You can enjoy flaxseeds every day as part of a healthy diet at a mere 40 to 50 calories per tablespoon. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of flax seeds:
Flax seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their heart protection benefits. The kind of omega-3 that is found in flaxseed is known as (ALA) alpha-linolenic acid.
A tablespoon of ground flaxseed oil provides 1.8 g ALA and a tablespoon of whole flaxseed oil can provide 2.6 g ALA. Even eggs that are enriched with omega 3 contain ALA because hen in the farm is fed with flax seeds. A teaspoon of flaxseed oil or a tablespoon of ground flaxseed oil a day is enough to get all the ALA your body may need to stay heart-healthy.
Excellent source of fiber
Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber. Fiber is important for preventing constipation and is necessary for a regular bowel movement. Moreover, flaxseed has the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels in addition to regulating blood sugar levels between meals because most of the fiber in flaxseed is soluble.
Rich in phytoestrogens
Lignan is a chemical compound found in plant-based products. Flaxseed is the highest source of such health-protective compounds. Lignan is a phytoestrogen, which means they can combine with estrogen receptors, but produce a very mild response when compared to real estrogens. The way lignan is metabolized in the body blocks part of the estrogen activity, which results in a lower risk of cancers associated with hormones like uterine, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Low in unsaturated fat
Two tablespoons of whole flaxseed contain 120 calories which are more than 70 percent of what comes from fat. Although flaxseed is high in fat, almost all of the fat is unsaturated fat, which is more healthy than saturated fat. One serving of flaxseed has no cholesterol and less than 1 g of saturated fat. Flaxseed also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids, which your body cannot produce. You must get these fatty acids in your diet because your body doesn’t make these fats. The omega-3 fatty acid may also be useful in preventing arthritis, cancer and heart disease. Other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, salmon and tuna.
Numerous vitamins and minerals
Flaxseed provides a significant amount of minerals and vitamins. One serving of flaxseed can provide 19 percent of both magnesium and phosphorus, 22 percent of manganese and 28 percent of the RDA of copper. All these four minerals are important for many functions of the body, including the development of strong bones. One serving of flaxseed can also provide 7 percent of the RDA of iron for women and 15 percent for men. Apart from that, one serving can supply you with 28 percent of the RDA for water-soluble B vitamins like thiamin. Thiamin is important for healthy nerves and helps your body metabolize sugar.
Flaxseed is very versatile as it can be combined with a multitude of foods. To get most of the benefits offered by this seed, it’s best to consume ground flaxseed. You can add ground flaxseed to your smoothies or any baked foods like pancakes, bread, granola bars, and muffins. You can also sprinkle the seed over pasta, salad, yogurt, cereals or oatmeal.