Here are outstanding effects why flaxseeds are so healthy for you
Flaxseed, also referred to as linseed, has been consumed for over 6,000 years, making it one of the world’s first grown superfoods. What is are the reasons why flax seeds are so healthy and special?
They contain large amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (not the same as in fish, but also effective), paired with fiber and effective antioxidants, which are important for the hormonal balance in the body.
Other benefits of flaxseed include improved digestion and skin, lowering cholesterol, improved cardiovascular health and a scientifically proven anti-cancer effect – and that’s just the beginning!
Find out here why flax seeds are better than chia seeds, why they are so healthy and what you can do with them.
Flax seeds – what are they?
Flax seeds are the seeds of common flax, a grass-like plant up to 1 meter high with blue flowers and the characteristic seeds. Common flax is native to Europe and thrives splendidly there. The harvested seeds are commercially available in three forms: whole, crushed and as flour.
What does “crushed flax seed” mean?
You can think of crushed flax seeds like oatmeal. Take the whole seeds and hit them a few times with a hammer. The outer shell breaks open, which makes the inside more accessible.
These are the crushed seeds, a low-carbohydrate counterpart to oatmeal. The advantage of crushed flaxseed over whole is the absorption in the body: Whole seeds are very firm and completely indigestible.
They just slide through the body and back out again. On the other hand, crushed flax seeds are digestible, so that the body can access the valuable ingredients. Based on the nutrients and effects, you will soon see how important the digestibility of linseed is.
What do these seeds do?
Crushed flax seeds (and also flax flour) have a few irresistible properties that make them unique in the kitchen: Crushed seeds swell when added to the water, stirred, and then waited for five minutes.
This is exactly what happens in your gastrointestinal tract: the seeds swell and draw fluid. This swelling causes the body to produce much more satiety and metabolic hormones.
This is why the seeds not only heat up the metabolism, but they also make you extremely full. They are very filling, but contain “barely” calories:
What effects do the small seeds have on the body, what makes them so healthy?
1. Dietary fiber
Flax seeds consist of a third of fiber, a third of proteins (see protein sources) and the last third of omega-3 fatty acids (see the importance of omega-3 fatty acids).
All three are healthy macronutrients that your body cannot get enough of. Two tablespoons of the small grains contain about 15 g of fiber, which is half the recommended amount of fiber. Your gut bacteria dance the tango at the sight of all this fiber! A real detox food.
When the crushed seed swells, the fiber forms a layer of mucus. This layer of mucus acts like a kind of spring cleaning in the gastrointestinal tract; it slips through the intestine and sweeps away slags, deposits and pathogens.
The proteins also provide a satiety effect and offer your body the building blocks (see essential amino acids) it needs to build up the body’s own proteins. So they are important too!
4. Fatty acids
Flax seeds contain a lot of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. While these are not as valuable to the brain as animal omega-3 fatty acids, they also counteract inflammation in the body.
This is important for the immune system, for the metabolism, for good blood circulation and a healthy intestine.
In summary, flax seeds are good for the gastrointestinal tract, the intestinal flora, a strong immune system, the muscles and the blood. Enough reasons to eat them every day, right?
Lose weight with these grains
If you want to lose weight quickly, you can use linseed as valuable support. Because of the high satiety effect, the spring cleaning in the intestine, the proteins and omega-3 fatty acids and the relatively low-calorie value, flax seeds are ideally suited for this.
Of course, you should not switch your entire diet to the seeds; they are rather complementary or supportive. You can take them (preferably several times a day) in the following ways:
How to eat these healthy seeds?
At the end of this post, I will give you a link to my 3 good recipes that you can use to integrate flaxseed into your diet every day.
You can use the crushed seeds in many ways, because they taste neutral, support the digestion and the weight loss process, several times a day if you want.
You can, of course, just eat them like this: Soak 1 tablespoon of flax seeds in a glass of water, stir, let them swell for 10 minutes and then drink the glass on ex. You can do this up to three times a day.
You can also add flaxseed to shakes and smoothies to thicken the consistency and increase the satiety effect.
