Flax seeds are often touted as a so-called superfood — and rightly so! These tiny titans are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, fiber, protein, and phytoestrogens.
Flax seeds, or linseeds, come from the beautiful flax plant. This plant has been grown worldwide for hundreds of years, only hitting the Western market in more recent years. You’ll find two types of flax seed on the shelves today, golden and brown, both of which are packed full of nutritional goodness.
Flax Seeds are one of the main ingredients in our Green Smoothie Mix. Here are 5 health benefits of Flax Seeds:
1. Flax Seeds May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent cancerous cells from growing.
As well as this, for women, another study shows that there was a lower incidence of breast cancer among women who consumed flax seed more often. A separate study concluded flax seed could be beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer for post-menopausal women.
Though more research is still necessary, researchers believe this is related to the phytoestrogen content within flax seeds.
2. Flax Seeds Improve Heart Health
Both fiber and omega-3 can boost your heart health, which flax seeds are full of. As well as this, research also suggests lignans can help prevent cardiovascular disease. A study on this showed participants who took lignans over 12 weeks had lowered cholesterol levels.
The good news keeps coming as the phytosterols content within flax seeds prevents cholesterol absorption in the intestines. This can reduce bad cholesterol levels throughout your body, including your heart, improving your cardiovascular health overall.
3. Flax Seeds Ease Arthritis Symptoms
Many people who suffer from arthritic conditions find flax seed helpful in reducing chronic joint pain. It can also aid those with similar chronic pain conditions such as lupus and Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Further research is needed, but the arthritis foundation recommends eating flax seeds for their anti-inflammatory benefits.
4. Flax Seeds Improve Blood Sugar
A study shows a 13-gram dose of flax seeds every day lowered glucose and insulin levels, as well as improving insulin sensitivity. A separate study in rodents suggests that flax seed could help reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes, as well as delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
This flax seed benefit is thanks to the high lignan and phytoestrogen content.
5. Flax Seeds Reduce Constipation
The type of fiber within flax seeds is insoluble. This means it doesn’t dissolve within the digestive tract after you eat it. Instead, it absorbs water and adds bulk.
Consuming insoluble fibers can help those with chronic constipation reduce their symptoms and promote more regular bowel movements.