Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world! Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet.
Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the world’s first cultivated superfood! Flaxseed is found in all kinds of today’s foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. The Flax Council estimates close to 300 new flax-based products were launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 alone.
Let’s look at the nutritional benefits of flax seeds, they are rich in Omega – 3 Acids, Fiber, protein, Vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and they also contain a lot of vitamins like iron, potassium, copper and zinc.
So with this, you must realize that the health profile or the nutrition profile of Flax seeds makes it one of the most nutrition dense foods on the planet. But that’s not all, so let’s take a look at some of the not so widely known facts of Flax seeds and you will realize how important it is to include them in your diet.
High in fiber but low in carbs
flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.
Healthy Skin and Hair
If you want healthier skin, hair and nails then consider adding 2 tbsp of flax seeds to your smoothie or 1 tbsp of flax seed oil to your daily routine. The ALA fats in flax seeds benefit the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as b-vitamins which can help reduce dryness and flakiness.
Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss.
The journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds into your diet can naturally reduce cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber content of flax seeds traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder.
Flaxseeds are Gluten-Free
Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory where flax is anti-inflammatory. So, flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten-sensitivity.
Flaxseeds are High in Antioxidants
Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health.
Maybe the biggest flax seed benefits come from its ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health. It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments, as it can help reduce gut inflammation. You can also take 1-3 tbsp of flax seed oil with 8 oz of carrot juice to help naturally relieve constipation.
Flax Seeds for Cancer
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flax seeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.
High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A study published in Nutrition Reviews has shown that approximately 20% of ALA can be converted into EPA, but only .5% of ALA is converted into DHA. Also, surprisingly gender may play a big role in conversion where young women had a 2.5-fold greater rate than men. Regardless of conversion, ALA is still considered a healthy fat and should be included in a balanced diet.