Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet
Flaxseeds – whole or ground – should be included in your healthy diet plan. Flaxseeds are healthy and nutritious, and full of flavor. They have actually been around forever, but we are only today beginning to appreciate the health benefits of these wonderful versatile little gems.
So let’s put aside whatever you’re doing now – looking for recipes, watching your fav TV show, or having fun with your Redstag casino bonus – and look into the ins and outs of flaxseeds.
Speaking of Nutrition
Flaxseeds are, as the name implies, seeds, not grains, and for most people, ground flaxseeds are the better option. Whole flaxseeds are more difficult to digest. There are heaps of nutritional benefits in just one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. The following is what is included:
- Calories 37
- Protein 1.3g
- Total fat 3g
- Monosaturated fats 0.5g
- Polyunsaturated fats 2g
- Fiber 1.9 g
- Calcium 18mg
- Phosphorus 45 mg
- Potassium 57 mg
Flaxseeds are also a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid which is likened to a plant-based form of omega- 3 fatty acids – of which one tablespoon of whole flaxseed provides 2.35 g.
These tiny seeds are full of a whole range of vitamins and minerals and are also a rich source of lignans which contain many antioxidants. Astonishingly these little seeds are loaded with more lignans than can be found in beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Enormous Health Benefits
According to Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color and nutrition and wellness professional, ‘These little seeds are truly amazing”. There have been many studies carried out that show the many benefits of including flaxseeds in your diet.
Unfortunately, most people lack fiber in their diet. It is recommended that men consume 38g daily and women 25g. However, it seems that 16g is the amount that most adults get on a daily basis which is a far cry from the recommended amount. Flaxseed has the necessary insoluble fiber to aid digestion, preventing constipation and ensuring your bowels function regularly.
Helps With Losing Weight
Because flaxseeds are highly soluble fiber, it means that you will feel full longer and therefore eat less, which aids in weight loss. Many studies have shown that eating flaxseeds can help overweight people to lose body fat. Studies found that those who were on a diet that included flaxseed supplements, that is, they consumed around 4 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily, lost the most weight.
Flaxseeds are Good for Your Heart
As already pointed out, flaxseeds contain high levels of ALA, plant-based omega 3. Our bodies do not produce this on their own, and therefore it is important to obtain it from other things, like fish or flaxseeds.
A review of research studies that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to the conclusion that consuming flaxseeds could reduce the risk of heart disease by 10 percent.
A study published in the International Journal of Angiology in 2020 reported that “consuming 50 g (about 7 tablespoons) of flaxseeds for four weeks resulted in a 9% and 18% reduction in the total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, respectively.”
The understanding is that cholesterol is literally pushed out of the body as the soluble fiber in flaxseeds binds with cholesterol. The result is the lowering of cholesterol levels.
Reducing Blood Pressure
High pressure can lead to heart disease as well as other life-threatening illnesses, so the fact that flaxseeds may lower blood pressure is good news.
Again, experts believe that ALA and lignans help to reduce blood pressure in that they lower the amount of plaque that is able to accumulate in the blood vessels leading to serious health problems.
A Research study carried out found that those participants who consumed around 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily for six months lowered their systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg. This, in turn, would lower their risk of stroke or a heart attack by 50%. No small gain.
The Fight Against Cancer
Experts say that lignans, containing high antioxidants, that are in flaxseeds are a powerful force when it comes to the fight again cancer. Many studies have been carried out that would suggest that this is true.
A study in Canada involving more than 6000 women noted that those women who consumed flaxseeds on a regular basis were “up to 18% less likely to develop breast cancer. Consuming flaxseeds are also believed to lower the likelihood of men developing prostate cancer.
However, more clinical studies need to be done in order to really understand the efficacy of consuming flaxseeds and their relationship to cancer prevention.
The Ideal Ways to Eat Flaxseeds
Ground flaxseed is the best way to unlock the benefits hidden there. You can add a tablespoon to your oatmeal in the morning or add to bread and cookies when baking.
Largeman-Roth says, “You can buy the seeds ground or grind them yourself in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.” Ground flaxseed should be kept in the refrigerator and can and will be good for around 6 months.
These little seeds are packed full of nutrition and should be regularly included in your diet. There is really no excuse, as they are so versatile you can literally add them to just about anything you plan to make. Largeman-Roth says, “You can even use them in meatballs.”