Why Eating Flaxseeds Can Be Beneficial
Flaxseeds, small and tan-colored, are often known for providing a great source of dietary fiber, minerals, and plant-based protein. These seeds also contain an omega-3 fatty acid, called ALA.
Adding flaxseeds to your diet can help reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, and can lead to healthy skin and hair. But that’s not all. Flaxseeds also aid in balancing blood sugar levels, reducing high cholesterol, decreasing high blood pressure, and improving gut health.
Flaxseeds can be incorporated into most meals. And when ground into a powder, they can be a great and tasteless addition to oatmeal, baked goods, yogurt, and more.
History Of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds have been a centerfold of civilization for 6,000 years. It has been suggested that flaxseeds may have been the earth’s first cultivated superfood. In the Journal of Food Science and Technology, it was stated that the Latin name for flaxseeds, Linum usitatissimum, actually means “very useful.”
And useful they were. The consumption of flaxseeds dates to the age of ancient Babylonians and Aztec warriors. They were also documented as being a favorite food choice of King Charlemagne in the eighth century.
With all this information, you may be tempted to include flaxseeds in every meal, but should you? The daily dietary recommendation for flaxseeds is about two to three tablespoons. It can be consumed as whole seeds, ground into a powder, or even oil.
Although there is a lot to learn about flaxseeds, there are several proven health benefits that can come from eating flaxseed. Improved digestion, hydrated skin, and better cardiovascular health are just a few of the benefits that can come from including flaxseeds in your diet.
Extremely High In Fiber
One of the many desirable attributes of flaxseeds is their high levels of mucilage gum. Mucilage gum is a gel-forming fiber that is water-soluble, which helps the seed move through the digestive tract undigested.
The mucilage from the flaxseed can keep food in the stomach for a longer period. The extension of time is what increases nutrient absorption and in turn, makes you feel a lot fuller. Flax fiber won’t break down during digestion so most of the calories found in the flaxseed won’t even be absorbed.
Being low in carbohydrates, but high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseeds also provide support to the colon. The composition of flaxseeds can help detoxify the colon, resulting in fat loss and reduced sugar cravings.
A Plant-Based Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fats are known for having several health benefits, specifically anti-inflammatory properties. The most common source of omega-3 comes from fish. Fish oil contains two omega-3 fats, EPA, and DHA. Flaxseeds, however, contain the omega-3 fat, ALA, which reacts differently within the body.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and has been found to help in:
- Decreasing the possibility of developing coronary heart disease and hypertension
- Improving platelet function
- Promoting healthy endothelial cell function
- Protecting arterial function
- Reducing heart arrhythmias
ALA omega-3s definitely have a lot to offer.
Healthy Skin and Hair
Are you still not convinced? Well, flaxseeds have also been known to provide benefits to our hair and skin.
Specifically, the ALA fats that comprise the flaxseeds nourish the skin and hair by providing essential fatty acids. Including flaxseeds in your diet can lead to shinier, stronger, and more resistant hair.
Flaxseeds have also helped in reducing skin dryness and flakiness, improving skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, dermatitis, and eczema. The lubricating effects of flaxseeds have also shown promise in reducing dry eye syndrome.
Helps With Weight Loss
In 2017, a systematic review published in Obesity Reviews found that flaxseeds are an excellent choice for weight reduction in overweight and obese participants. The findings saw a significant drop in weight and waist circumference when supplementing with flaxseed.
As stated before, the healthy fats and fiber found in flaxseeds help you feel satisfied for much longer. This means you’ll start to eat fewer calories, which essentially may lead to weight loss.
That’s not all. ALA fats help reduce inflammation and balance hormones. Include some flaxseeds into your next meal and see how it helps you on your journey to living a happier, healthier life.