It’s also great to put a few tablespoons of seeds to everything you bake (using a little less flour).
If that’s not enough for you, the recipes at the end of this article will help you.
Flaxseed nutritional values
What are the exact nutritional values now? In addition to fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, does linseed contain other nutrients that should be mentioned? 100 g of these grains contain:
30 g fat (omega-3 fatty acids)
25 g protein
35 g of fiber
350 mg magnesium (see 10 Magnesium-Rich Foods To Help Fill Your Daily Requirements)
8.5 mg iron
1.5 mg zinc
150 mg sulfur
500 mg of potassium
That’s a lot of nutrients for a few harmless seeds! Compared to other foods such as wheat, flax seeds also contain very few potential irritants (gluten & Co.).
Linseeds and hydrocyanic acid
It is always said that the seeds contain hydrocyanic acid and are, therefore, toxic. Thus, certain people discourage the consumption of flax.
The same argument applies here as in the case of apples: You would have to eat a lot of seed, every day, for the rest of your life, to get an extensive amount of hydrocyanic acids that could be problematic.
In the same way, you would have to eat at least 20 apples every day so that the hydrocyanic acid in the seeds becomes relevant for the body. The same applies to linseeds: If you follow the tips and advice given here and don’t overdo it, then you have nothing to fear!
Linseeds and breast cancer
An important advantage is the seemingly preventive effect against breast cancer. Studies have shown that regular consumption of flaxseed can prevent breast cancer. How does that come about?
The reason for this is the fiber, so-called lignans. They have a balancing effect on the estrogen balance in women (only for women, not for men).
This means that they limit the excess estrogen (female sex hormone) from the body using these fibers. Too high estrogen levels are a major risk factor for breast cancer because estrogen is a growth factor in the breasts.
In this way, the little grains compensate for high estrogen levels, which explains the preventive effect against breast cancer. Another reason to eat them every day!
Flax seeds as a laxative
Due to the effects mentioned, the swelling and the formation of mucus, the seeds are a very good laxative for constipation. As I said, only with constipation, not in the healthy intestine!
You don’t have to expect diarrhea after eating flaxseed with a healthy intestine every day. However, when constipation occurs, which can be the case after eating too much unhealthy food or when traveling in tropical countries, the intestines tend to become tight.
Flax slime virtually opens the passage again and flushes out what has accumulated there. That’s why linseed is not only a great home remedy for constipation but also a welcome companion when traveling.
After reading today’s post, hopefully, you will no longer see these seeds only as a home remedy for constipation, but also as a healthy food. The link to the recipes at the end of the article will help you.
Flax seeds, psyllium or chia seeds – which is better?
In the same breath with linseed, psyllium and chia seeds are actually always mentioned. Psyllium seeds are the little brothers and sisters of linseed and chia seeds and originally come from India.
The laxative effect is even stronger with psyllium seeds than with linseed, therefore, psyllium seeds are sold directly as laxatives.
However, psyllium is not as good for everyday use as flaxseed because the laxative effect will predominate at some point.
With acute constipation, they are just as good as flax, but they are significantly more expensive (five times the price). Chia seeds are among the currently celebrated superfoods, but I personally find flax seeds better. Why?
Chia seeds first have to be imported from South America, while flax seeds are native to Europe, and in our country, North Carolina is the main producer of flaxseeds. Ecological advantage!
The ingredients of both are about the same, so there’s no reason why chia seeds should be better than flax. The marketing behind chia seeds is very strong and a thorn in my eye.
Chia seeds may have been the Mayan warrior’s power meal, but this information only helps to market it, you know that, right?
Flax seeds are just as good a strength meal and do not have to be shipped halfway around the world.
They cost significantly less than chia seeds.
In summary, I find linseeds better than chia seeds and psyllium seeds because they are not only significantly cheaper, but also do not have to be imported. They grow here, are sold and eaten here.
Now it’s your turn to let us know about your experiences with these wholesome seeds. Did you already know why flax seeds are so healthy for you, or have you still discovered some more benefits here? Share your sentiments with us in a comment below.
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