10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Flaxseeds July 15, 2016

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil are very popular in Vegetarian diets because they are a rich non-animal source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Also called as linseeds or ‘Alsi‘ in Hindi, anybody can add flaxseeds into their diet very easily. The shape of the flaxseed is oval, flat, glossy, hard hull and pointed at one end.

The most well-known health benefits of flaxseeds (alsi seeds) are mentioned below:

1. High In Fiber

It is difficult to find food that has a good amount of fiber in both soluble and insoluble forms. But flaxseed does the job very well of adding such fibers in your diet. Flaxseed helps in reducing cholesterol and also helps in alleviating blood sugar levels. It is effective for proper functioning of the intestines. Flax seeds can prevent and also treat certain types of cancer. It reduces breast cancer, hot flashes, and prostate cancer in men.

2. Nutrition

Flax seed contains a high amount of vitamin B, magnesium, and manganese, which are required for proper functioning of the body.

3. High In Phytochemicals

Flax seed has a good amount of phytochemicals and antioxidants. It is the best source of lignans which can balance female hormones. Lignans can promote fertility, reduce premenopausal symptoms, and also can prevent breast cancer.

4. Heart Diseases

A diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Including Flaxseeds further helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases. It reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol content.

5. Menopausal Symptoms

In a study conducted recently, flax seeds were found to work in the same way as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopause treatment for mild menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood disturbances, and vaginal dryness.

[ Read: Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds ]

According to research, flaxseeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, fiber, and lignans (1). There are phytoestrogenic properties in lignans, which play a role in influencing hormonal responses in your body. They also have qualities that are similar to estrogen in your body. These qualities are extremely helpful for women who are going through menopause and do not have adequate levels of estrogen.

Experts say that the lignans in flaxseeds function the way conventional hormone replacement therapy does (2). This therapy is used on women who are going through menopause. Flaxseeds may help in reducing the levels of blood sugar as well as heal menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes. Because they can help in strengthening the bones, they may also have the potential to lower your risk of developing osteoporosis (3).

According to a recent study, flaxseed supplements work as effectively as hormone replacement therapy in decreasing the symptoms of menopause (4). In another study, it was found that hot flashes were reduced by 50 percent when women going through menopause were given flaxseed. However, there are also studies that found that flaxseed is not as effective in treating menopausal symptoms as many claim, and provides results that are the same as when placebos are used (5).

According to researchers, typically, adults need 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds 2 to 3 times on a daily basis. You can also take up to 4 tablespoons once per day. Experts advise grinding and mixing flaxseeds with 6 ounces of water.

6. High Cholesterol

People who follow a Mediterranean diet have high HDL i.e. good cholesterol level. This Mediterranean diet consists of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. It also includes whole grains, green vegetables, fruits, fish and poultry, ALA from Flaxseed and flaxseed oils.

7. Lignans

Flax seeds contain a group of chemicals called lignans that helps the body to protect from cancer.

Animal studies proved that lignans can reduce the growth of colon tumor cells. Population studies say that flaxseed can decrease the number of abnormal cell growths which play a part in colon cancer. However, studies are yet to be conducted on humans.

[ Read: Benefits Of Methi Seeds For Hair ]

8. Diabetes

Daily intake of flax seeds modestly improves the blood sugar of people suffering from diabetes. Lignans can also prevent type 2 diabetes.

Source: gettyimages

9. Immunity

Flaxseed oil is the richest source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and lignans together provide good immunity to the body and fight alien substances.

10. Constipation

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil act as natural laxatives and give you relief from constipation without having any harmful side effects.

Important Points To Remember

  1. Experts say that flaxseeds are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. However, there are certain people who are allergic to them. You should also keep away from flaxseeds if you have a family history of uterine, breast or other cancers that are estrogen-sensitive. This is because the phytoestrogenic properties in flaxseed lignans may stimulate the growth of cancer cells (6).
  1. If you are diabetic or take medications for blood thinning, you should talk to your physician before taking flaxseeds in any form.
  1. As mentioned earlier, it is very important to talk to a medical expert before using any natural remedy to treat any condition, including flaxseeds for menopause. Lastly and most importantly, you should never consume unripe or raw flaxseed pods as they are highly poisonous.
  1. Once you are the given the go-ahead by your health care provider to use flaxseeds as a natural remedy, you can consume them to help in easing those awful symptoms that come with menopause. With flaxseeds, you can get relief from all those terrible mood swings, uncomfortable hot flashes, and the other painful symptoms.

Nutrition Chart

[ Read: Health Benefits Of Almonds ]

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy534 Kcal27%
Carbohydrates28.8 g22%
Protein18.3 g32.5%
Total Fat42.16 g170%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber27.3 g68%
Folates87 µg22%
Niacin3.08 mg19%
Pantothenic acid0.985 mg20%
Pyridoxine0.473 mg36%
Riboflavin0.161 mg12%
Thiamin1.64 mg137%
Vitamin A0 IU0%
Vitamin C0.6 mg1%
Vitamin E19.95 mg133%
Vitamin K4.3 µg3.5%
Sodium30 mg2%
Potassium813 mg17%
Calcium255 mg22.5%
Copper1.12 mg124%
Iron5.73 mg72%
Magnesium392 mg98%
Manganese2.48 mg108%
Zinc4.34 mg39%
Carotene-ß0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin651 µg

So now that you know the benefits of Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil, ensure that you incorporate them in your diet.