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Flaxseeds: Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits

Flaxseeds offer great health benefits. (Image via @stylecrazebeauty/Instagram)
Flaxseeds offer great health benefits. (Image via @stylecrazebeauty/Instagram)
Ruby khanna

Flaxseeds, also called linseeds or common flax, are a staple in the nutritional world. They are an excellent source of minerals, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other important plant compounds.

Originating in the Middle East, flaxseeds are small oil seeds that are usually yellow or brown in color. They are available in the form of oils, seeds, powder, capsules, tablets, and flour. They are also sold as ground, milled, whole, or roasted.

Flaxseeds can be easily incorporated into your daily diet. Grinding them is one of the best ways to get the most benefits out of them.


Nutritional facts about flaxseeds

A tablespoon (10 grams) of flaxseed contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories - 55
  • Carbs - 3 grams
  • Fat- 4.3 grams
  • Protein- 1.9 grams
  • Water- 7%
  • Fiber- 2.8 grams
  • Sugar- 0.2 grams

Health Benefits

Here are some of the amazing health benefits that flaxseeds offer:

1) Promotes heart health

Flaxseeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Various studies have also shown that consuming flaxseeds daily for approximately six to seven months reduced blood pressure problems, whether or not the person was taking blood pressure medication.


2) Promotes gut health

Since flaxseeds are packed with large amounts of dietary fiber, they are used as fiber supplements to fight digestive issues. They consist of both soluble and insoluble forms of dietary fiber that help improve your gut health in different ways.

While soluble fiber helps absorb excessive cholesterol in your bloodstream, insoluble fiber helps your intestines process stools more effectively.


3) Control the symptoms of arthritis

Consuming flaxseeds may help prevent joint pain and stiffness and reduce symptoms of arthritis.

These seeds even help fight against body inflammation, which can lead to other severe health conditions.


4) Aids weight loss

Another great benefit of consuming flaxseeds is that they help with weight loss. They consist of soluble fiber, which is very effective in controlling cravings and hunger, making them a healthy weight loss supplement.

Various studies have concluded that flaxseeds help in promoting weight loss, especially in obese and overweight people.


5) Protects against cancer

Various studies have shown that flaxseeds might also help reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause, and other cancers that affect the lungs, prostate, liver, colon, and ovary.

These seeds contain antioxidants, such as lignans, that help slow down tumor growth by preventing them from producing new blood vessels.


6) Prevents constipation

Flaxseeds consist of soluble fiber that gets absorbed with water in your digestive system and adds bulk to your waste, thereby preventing constipation.

However, eating flaxseeds with less water can worsen your constipation and may also lead to blockage in your intestines.

Consuming flaxseeds may also help with:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Inflammation
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Diabetes

How to store flaxseeds

Flaxseeds should always be stored in an airtight container and a cupboard that gets little to no sunlight. If properly stored, they may last up to a year.

Whole or ground flaxseeds can be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. Flaxseed oil, on the other hand, should be stored in a dark cupboard away from any type of heat source.


Takeaway

Taking a few tablespoons of flaxseeds per day is safe and healthy for most adults. However, these seeds may be unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Also, keep in mind that unripe flaxseeds contain potentially toxic components, so you should not consume them. Additionally, people on medication to manage gastrointestinal obstruction, bleeding disorders, blood pressure, and hormone-sensitive cancer should first consult their doctor before consuming flaxseeds.


Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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