Flaxseed is derived from the fibrous crop flax, and it is packed with plenty of vital nutrients to help boost your overall health. Loaded with ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber
, lignans, zinc
and vitamin C
, among others, adding flaxseed to your diet can contribute to strengthening your digestive health and even lowering your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. The phytochemicals known as lignans have been shown to help reduce the risk of acquiring breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men, according to Dr. Victoria Maizes
. Flaxseed may also be able to help regulate women's menstrual cycles and even reduce the occurrence of hot flashes in menopausal women. It also contains a high fiber content that can help fill you up so you feel satisfied after eating and are less likely to overeat, therefore also encouraging weight loss
or healthy weight maintenance.
Seeds are a nutritional source that many are wary about attempting to add to their nutritional intake, possibly because they are unsure about how to incorporate them into their meals or unaware of their actual benefits. The best way to fully absorb the nutrients from flaxseed is by grinding them up in a coffee grinder or blender in order to prevent them from passing through your body,whole and undigested. Here are some suggestions for adding flaxseed into your meals and reaping their many positive effects.
1. Add some ground flaxseed to your morning cereal or low-fat Greek yogurt, boosting your fiber intake and promoting regular bowel movements and healthy digestion for the rest of your day. As flaxseed expands once it's in your stomach, causing you to feel full, it can help tide you over until lunchtime so you're less inclined to snack in between meals.
2. Flaxseed can be used as an egg substitute in your baking projects. For example, replace one egg in your homemade cookie recipe with two tablespoons of flaxseed and two tablespoons of water. This fibrous, nutrient-packed addition to your favorite sweet treats can help fight constipation and even aid with normalizing your body's inflammatory response.
3. Toss in a dash of flaxseed with your favorite protein recipes, like chicken and lean beef. By adding flaxseed to your chicken coating or even mixing it in with meatloaf, you can receive a great boost of omega-3s to promote a healthy heart and protein to support your bones, muscles, blood, cartilage and skin.
Before you work out, pour some flaxseed into your typical pre-workout shake or smoothie to absorb a significant dose of phosphorous, which can reduce muscle pain after intense athletic activity and plays a big part in how your body stores and utilizes energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center
. In addition, flaxseed contains an abundance of magnesium
, which may be able to enhance your energy and endurance along with boosting the health of your heart, blood vessels, cholesterol and digestion.
5. If you're trying to lose weight, flaxseed can be your friend. While it can't promote weight loss all by itself, when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise, flaxseed can act as a catalyst in helping you to burn fat and shed pounds. Its fibrous composition can work to suppress your hunger and encourage fat loss when you are in the regular routine of burning more calories than you consume. Try adding flaxseed to cooked veggies for a boost of vitamins and healthy weight support with a deliciously nutty flavor.
Before you try adding flaxseed to your diet, realize that there is a possibility you may experience gas and bloating, due to the way it expands in your stomach when consumed. Also, its high fiber content may cause undesirable effects like loose stool, in which case you should cut out the flax. Make sure you drink plenty of water when you eat flaxseed, as the insoluble and soluble fiber in it needs to absorb water for digestion. Another thing to remember before you start introducing it into your diet is that you should eat only ground flaxseeds, as it is the most effective method of receiving their entire nutritional value. Whole flaxseeds are very difficult for your body to digest, and they may easily pass through without even leaving any of their essential vitamins and minerals in your body. Remember to ease yourself into the high-fiber content of flaxseed, and don't overload your body with too much of it at once. Pregnant women should not eat flaxseed and neither should those who have a bowel obstruction or any other digestive issues.
Flaxseed can provide many benefits for improving the quality of your health. We hope you enjoy these suggestions for adding flaxseed to your diet. Have a great weekend, and check back next week for more health tips at eVitamins.