Benefits of Flaxseeds Seeds have been all the rage lately, flaxseeds especially. What’s great about seeds is their versatility; they can be incorporated into your diet with hardly any effort at all! What makes flaxseeds so unique is that you can buy them all ready ground making them incredibly easy to incorporate into any meal. Flaxseeds can be thrown into protein shakes, sprinkled on top of a yogurt parfait or oatmeal, your morning waffles or pancakes, or even into your homemade baked goods such as muffins, scones, and even cookies. Here are a few reasons why you should make flaxseeds a staple in your diet: 1. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that lead to heart-healthy effects. Omega 3’s lower the bad cholesterol in the blood, known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Consuming plant omega-3s also help the cardiovascular system through a few different mechanisms such as anti-inflammatory action and normalizing heart beat, and decreases the risk of certain cancers according to research. 2. Great source of lignans, which are plant-estrogen protective components with similar properties as to antioxidants. Studies have shown that lignans possibly help prevent breast cancer and benefit the health of reproductive tissues such as breast, prostate, uterus and ovaries where hormones play a huge role. The lignans found in flaxseeds, according to research , are also shown to reduce free radicals in the blood, where the antioxidant aspect comes in. 3. Great source of Fiber: flaxseeds contain both types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds has 2 grams of fiber. *For more nutritional value, consume flaxseeds ground or as an oil (flax oil). If eaten whole, it is more likely to pass through the gastro-intestinal tract undigested, which decreases the likelihood of your body consuming all of its nutritional components.
Written by Danielle Maina, NASM Certified Nutritionist