You can enjoy flaxseeds everyday 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 flax seed is known as (ALA) alpha-linolenic acid.
A tablespoon of ground flax seed oil provides 1.8 g ALA and a tablespoon of whole flax seed 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 flax seed oil a day is enough to get all the ALA your body may need to stay heart-healthy.
Excellent source of fiber
Flax seed is an excellent source of fiber. Fiber is important for preventing constipation and is necessary for a regular bowel movement. Moreover, flax seed has the ability to lower blood cholesterol level in addition to regulating blood sugar level between meals because most of the fiber in flax seed is soluble.
Rich in phytoestrogens
Lignan is a chemical compound found in plant-based products. Flax seed 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, prostrate and ovarian cancer.
Low in unsaturated fat
Two tablespoons of whole flax seed contains 120 calories which is more than 70 percent of what comes from fat. Although flax seed is high in fat, almost all of the fat is unsaturated fat, which is more healthy than saturated fat. One serving of flax seed has no cholesterol and less than 1 g of saturated fat. Flax seed 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. Omega-3 fatty acid may also be useful in preventing arthritis, cancer and heart disease. Other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acid include walnuts, salmon and tuna.
Numerous vitamins and minerals
Flax seed provides a significant amount of minerals and vitamins. One serving of flax seed 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 flax seed 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.
Flax seed is very versatile as they can be combined with multitude of foods. To get most of the benefits offered by this seed, it’s best to consume ground flax seed. You can add ground flax seed to your smoothies or any baked foods like pancakes, breads, granola bars and muffins. You can also sprinkle the seed over pasta, salad, yogurt, cereals or oatmeal.