Health Benefits of Flaxseed: Lose Weight and Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

Flaxseeds are a class of seeds that look like sesame seeds. Falxseed has started to be processed a lot because it is proven to contain many nutrients.

Flaxseed is a seed that comes from the hemp plant and only grows in Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean region. This food ingredient has long been used as medicine, even since 5000 years BC.

Flaxseed is rich in fiber, good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, and zinc. These seeds also have antioxidant benefits and estrogen-like effects, thanks to the lignans they contain. Flaxseed has high calories, which is about 530 calories in 100 grams.

Nutritional Content of Flaxseed

There are two types of flaxseed, which are brown and gold. There is no difference between the two even though they are different colors. Both of them are high in nutrients. The nutrients in one tablespoon or 7 grams of flaxseed are as follows:
  • 37 calories
  • 1.9 grams of fiber
  • 1.3 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1,597 mg of omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 grams of total fat
  • 0.3 grams of saturated fat
  • 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat
  • 2.0 grams of polyunsaturated fat

The high content of omega-3 and fiber makes flaxseed a popular super food, especially for healthy diets and diet programs.

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Thanks to its excellent nutrition, the benefits of flaxseed can help fight many diseases, including cardiovascular disease to diabetes. Flaxseed can also help reduce the risk of cancer and improve reproductive health in women. Today, flaxseed is considered a "super food" as more scientific research shows its health benefits.

The following are some of the health benefits of flaxseed:

1. Lowering cholesterol level

Flaxseed is thought to reduce levels of bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein), as well as overall cholesterol levels. However, flaxseed does not appear to have much effect on HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol.

2. Prevent heart disease

The nutritional content in flaxseed, including fiber and omega-3, appears to help normalize heart rhythm and reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Recent studies also mention that the omega-3 in flaxseed can help lower blood pressure.

3. Reducing inflammation

Inflammation that usually accompanies asthma and Parkinson's disease, is thought to be reduced by alpha linoleic acid (ALA) compounds and lignans contained in flaxseed. The content of flaxseed is also said to prevent plaque formation in the arteries, which can prevent heart attacks and strokes.

4. Slows down the development of cancer cells

Based on laboratory studies, substances in flaxseed appear to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, such as colon, breast, skin and prostate cancer. The content of lignans in flaxseed is thought to provide protection from breast cancer. Researchers believe that consuming lignans from adolescence can help reduce breast cancer risk and increase life expectancy in breast cancer sufferers.

5. Stabilizes blood sugar levels

In one study, intake of flaxseed three times a day for 3 months, was shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study showed that regular intake of flaxseed powder for one month reduced fasting blood sugar levels.

6. Lose weight

The benefits of flaxseed can also help you lose weight because it is rich in fiber and other healthy fats. Suitable for those of you who want to slim down.

Flaxseeds can also help increase metabolism, lower the risk of digestive problems, and increase obesity.

7. Increase immunity

The alpha-linolenic acid and lignans found in flaxssed can increase the immune response in the body and prevent inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and an autoimmune disorder called lupus.

8. Reducing menopause symptoms

The lignans in flaxseed can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because of their estrogenic properties, and thus reduce menopausal symptoms and arthritis in menopausal women.

9. Relieves arthritis symptoms

So far, flaxseed has been the choice of some patients with rheumatism or rheumatoid arthritis to help relieve symptoms of joint pain and stiffness. It is thought that the alpha linoleic acid (ALA) content in flaxseeds can help reduce inflammation, which leads to this property.

Tips for Eating Flaxseed

Make sure to consume crushed flaxseed, because in whole form these seeds can leave the digestive tract without being digested properly. Unprocessed raw flaxseed may contain toxins. Therefore, cook flaxseeds together with other foods to destroy any toxins that may be contained in them. You can add flaxseed to biscuits, cakes, or bread before baking.

However, make sure not to overdo it. Consumption of flaxseed about 50 grams or 5 tablespoons per day, is considered sufficient. Add a teaspoon of flaxseed to breakfast cereal, or to mayonnaise on a sandwich. Flaxseed will also add fiber and flavor to yogurt as a snack or dessert.

To get the health benefits of flaxseed, consume these seeds regularly. But if you have certain health conditions, consult a nutritionist before consuming flaxseed.

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