Are you into eating plant-based foods? It doesn’t matter if you’re strictly vegan or vegetarian, there is no denying that plant-based foods make great nutrition. So that even nutritionists recommend eating these foods daily.
Flaxseeds are incredibly healthy for you… to the extent that some people even call it a functional food. Foods that offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value are considered functional foods because you get an abundance of healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and probiotics from them. In today’s video, we’ll discuss the incredible health benefits of flaxseeds. Do they help with cholesterol? Should you eat them if you have high blood pressure?
One of flaxseed’s most significant health benefits is it helps with cholesterol.
Ask anyone what’s the number one enemy of a healthy heart, and you’ll mostly hear one answer- cholesterol! Harmful cholesterol build-up in your arteries can be hazardous to your health. It can lead to heart attacks that often prove fatal. If you want your heart to stay healthy for a long…long time, you must watch your cholesterol levels and keep them under control. And as it turns out, flaxseeds are an amazing way to do just that! Flax seeds are packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which experts suggest can help promote your heart health. Flax seeds are also one of the best sources of lignans. Lignans are a compound found in plants that researchers have found to help reduce the risk of any cardiovascular disease. Another advantage of ground flax seeds is the presence of phytosterols. These compounds are similar to cholesterol. But the significant advantage is that phytosterols actually reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs. In one study, participants with moderately high cholesterol consumed flax seeds.
They were divided into three groups, each receiving either a 100-milligram capsule, a 20-milligram capsule of lignans, or a placebo. After 12 weeks, researchers saw those who took lignan capsules, especially the 100-milligram ones, had much lower cholesterol levels. Omega-3 oils, which can help reduce cholesterol, are usually taken from fish. But Researchers have also suggested that Omega-3 oils, which reduce cholesterol and are normally found in fish, are found in flax seeds and can be an alternative source to fish for omega-3. This would be especially helpful for people whose diet is plant-based or vegan. Don’t like the idea of eating flaxseeds? Well, there are many options available in the market. But none like Barlean’s Fresh Flaxseed Oil. It is a cold-pressed oil safe for those with gluten intolerance. Since the brand claims this oil is pure, organic, and unrefined, the nutritional value is not destroyed by using heat. You can find the link to buy the product in the description box.
Let’s discuss the impact of flax seeds on weight loss
Flax seeds are also suitable for those trying to manage their weight. In one study, participants given flax fiber tablets containing about 3 grams of soluble fiber resulted in the tablets being able to reduce overall appetite and hunger pangs. The soluble fiber in flax seeds helps in slowing down your digestion process. Since it increases how long you feel full, you would be snacking a lot less, reducing your calorie intake and helping you lose weight. Research among 45 studies has shown that flax seeds can help with weight loss by bringing down your body mass index (BMI), body weight, and even belly fat. Researchers conducted studies based on overweight and obese individuals. Compared with a control group, participants who had flax seeds as part of their diet lost around 2 pounds on average. The results also suggested the impact of flax seeds was more significant when participants took 30 grams every day for at least 12 weeks. Besides helping control cholesterol and losing weight, flaxseeds have another sought-after health benefit, which we’ll discuss next.
Flaxseeds can lower blood pressure
Flax seeds are very effective in reducing your blood pressure levels. Research has shown that supplements such as flax seed powder can mitigate the top and lower numbers of your blood pressure reading. A study was conducted for 12 weeks with participants given about 30 grams of flax seeds daily. The results showed people who had high blood pressure saw a significant reduction. Another study that ran for six months among people with high blood pressure gave participants about 30 grams of flax seeds daily and saw a reduction of around 7 mm HG in their blood pressure. People with more than 140 mm HG as their top number in their blood pressure reading had a more significant reduction – as much as 15 mm HG. These reductions are beneficial when it comes to avoiding heart-related issues. For every 5 mm HG reduction in the blood pressure reading, your risk of stroke goes down by 11% to 13%. Your risk of heart disease also decreases by as much as 34%. Helping with cholesterol and blood pressure sounds excellent. But can flax seeds also impact your blood sugar levels? Let’s find out.
Flaxseeds are great for diabetics
Lignans found in flaxseeds not only help with your cholesterol levels but also aids in maintaining your blood sugar levels. This can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes. In one study, participants were given flax seeds daily for 12 weeks. All the participants had prediabetes, with males being obese or overweight and females in menopause. The results showed participants who had flax seeds had lower glucose levels and higher insulin sensitivity. One of the main reasons flax seeds seem to be effective at controlling blood sugar levels is because of the soluble fiber present in them. Research suggests soluble fiber slows down the amount of sugar absorbed in your blood. This, in turn, brings down blood sugar levels, which is very helpful for people with type 2 diabetes. However, you should ensure that you have actual flax seeds, preferably grounded. Instead, if you use flaxseed oil, it won’t be as effective because flaxseed oil does not contain soluble fiber. The following health benefits on our list will surely surprise you.
Flaxseeds offer protection against cancer
Flaxseeds have omega-3 fatty acids, which can help protect against cancer. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids prevent various types of cancer cells from spreading and causing a tumor. Flaxseeds also have lignans, which can slow down any cancer growing in your body by preventing the formation of blood vessels. In one study, women who ate flax seeds regularly had lower occurrences of breast cancer. Research has also shown that eating flax seeds regularly can lower the chances of breast cancer after menopause. Lignans contained in flax seeds are essentially plant-based estrogen. Previously, there was worry that lignans could increase breast cancer chances. But research has shown that’s not the case, and it in fact helps in protecting against cancer. Another advantage of flax seeds is their capacity to reduce the serum levels of sex hormones among overweight women, helping lower the risk of breast cancer. Flax seeds can also defend against the risk of prostate cancer.
The positive impact of flaxseeds on your digestive health.
Flax seeds can help promote your digestive health by containing good amounts of insoluble fiber. As the name suggests, it doesn’t dissolve in water and instead stays in your digestive system. When added, water increases in bulk, which in turn helps you have a regular bowel movement. Both constipation and diarrhea can be painful and harmful to your overall health. Around 7% of people in the United States face chronic diarrhea, while nearly 20% have repeated constipation issues. In Europe, constipation levels are approximately 27%, with women having twice the risk compared to men. So, let’s get this straight. Flaxseeds are great for your heart, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. I wonder what else these magic seeds have to offer?!
Eating flaxseeds is excellent for those with arthritis
Experts suggest flax seeds can help in decreasing the pain in your joints. It can also cure any stiffness you may be feeling, which helps people with arthritis. People with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis use flax seeds to help relieve their symptoms. If you’re taking ground flax seed, one tablespoon daily will do the trick. If you take it in the form of capsules, then make sure it’s around 1,300 to 3,000 milligrams daily. People taking flaxseed oil should eat about one to three tablespoons every day as well.
Flaxseeds are simply nutritious
They are packed with various types of important vitamins and minerals. Even one serving can give you good amounts of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. One tablespoon of flax seeds comes to around 7 grams and gives you as much as 2 grams of fiber and approximately 1 gram of protein. You also get 10% of the thiamine your body requires daily, which is vital for energy metabolism. The same amount of flax seeds will give you nearly 10% of the copper, manganese, and magnesium required daily. Flaxseeds are indeed great for health.