Patient Awareness

8 Research Backed Health Benefits of Flaxseeds!

health benefits of flax seeds
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As scientific research expands its area of interest, many food items are coming into the limelight. Flaxseeds are one such item. Considered as a ‘superfood,’ they have been prized for their amazing health benefits for centuries. So much so that their scientific name, Linum Usitatissimum, means ‘the most useful Linum.’

Flaxseed Nutritional Facts:

Flaxseeds contain a good amount of protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Flaxseeds also contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids ( mostly ALA- Alpha-Linolenic Acid).

Health Benefits of Flaxseed Are:

  • Good for our Digestive System:

Flaxseeds are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. Insoluble fibre absorbs a lot of water and increases the bulk of faeces. This maintains regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. They are very useful for people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).[1]

Soluble fibre slows our digestion and reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels.[2] This reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases and is helpful for people with Diabetes Mellitus.

  • Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular (Heart) Diseases:

Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), the Omega-3 fatty acid present in high quantities in flaxseeds, prevents the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels of the heart. It is also effective in reducing inflammation in the arteries.[3]

Soluble fibre and proteins in Flaxseeds are also responsible for the reduction of cholesterol levels in our blood. Flaxseed consumption is also known to reduce blood pressure.[4]

Read More: 6 Natural Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

  • Reduces Risk of Cancer:

Plant compound, Lignans are present in Flaxseeds. As per research, Lignans were found to be effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.[5]

Flaxseeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins in high amounts. These proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids were found to prevent the development of tumours, further reducing any risk of cancer.

  • Improves Blood Sugar Levels:

The soluble fibre in flaxseeds improves blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion. Thus, it helps in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Read More: 4 Foods that Are Good for Diabetics

  • Immune System Booster:

Proteins in flaxseeds contain amino acids like Arginine, Aspartic acid and Glutamic acid. These amino acids were found to protect our body from a variety of fungal Infections, thus improving our overall immunity.[6][7]

Read More: 7 Simple Ways to Boost Immunity

  • Improves Satiety & Promotes Weight Loss:

The soluble fibre in flaxseeds slows our digestion. This makes us feel full for a long period of time.[8]

Satiety, thus improved, reduces hunger. It further reduces our food intake, in turn reducing the number of calories consumed by our body every day. This results in the reduction of weight.

  • Reduces Risk of Stroke:

Reduction in blood pressure due to consumption of flaxseeds reduces the risk of stroke.

  • Eases Hot Flashes:

Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms observed in women, going through menopause.

Lignans, the plant compounds present in flaxseeds have a weak oestrogen effect. As per research, this oestrogen effect of Lignans was found to ease hot flashes in post-menopausal women.[9]

How to consume flaxseeds?

  • Whole Flaxseeds can be added to salads, baked goods, pancakes, crackers, smoothies etc.
  • Best way to consume flaxseeds is to grind them, which makes them easier to digest. Ground flaxseeds can be easily added to paranthas, pooris, chutneys, cookies, muffins, bread etc
  • Flaxseeds can also be consumed in the form of Flaxseed oil, powder, tablet, capsule or flour.

Daily dose of flaxseeds:

  • 1 tablespoon (tbsp) Whole Flaxseeds/Flaxseed Powder.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon (tbsp) Flaxseed Oil.
  • 1200 to 3000 mg Flaxseeds in the form of Capsules.

Storage of flaxseeds:

Ground flaxseeds are best stored by keeping them in airtight containers and refrigerating them.

Side Effects of Flaxseeds:

Higher doses of flaxseeds may cause side effects like diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, flatulence, bloating etc.

Also Read: 10 Health Benefits of Eating Sabja Seeds

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