Flaxseed is an excellent source of dietary fiber and crucial omega-3s. This post will tell you about these nutrients and many more found in this super-seed. I’ll also explain the health benefits of flaxseed meal.
Flaxseeds are not just a trendy food.
In fact, I think that flaxseeds should be a staple in your diet, and I’ll tell you why.
The benefits of flaxseed meal can be seen as soon as you start implementing it in your eating regimen. For instance, your digestive system will hum along nicely. And there are benefits that serve you over the long term, too, such as improved cholesterol and better heart health.
We’ll delve into the science behind flaxseeds further into the post, but I want to point out now that flaxseed meal is something you should always have in the pantry. I keep it on hand and use it in recipes like the Flaxseed Apricot Bars that I bake regularly for snacking on instead of buying nutrition-empty store-bought stuff.
Flaxseeds are a part of my 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan, and that’s because they are proven to kick inflammation to the curb. But flaxseed meal does even more than that, and I’m eager to tell you about the good things about it. Let’s read on!
DO FLAXSEEDS HELP WITH INFLAMMATION?
Yes, flaxseeds help with inflammation. Flaxseeds are high in inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Lignans are called phytoestrogens, which are plant-derived compounds. These are important in that they influence inflammatory responses. Flaxseed is the richest source of ALA in the typical diet.
HOW MUCH FLAXSEED MEAL TO HAVE?
General recommendations are that one tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day is beneficial. One tablespoon will give you lots of nutrients:
- Insoluble and soluble fiber
Another seed with tons of benefits is the chia seed. Read more about the benefits here. Is one better than the other? Not really. Chia seeds have more calcium, for instance, but flaxseeds win in the healthy fatty acids department.
So, they are both good. If you are thinking taste, flaxseed meal has a nutty flavor, whereas chia seeds are basically flavorless. They can easily be added to dishes like chia pudding to give a nutritional boost (and no grinding needed).
CAN YOU EAT TOO MUCH FLAXSEED?
Yes, you can eat too much flaxseed. And if you overdo it and drink too little water as well, you may experience bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
Don’t eat more than 5 tablespoons of flaxseed a day. Even this may be too much if your digestive system is sensitive to it.
IS IT GOOD TO EAT FLAXSEEDS EVERY DAY?
We’ll look at the benefits further along in the post, but yes, it is good to eat flaxseed every day. Besides the many benefits that you don’t see, are the daily physical advantages. Your digestive system is regular, and even though you cannot see it, your cardiovascular system is working well, too. Stick to about a tablespoon a day.
BEST WAYS TO EAT FLAXSEED MEAL
It’s important to know that flaxseeds are always best when ground into a meal as opposed to whole. You see, the body can’t break down whole flaxseeds, so you are missing out on all of the goodness of the seed if you consume them that way. Grind them, or buy them ground into meal already. And you don’t have to shop specifically at health food stores; grocery stores will stock ground flaxseeds too.
The best ways to eat flaxseed meal are:
- Make a flaxseed egg and add it to your muffins (yes, flaxseed is a terrific egg substitute in baking)
- Top plain Greek yogurt with flaxseed meal
- Sprinkle a little on a salad, or add it to your favorite salad dressing
- Whip up a breakfast bowl or prepare overnight oats with flax
- Add flaxseed meal to a kiwi and kale smoothie
- Mix flaxseed meal into your favorite burger
- Use flaxseed meal in healthy oatmeal cookies and energy bars
- Make a flaxseed egg and add to cauliflower hash browns
I haven’t said too much about flaxseed oil yet. Yes, it is good for you, too. It’s an excellent source of ALA (even more so than ground flaxseeds), but with the oil, you don’t get the fiber content so essential to great health.
BENEFITS OF FLAXSEED MEAL
1. FLAXSEED MEAL MAY HELP WEIGHT LOSS
Are you worried about your body weight? Because flaxseed meal is full of fiber, adding it to your food helps to fill you up. Fiber slows digestion (and gives the digestive system an awesome healthy workout), slowing down and reducing the craving for snacks. Studies show that flaxseed consumption showed significant reductions in BMI and body fat composition in participants.
