Flax Seeds Benefits, Nutritional Value & Side Effects

Scientific studies focussed on flax seed benefits have helped it gain the status of a super-seed. Flaxseed is available today in all kinds of food in the form of tablets, powder, oils, seeds, and flour. The health benefits of eating flax seeds range from preventing constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, lowering the risk of cardiovascular and cancer diseases. Flax seed’s nutritional value increases mainly because of antioxidants, fiber, protein, lignans, omega-3, and polyunsaturated fats such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). 

Top 10 Benefits of Flax Seeds

Here is a list of 10 flax seeds benefits that every health-conscious individual should know about:

Flax Seeds Benefits

1. Reduces Cancer Risk

Recent studies have suggested that among the many flax seeds benefits one of the most notable is reducing the risk of cancer. Females who consume these seeds show fewer incidences of breast cancer. The health benefits of flaxseeds also lower the risk of colon cancer and prostate cancer. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans in these seeds boosts its cancer-preventing abilities. While omega-3 fatty acids prevent the growth of different cancer cells, antioxidant lignans inhibit tumor growth.  

2. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

The list of flaxseeds benefits also includes lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases through its inflammatory actions. It also aids in lowering blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber help in improving heart health. Alpha-linolenic acids or ALA, present in ample amounts in these seeds reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and cardiac arrest, among other heart-related problems. They can hence be an alternative for fish or fish oil supplements.

3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Flaxseed’s nutritional value is enhanced by phytosterols. They have a similar structure to cholesterols but prevent the absorption of cholesterols in the intestines. This reduces the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Cholesterol level also falls after the consumption of lignans, which are also present in them. Flaxseeds nutrients also include Vitamin-B complex, manganese, and magnesium.

4. Maintains Blood Sugar

Consuming flax seeds also benefits in reducing blood sugar levels hence, they are an essential food in curbing type-2 diabetes. Daily intake of lignans, another vital nutrient present in flaxseeds improves blood sugar levels. Research also indicates that insoluble fiber helps in slowing down the release of sugar into the blood and hence reduces blood sugar levels. These insoluble fibers are present in these seeds in sufficient quantities.

Also Read:- Different Types of Seeds

5. Aids In Digestion

Thanks to the high nutritional value of fiber flax seeds also help in improving digestion and keep constipation at bay. Consuming fiber provides a feeling of fullness and controls appetite and keeps you full for longer periods, thus also helping in managing weight. Keeping them a staple of your diet improves metabolism, promotes proper bowel movement, lowers digestive problems, and helps in reducing obesity.

6. Reduces inflammation

Omega-3 acids, alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, and lignans are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, preventing illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, asthma, arthritis, Raynaud’s disease, and rheumatoid disease. While lignans reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, ALA decreases inflammatory reactions. 

7. Flax Seeds for Skin

The essential fatty acids present in these seeds promote skin growth. Lignans and antioxidants in flaxseeds also prevent wrinkles from appearing on the face, decrease skin sensitivity, and reduce skin roughness. Not just consuming, but applying flaxseed oil on the face can also keep the skin moisturized and smooth and prevent the entry of pollutants into the skin.

Flax Seeds for Skin

8. Prevents Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a common symptom in post-menopausal women. Recent studies have suggested that consumption of flaxseeds daily can reduce the number of incidents of hot flashes by half. Not just the number of incidents, but the intensity of hot flashes also saw a drop of almost half with the consumption. For this, it is recommended to take two tablespoons of flax seeds in yogurt, cereals, or juice.

9. Flax Seeds for Hair Growth

Omega-3 fatty acids nourish the hair follicles promoting the healthy growth of hair. Vitamin E also provides nourishment. Omega-3 deficiency can lead to hair breakage and dandruff. Therefore, the consumption of flaxseeds increases the elasticity of hair and prevents hair loss. Since it also keeps the skin moisturized, the chances of dandruff and eczema are also less.

Flax Seeds for Hair

Also Read:- Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

10. Lowers Hypertension

As mentioned earlier, alpha-linolenic acid or ALA helps in lowering blood pressure. Studies have concluded that eating flaxseeds can significantly decrease diastolic blood pressure and prevent hypertension. 

Flax Seeds Nutrition Value & Facts

The combination of these three elements has made Flaxseeds the most common super-seeds:

Flax Seeds Nutritional Value

1. Omega-3 essential fatty acids

These good fats have been shown to help prevent the growth of different cancer cells and also have a healthy effect on the heart.

2. Fibre

The presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber in flax seeds aids in digestive health.

3. Lignans

Rich in lignans, flaxseeds curb diabetes risk and lower cancer risk.

Let’s have a look at the breakdown of Flax Seeds Nutritional Value in 100g :

NutritionNutritional Value (100g)
Energy534 Kcal
Fats42.16g
Saturated Fats3.66g
Fiber27.3g
Proteins18.29g
Sodium30mg
Potassium813mg
Sugar1.55g
Carbohydrates 28.88g

Flax Seeds Side Effects

Given below are some common side effects of flax seeds that you must know about:

Flax Seeds Side Effects

1. May Cause Diarrhea

It prevents constipation and supports regular and healthy bowel motions when ingested in little amounts. An overabundance of flaxseeds, on the other hand, can increase the number and frequency of your bowel motions.

2. May Cause Allergic Reactions

Excessive eating of these seeds may cause allergic responses in some cases. The most common adverse reactions to flax seeds are prolonged restricted breathing and low blood pressure.

3. May not be Favourable for Women Trying to Conceive

Excessive consumption of flaxseed should be avoided by women with hormone-related diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. Infertility can result from these abnormalities.

Also Read:- Benefits of Cacao

4. Blockage in Intestines

Flaxseeds should preferably be consumed with water or another fluid. However, if you do not take enough fluids, you may experience intestinal blockage and obstructions.

Conclusion 

Although present for centuries, flaxseeds have only recently gained the confidence of fitness-focussed individuals as a potent dietary supplement. The benefits of eating and even applying flaxseed oil are manyfold. The nutrients present in flaxseeds include omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, antioxidants, fiber, proteins, manganese, magnesium, Vitamins B & E. 

If consumed in the right quantity regularly, these seeds can help in reducing the risk of cancer diseases such as colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, reduce blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular diseases, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.

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