Did you know that flax seed, best if you use flax seed meal rather than the seeds, are a super food due to their many health benefits? Here are a few reasons you should start adding flax seed meal to your diet everyday.
High nutrient content
Flax seeds have been around since humans began growing crops for food, making them one of the oldest health foods available. Just one tablespoon of flax seed meal provides fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and is high in vitamins and minerals.
- Calories per tablespoon: 37
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Total fat: 3 grams
- Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,587mg
- Vitamin B1: 8% of daily allowance
- Vitamin B6: 2% of daily allowance
- Folate: 2% of daily allowance
- calcium: 2% of daily allowance
- Iron: 2% of daily allowance
- Magnesium: 7% of daily allowance
- Phosphorus: 4% of daily allowance
- Potassium: 2% of daily allowance
Good source of Lignans
Lignans are plant based compounds with antioxidant and estrogen properties and both lower risk of cancer and improve overall health. Many studies have shown that those who eat flax seed meal have lower risk of breast cancer by 18%; according to a Canadian study of more than 6,000 woman. For men flax seed meal reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Additional studies show it also reduces colon and skin cancer in laboratory animals, but more testing is needed.
Flax seed meal may lower cholesterol
In a study of people with high cholesterol, consuming three tablespoons of flax seed meal daily for three months lowered their total cholesterol by 17% and their LDL (the bad one) by 20%. In people with diabetes it increased their HDL (the good one) by 12%. The reason for such positive results is the fiber in flax seeds binds to the cholesterol and it is excreted rather than absorbed in the blood.
Lowers blood pressure
Another Canadian study found that people who consumed three tablespoons of flax seeds for six months lowered their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The effect was even more positive on people who were already taking blood pressure medication.
Flax seed have high quality protein
Flax seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein and in particular flax seed protein is high in amino acids arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. In a study where adults were given animal protein or plant-based flax seed meal, they concluded no difference in terms of appetite, satiety or food intake. Additionally both stimulated hormones in the gut to bring about the feeling of fullness, resulting in consuming fewer calories.
In summary, flax seeds have many health benefits and can be used in a variety of ways, like adding them to salads, oatmeal, smoothies, baking, and even adding to your favorite yogurt. However you eat them, enjoy flax seeds and your body will thank you!