2. FLAXSEED MEAL MAY LOWER BLOOD SUGAR
Studies show that insoluble fiber, such as is found in flaxseeds, slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream. One study combined flaxseed meal with yogurt, which is an excellent way to incorporate the seeds into your diet. Flaxseed stabilizes blood sugar levels which can be helpful to those with type 2 Diabetes.
3. FLAXSEED MEAL CONTAINS PROTEIN
With a lot of people going for meatless Mondays and eating more plant-based meals in general, flaxseed meal is on the list of protein sources. No, you cannot replace a protein meal with flaxseed, but it is a way to add it to your day. Plant-based protein may sate your hunger just as well as meat protein.
4. FLAXSEED MEAL MAY LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Taking flaxseeds daily has been proven to lower blood pressure. Eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and adding flaxseed meal to smoothies and other healthy foods will help keep your blood pressure where it should be.
5. FLAXSEED MEAL MAY IMPROVE CHOLESTEROL
No one likes to hear that they have high cholesterol. A study where participants consumed 3 tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily showed LDL cholesterol levels were reduced. Combine this with clean eating and exercise, and you’ll be all set! Keep in mind that not everyone can tolerate 3 tablespoons every day. Work up to that amount gradually and see how your digestive system takes it.
6. FLAXSEED MEAL IS HIGH IN FIBER
Yes, I’ve got to point this out again because fiber is just so good for you! Fiber is described like a toothbrush for your intestines, brushing as it moves through. Fiber is essential to gut health, my friends, so be sure to eat enough every day.
7. FLAXSEED MEAL MAY REDUCE CANCER RISK
Besides the omega-3s in flaxseeds are the lignans. These are phytoestrogens (plant compounds) that have cancer-fighting properties. Flaxseeds are super-powered in that they contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods do. That’s pretty substantial. In short, eating grains and fibrous veggies are great ways to get these lignans, too, but flaxseed provides incredible amounts for such a tiny seed.
8. FLAXSEED MEAL IS HIGH IN OMEGA-3S
We all know the benefits of omega-3s and healthy fats. The body needs fat, folks, so looking to flaxseed meal as a source just makes sense. The ALA fatty acids contained in flaxseeds fight cholesterol build-up and are heart-healthy. Lower cholesterol easily with flaxseed meal. One tablespoon (7 grams) has only 37 calories so if you are on a specific eating regimen, supplementing your recipes with flaxseed meal won’t cause an issue at all.
9. FLAXSEED MEAL PROVIDES NUTRIENTS
If you worry about whether you are getting all of the nutrients you need, look to flaxseed meal to boost your intake. The list of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is lengthy but includes vitamins A, B1 and B12, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. But where they really stand out is the omega-3 content, as mentioned before. And the fiber in flaxseed meal is highly beneficial. Not to mention antioxidants like phenols.
10. FLAXSEED MEAL IS EASILY INCORPORATED INTO YOUR DIET
Any time extra nutrition can be added to your diet is a win-win situation. And with benefits against heart disease, breast cancer, constipation and so much more, why not incorporate flaxseed meal into your diet? It’s easy to find in the stores and not a problem to keep on hand. You can grind your own, or buy it pre-ground. Remember, whole flaxseeds are not digested easily, so skip taking them that way.
MORE HEALTHY FOODS WITH ADDED NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Interested in learning more about healthy foods and their benefits? I’ve got informative posts here!
- 10 Amazing Benefits of Turmeric
- 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chocolate
- 10 Benefits of Green Tea
- 11 Crazy Awesome Benefits of Chia Seeds
- 12 Amazing Benefits of Ginger
- 9 Amazing Benefits of Lemon Water
- 9 Shocking Benefits of Sauerkraut
- 19 Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
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