The benefits of flaxseed are mighty from this little superfood!
Flex Your Weight Loss Power with Flaxseed!
Flaxseed is considered one of the power foods that you should be definitely adding to your fitness nutrition and clean eating lifestyle. The benefits of flaxseed are many, and not the least of which is that studies have shown that flaxseed can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, strokes and even diabetes.
Flaxseeds may be tiny, but boy do they pack a punch in the nutrition department. They are loaded with:
- Omega-3 (ALA)
- Vitamin B6
Fiber to Fill You Up
The fiber in flaxseeds aid in weight loss because, as you most likely know by now, FIBER FILLS YOU UP! Adding just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal a day to your diet will provide you with 4 grams of fiber. Eating the right amount of fiber helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day, so you don’t binge on the bad stuff. Another benefit of flaxseed is that it helps with constipation because it is high in insoluble fiber. So keep your colon healthy with flaxseed!
Omega-3s (ALA) Alpha Linoleic Acid
Flaxseed is a superb source of ALA, which is a plant-derived source of Omega-3. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal contain 2,400 mg of Omega-3s. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed are the good fats that help to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL) to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy. Omega-3s also help to fight inflammation.
Lignans Protect Your Body and Help with Hormones:
Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans, which is a type of phytoestrogen with natural antioxidant properties. Lignans help balance your hormonal levels because of their phytoestrogenic properties. Lignans have been shown to mimic the action of the natural hormone estrogen, and to help with symptoms of hot flashes, mood disturbances and vaginal dryness. Flaxseed has 75 times more lignans than any other plant food. To give you an idea of the equivalent, you would have to eat 30 cups of fresh broccoli to get the same amount of lignans as there are in two tablespoons of flaxseed meal. Pass the flaxseed meal please!
How to Use Flaxseeds
You can buy whole flaxseeds or flaxseed meal. If you buy them whole it is best to grind them in a coffee grinder so that you can ensure your body will digest all the nutrients in the seeds. Once you grind your flaxseeds, or if you buy flaxseed meal, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place to keep the flax from oxidizing and spoiling all the nutrients packed within.
A great way to enjoy the benefits of flaxseed is to mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds into your oatmeal or protein shake, or sprinkle it into your yogurt or on a salad. Here is a great simple and fast recipe for using flaxseed meal in a protein shake.