking. Flaxseed can also be taken in a form of a supplement, either as a capsule or oil.
Health Benefits Of Flaxseed
Below are the 10 health benefits of flaxseed that you should know about. These benefits are genuine and backed by scientific research.
High In Fiber
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is indigestible by your body. It is also known as bulk or roughage. The fiber in a healthy diet is very important for your body due to its number of health benefits.
There are two main types of fiber known as soluble and insoluble. One of the major benefits of insoluble fiber is its ability to improve bowel movement and prevent digestive issues like bloating and cramping. Some great sources of insoluble fiber are vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
A diet rich in soluble fiber has been linked to lower cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber can also control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. According to research, consuming fiber may lower the risk of colon cancer. Soluble fiber can be found in apples, oats, and beans.
Flaxseed contains good amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. A teaspoon of flaxseed contains around one gram of dietary fiber. According to dieticians, it’s recommended for an average adult to consume at least 25-30 grams of fiber in a day. It’s also important to increase your fiber intake gradually and drink enough water to prevent digestive issues.
Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is an essential nutrient for a healthy body. Flaxseeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They play many important roles in your body like reducing the risk of chronic inflammation, better heart health, and improving brain functioning.
One of the major benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 reduces inflammation throughout the body, which may reduce the risk of many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
Omega 3 is also linked to healthy heart health. According to many studies, this nutrient helps in controlling cholesterol and blood pressure in your body. This reduces the risk of many heart-related diseases like heart attack and stroke.
Consuming the recommended amounts of omega-3 fatty acids every day can improve the functionality of your brain. Some studies have shown that omega 3 increases the blood flow to your brain which improves memory and cognitive function. It has also shown a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline.
Dieticians recommend that an average adult should consume around 250-500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Some good sources of omega-3 are fatty fish, fish oil supplements, flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.
Helps In Reducing The Risk Of Cancer
According to some studies, the high fiber content in flaxseed can reduce the risk of cancer. Certain types of cancer are prostate, colon, and breast cancer. Dietary fiber has anti-inflammatory properties and supports a healthy gut microbiome.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response against an injury or infection. But chronic inflammation can promote the growth of cancer cells in your body. Eating a diet rich in fiber can prevent chronic inflammation which reduces the risk of cancer.
Fiber is prebiotic that nourishes the good bacteria in your gut microbiome which keeps your immune system healthy. The gut microbiome is the community of microbes or bacterial species that are present in the digestive tract. These microbes help in digestion and protect your body from harmful bacteria.
There is a lot of evidence that supports the ability of fiber to reduce the risk of cancer but still, more research is required. It’s important to consult a doctor to get advice on cancer prevention methods.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
One of the less popular benefits of flaxseed is it helps in regulating your blood sugar levels. The high fiber and lignans content in flaxseed is beneficial for diabetic patients and for people with a risk of developing the disease. The alpha-linolenic acid present in flaxseed has been linked to improving your glucose metabolism.
Dietary fiber is known to slow down digestion which reduces the absorption of carbohydrates in your body. This improves insulin sensitivity and prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Flaxseed is also a good source of lignans, compounds that have shown anti-diabetic properties. Several studies have found that consuming lignans may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
Flaxseed is also a rich source of essential fatty acids known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These fatty acids have shown positive effects in improving your glucose metabolism. According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, consuming flaxseed oil rich in ALA can improve blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
Another benefit of flaxseed is its relatively low-glycemic index (GI). Low GI can slow down carbohydrate release in your body and prevents a spike in blood sugar levels.
Improves Bone Health
Flaxseed contains many essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, and calcium along with compounds like lignans and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These minerals and compounds are essential for reducing the risk of osteoporosis and improving your bone health.
Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Flaxseed contains a healthy amount of calcium, which can prevent weak bones. The magnesium content in flaxseed has also been linked to healthy bones. Additionally, a deficiency of magnesium can contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone-related issues.
Manganese is another mineral that plays an important role in bone formation. According to research, moderate intake of manganese is essential for the proper development of bones and for improving overall bone health.
Flaxseed is also rich in lignans, compounds that have shown a positive effect on bone health. Lignans have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce the risk of bone loss. A study has shown that lignans can increase the formation of new bone cells, which can make your bones stronger.
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a small, nutty-flavored seed that is packed with essential nutrients and has a range of potential health benefits. It is a good source of fiber and many important minerals and vitamins, including manganese, calcium, and magnesium.
Overall, flaxseed is a nutritious and versatile food that can easily be added to a healthy diet. Its amazing health benefits make it a great choice for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being.