Revered for its benefits as far back as 4,000 years ago to the time of Hippocrates, flaxseed is used today in all kinds of foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. It’s quite easy to incorporate the tasty and nutritious flaxseed as a staple ingredient in your own diet.
Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids: These are the good fats that have been shown to have a beneficial effect on heart and inflammation in the body.
Lignans: These have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
Fiber: Flaxseeds contains both the soluble and insoluble types of fibers which have numerous health benefits. These tiny, brown seeds pack quite the powerful nutrition punch!
Here are 25 research proven benefits on why should you include flaxseeds in your daily diet:
1. Helps in weight loss: As per a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it is proven that high fiber present in the seed helps in reducing obesity as it helps in giving satiety.
2. Helps in colon detoxification: Flaxseeds have high mucilage content which is a gel-forming type of soluble fiber. It has proven benefits in maintaining intestinal health.
3. Helps you get healthy skin and hair: Flaxseed benefits the skin and hair by providing essential ALA fats which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema.
4. Helps lower cholesterol: The soluble fiber present in the flaxseed binds with the excess cholesterol and bile in the digestive tract and gets excreted out of the system, thus reducing cholesterol levels.
5. Helps lower triglyceride levels: It was observed in a research trial that after 12 weeks of flaxseeds supplementation, a decrease in serum triglycerides levels and inflammatory markers was seen.
6. Reduces blood pressure: Several research studies have shown that the ALA, lignans and fibre present in the flaxseed brings down blood pressure in the body.
7. Delays the onset of diabetes: Flaxseed is by far the richest source of the dietary lignans (i.e. secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) which has been shown to delay the development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus
8. High in antioxidants: Lignans are polyphenols naturally present in flaxseeds. They are known to have antioxidant benefits of anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health.
9. Helps in celiac disease: Flaxseeds are gluten-free. Also, they have anti-inflammatory effects which bring down the inflammation caused by celiac disease.
10. Reduces hot flashes: It is beneficial for post-menopausal women because the lignan present in flaxseeds can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy as lignans have proven to have estrogenic properties.
11. Decreases skin sensitivity: Flaxseed oil supplementation has shown significant reductions in skin sensitivity issues by decreasing roughness and improving skin hydration.
12. Reduces breast cancer risk: Flaxseeds demonstrates antiproliferative effects in breast tissue of women who are at risk of breast cancer and may protect against primary breast cancer.
13. Helps with cold and flu: The lignans which are found in flaxseeds have anti-viral and antibacterial properties.
14. Helps prevent fungal infections: The lignan polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body which are responsible for causing fungal infections.
15. Reduces gut inflammation: The ALA present in flaxseeds has proven helpful in protecting the lining of the digestive tract and maintaining GI health. It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments by reducing inflammation.
16. Helps in urinary tract infections: The lignans present in flaxseeds contains a chemical compound which is known for its ability to alleviate lower urinary tract infection symptoms.
17. Helps in Carpel Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is known as the most common entrapment neuropathy. Conservative treatments, many a time, cannot reduce the symptomatic severity satisfactorily. It was seen in a study that flaxseed oil supplementation improved the severity of symptoms and functional status of people suffering from mild-moderate Carpal tunnel syndrome.
18. Reduces the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer: As flaxseed is the richest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids, the supplementation of flaxseeds results in a significant reduction in the severity and risk of ovarian cancer.
19. Reduces risk of prostate cancer in men: It has been seen that flaxseed supplementation reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men. Findings suggest that flaxseed is associated with biological alterations that may be protective for prostate cancer.
20. Improves the outcome of ADHD patients: In a study, it was seen that on flaxseed consumption, there was a significant improvement in the symptoms of ADHD reflected by a reduction in total hyperactivity scores of ADHD children derived from ADHD rating scale.
21. Helps in preventing colon tumor: Dietary flaxseed meal containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and lignan is effective in preventing colon tumor development.
22. Reduces C – reactive protein (CRP): Flaxseeds helps in reducing CRP, which is an inflammatory marker. It was seen in a study that flaxseeds supplementation reduced CRP levels in diabetics who are known to have high inflammation.
23. Helps in wound healing: It has been seen that flaxseed oil is beneficial in wound healing and tissue regeneration.
24. Helps in reducing arterial plaque: Arterial plaque is known to cause stenosis and ultimately a myocardial infarction. It is seen that inclusion of flax seeds in the diet accelerates the regression of atherosclerotic plaques.
25. Can improve sperm quality and improve fertility in men: Lipids are the main structural/functional components of the sperm. It has been seen in animal studies that flaxseeds supplementation improves sperm quality by modifying the sperm lipid composition.
Flaxseed is worth incorporating into your diet as it can uplift your health in a variety of ways like discussed above. Have it as a snack, sprinkle the seeds on your morning granola, have it in a smoothie or simply have a spoonful of flaxseed oil every day!
Start with our Flax Almond Crackers. They’re crunchy and filled with the goodness of flaxseed, almond meal, and cheddar cheese. Delicious and the perfect snack to keep you satisfied. On the plus, it’s great for a keto diet too!