Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it may help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.That’s quite a tall order for a tiny seed that’s been around for centuries.
Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it.
Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say we have preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected.
Here are some health benefits of flaxseeds:
Flaxseed may boost cognition
They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a plant-based source, which is important for vegans or individuals who do not eat seafood. This type of fat helps to protect the brain.
It helps bowel movement
They are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, which means they will keep your digestion regular, flushing toxins and excess fats out of the body. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber so they are truly a powerhouse, as these types of fiber also keep your gut microbiome in healthy balance.
It will keep you from getting hungry
It is a good source of protein and will help you stay full and satisfied. In fact, one tablespoon of flaxseed contains two grams of protein. And when combined with all that fiber, it will keep you super-satiated.
It reduces cholesterol
Roughly 20 to 40 percent of flaxseed’s fiber is soluble, which forms a gel in the gut that binds to cholesterol in the gut and removes it from circulation,” says Nielsen.
And for your information, not all cholesterol is bad as flaxseed helps boost the kind you need, and flushes out the kind you don’t need in your body.
Flaxseed protects the heart
A study from the journal Hypertension found that daily linoleic acid—a major component of flaxseed is associated with lower systolic blood pressure as well as a reduced risk of hypertension.
It is recommended by doctors that women consume at least 1.1 grams of alpha linoleic acid daily. One tablespoon of ground flax gives you double that daily requirement.
Flaxseed can aid in weight loss
There’s no magic click-your-heels-together-three-times solution to weight loss. But flaxseed can help the process: Thanks to their fiber content they help to maintain blood sugar levels, ward off hunger therefore aiding in weight loss. Fiber helps to keep you full, the fuller you are, the less often you will eat and the slimmer you will be.