Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Flax Seeds
Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Flaxseed
Flax seed is one of the world’s oldest crops first cropped in Egypt and then introduced in the United States by colonists, primarily to produce fiber for clothing and then spread to other parts of the world. It contains a good amount of fiber. Moreover, it contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Its seeds are crisp and crunchy. With its mild and nutty flavor, flaxseed is a multipurpose ingredient that can be used in any recipe to enhance the taste.
Types of Flax Seeds
There are two types of Flaxseeds: brown flax seeds and golden flax seeds. Both of which are equal in size and equally nutritious. You can choose any color according to your choice.
Nutrition Facts of Flaxseeds
100 grams (12 tablespoons) of whole flaxseeds provide the following nutrients.
- Calories: 534
- Fat: 42 grams
- Fiber: 28 grams
- Carbs: 39 grams
- Protein: 18 grams
- Protein: 10.9 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Water: 7%
Vitamins and Minerals in Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a good source of several vitamins and minerals that perform multiple functions in the body. Flaxseed is particularly high in thiamine also known as B vitamin or vitamin B1 which is essential for metabolism as well as nerve function. The great amount of copper in flax seeds is important for brain growth, immune health, iron metabolism, and various other bodily functions. Flax seeds are also rich in molybdenum, magnesium, and phosphorus which have many functions in the body like bone health and tissue maintenance.
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds:
Various kinds of research conducted on flaxseeds show that this tiny seed has countless benefits for health. It may help lower the risk of some cancers, reduce cholesterol, maintains blood pressure, and help maintain body weight.
Here are the main health benefits of flax seeds.
- Flax seeds are a good source of many nutrients, including fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, thiamine, molybdenum, magnesium, and phosphorus.
- Flax seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has numerous benefits for heart health. ALA also lowers the risk of heart stroke.
- Flax seeds contain nutrients called lignans that lower the risk of several types of cancer (e.g. breast cancer, particularly for postmenopausal women)
- A sufficient amount of fiber in flax seeds helps promote regular bowel movements and improves the digestive system.
- Flax seeds may also help to reduce and maintain cholesterol levels in the body.
- Flaxseed contains two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble: soluble fiber absorbs water in your intestines and slows down digestion, and insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool. Flax seed’s fiber also helps lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
- Flax seed has the ability to decrease blood pressure levels. Therefore, flax seeds are especially useful for those with high blood pressure.
- The intake of flax seeds is beneficial to your diet if you have type 2 diabetes because the soluble fiber content in flax seeds lowers blood.
- Flax seed may help you feel full for longer because of soluble fiber, which may support weight loss.
- Flaxseed is a multipurpose ingredient and easy to add to yogurt, smoothies, baked goods, salad, and many other foods.
- Flax seeds also improve digestion by relieving diarrhea and constipation.
- Flaxseed may stabilize blood sugar levels and promote blood sugar control.
How You Can Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet?
Flax seed and flaxseed oil are easy to use and can be added to a variety of recipes. Add powder of flax seed to water or milk for simple and easy intake. You can sprinkle it into your smoothies or over hot/cold cereal for extra fiber and flavor. If you love salad in your meal, drizzle a few drops of flax seeds oil on a fresh salad. You can add flax seed powder to cookies, muffins, or bread.
Intake of Ground Flex Seeds instead of Whole
The outer shell of flax seeds is hard and the intestines cannot break down to digest it easily. So, we prefer ground flaxseed which is much easier to digest than whole flaxseed. You can buy powder of flax seeds from any online store or you can make powder at home easily in a grinder and store it in an airtight container for easy use.
How Much Flax Seeds Do You Need Per Day?
Various studies conducted on the health benefits of flax seeds suggest one should take 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of ground flaxseed per day. However, if you want to take a good amount of fiber, you can increase your intake to around 4–5 tablespoons (28–35 grams) of flaxseed per day.
Are There Any Risks to Eating Flax Seeds?
Although flaxseeds have many health benefits, there are a few cautions to avoid adverse effects. Especially, starters should keep in mind that flax seeds are high in fiber and excessive doses can lead to digestive issues, including gas and bloating.
Moreover, flax seeds may interact with several medications. Consult your doctor if you feel any abnormal behavior. You’re also advised to be careful during pregnancy or when feeding a baby with breast milk.