Flaxseeds are rich in health benefits, according to science

If you are looking for more nutrition your diet Without even trying, you may want to make friends with flaxseed.

“Flaxseed is widely available and sold in its whole or ground form,” says a registered dietitian Heather Chasa. “Choose milled, ground, or ground options because the grinding process helps unleash the power of the flaxseed, giving you access to the amazing nutrients.”

And these amazing nutrients do a lot.

Flaxseeds are good for your heart, hormones, and gut health, plus they’re an omega-3 plant-based food. Amanda Soseda, MS, RD. As Sauceda notes, if you purchase whole flaxseeds, you can use a coffee grinder to crush them before consuming the seeds.

But before you start eating flaxseeds, consider this tip from Sauceda: “Flax is so packed with fiber that your gut may not be a fan of it at first,” she says, recommending adding flaxseeds to your diet slowly and drinking more water.

As Sucida says, if you eat whole flaxseeds, you may see whole flaxseeds showing up in your poo (wee!) because of their fiber that makes them hard for you to digest. “This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you don’t find a lot of undigested food in your poop and your gut is tolerant of fiber,” Sauceda says.

But there’s a lot more to explore about flaxseeds too, like flaxseeds actually are, why they’re so healthy, and the complex nature of omega-3s.

Here’s what nutrition experts say about all that — and more.

What are flax seeds?

“Flaxseeds are the edible seeds of the flax plant and are used to make flaxseed or linseed oil,” Chasa says, noting that flaxseeds have a slight nutty flavor. . Lignans can act as an antioxidant, which may reduce damage to our cells, reduce inflammation, and help lower the risk of certain diseases. “

Are flax seeds healthy?

yes.

Here’s the nutrition breakdown: “Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed equals roughly 15 grams. This should give you nearly three grams of protein, three grams of ALA fatty acids (a type of omega-3 found in plants), and 3.5 grams of fiber,” she says. Sauceda says, pointing to USDA Food Data Center. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds contain approximately 75 calories.

Ground flax seeds in a bowl on the table

Michelle Arnold / EyeEmGetty Images

Flax seeds provide a variety of health benefits. First, they have good fats for you. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of the aforementioned alpha-linolenic acid — ALA — an essential omega-3 fatty acid, Chassa said.

However, the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed are pale compared to fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines — so use naming language on flaxseed products with caution.

The fiber in flaxseeds may enhance it Lipid-lowering effectsShasa says. Research shows that 30-50 grams of flaxseeds daily reduces total cholesterol by 5% to 15% and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 8% to 18%. guide from Small Clinical Studies People with prediabetes and diabetes mellitus show slight decreases in fasting blood sugar and insulin levels. The potential health benefits don’t end there. Primary Clinical Research It shows that flaxseed may affect the prostate by reducing markers of prostate cancer levels, particularly prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and may also help slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.”

The best way to eat flaxseeds is to grind the seeds because you will get more of their nutrition that way.

As mentioned earlier, the flaxseed lignans content is also a boon to health. “There is something interesting paper which discusses the relationship with lignans interacting with our gut microbiome and transforming into a compound that has anti-cancer properties and may influence our brain health as well as through the gut-brain axis,” Socida says.

Finally, flaxseeds may play a role in supporting cardiovascular health. “While ground flaxseed may be easier to digest, it is also present Research Researching the benefits of whole flaxseeds on heart health,” Socida says. “Whole flaxseeds have been found to have a positive effect on total cholesterol and the bad cholesterol also known as LDL.” She also noted that flaxseed oil may also have some anti-inflammatory effects. for inflammation.

How do you eat flax seeds?

While it’s not something you want to eat as a snack, flaxseeds can be added to a variety of dishes. It’s worth repeating: “The best way to eat flaxseeds is to grind them because you’ll get more of their nutrition that way. Whole flaxseeds are hard to digest, and grinding them makes it easier for your body to access their nutrients,” Socida says.

Two ways Sauceda suggests using flaxseeds is to sprinkle ground flax into your morning bowl of oats or into your smoothie. “Ground flax can also be used as crumbs in chicken tenders,” she said. “Because flaxseed contains a lot of fiber, it can also be used as a thickening agent like a creamy salad dressing.”

Shasa also highlights that you can use flaxseeds as a vegan substitute for eggs in baked goods. Simply mix one tablespoon of flaxseeds with three tablespoons of water, and let the mixture thicken for five to 10 minutes.

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