Flaxseed: 14 Important Health Benefits and Recipes
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a tiny, brown, or golden-coloured seed that is packed with numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, lignans, and other essential nutrients. Flaxseed is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, including smoothies, salads, baked goods, and more. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of flaxseed and share some delicious flaxseed recipes.
- Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the most significant health benefits of flaxseed is its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining optimal brain function, reducing inflammation, and improving heart health. A single tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains approximately 1.8 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that the body cannot produce on its own.
- High in Fibre
Flaxseed is an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains approximately 2 grams of fibre. Eating foods high in fibre can help prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
- May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Flaxseed is a rich source of lignans, which are plant compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Lignans have been found to reduce the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Additionally, flaxseed has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- Supports Heart Health
Flaxseed has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving cholesterol levels. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed have also been found to help prevent the formation of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Reduces inflammation
Flaxseed is high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
- High in antioxidants
Flaxseed is a rich source of lignans, which are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants help protect against damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- Improves blood sugar control
Flaxseed has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to its high fibre content, which slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
- Aids in weight loss
Flaxseed is high in fibre and protein, both of which can promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite. Additionally, the lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body.
- Improves skin health
Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which can help reduce inflammation and improve skin hydration. This can lead to improved skin health and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reduces menopausal symptoms
Flaxseed is a rich source of lignans, which can help balance hormone levels in women. This can reduce symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
- Improves bone health
Flaxseed is high in calcium and magnesium, two minerals that are important for bone health. Additionally, the lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
- Improves hair and nail health
Flaxseed is a good source of biotin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E, all of which are important for healthy hair and nails. These nutrients can help strengthen hair and nails and promote healthy growth.
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have mood-stabilizing effects. Additionally, the lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Improves fertility
Flaxseed has been shown to regulate menstrual cycles and promote ovulation in women. This can improve fertility and increase the chances of conceiving.
Now that we’ve explored the numerous health benefits of flaxseed, let’s take a look at some delicious flaxseed recipes.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Roll the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Use a knife to score the dough into desired cracker shapes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
- Let cool, then break into individual crackers and serve.
Flaxseed Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, brown sugar, vegetable oil, Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Stir in the ground flaxseed.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Flaxseed is a small but mighty seed that offers a variety of health benefits. From reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease to promoting digestive health, incorporating flaxseed into your diet can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. By trying out some of these delicious flaxseed recipes, you can easily add this nutritious superfood to your daily diet. So go ahead and give them a try!