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Health Benefits of Flaxseeds

If any spice, seed or nut deserves the name ‘superfood’ – it’s certainly flaxseeds. Packed with essential nutrients that provide multiple health benefits, this tiny seed is an awesome thing to include in your diet. Plus, coming in three different forms, flaxseeds are super easy to add to breakfast, lunch and more.


Nutritional Composition of Flaxseed

One of the wonderful things about flaxseed is that its nutrient profile is so robust and well-rounded. While some spices have a higher concentration of individual nutrients, flaxseed has a handful of healthy components, including iron, potassium, folate, magnesium, choline, phosphorus, calcium and niacin.

Plus, many folks are surprised to learn that flaxseeds are a source of protein, as well! A quarter-cup serving contains 8 grams of protein. And since it’s a seed, this counts as plant-based protein – great news for folks following a vegan diet or simply trying to reduce animal-based consumption.

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds

Bring on the benefits! Flaxseed is full of them. Take a look at the many ways flaxseed can be used to improve health and wellbeing.

  • Heart Health – Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (those are the good fats!), which can help lower the risk of heart attack.
  • Lower Cholesterol & Blood Sugar – Likewise, this superfood is commonly used to lower total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins. Flaxseed has been linked to a decrease in fasting glucose, making it a tool for helping control blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Weight Loss – Extremely high in dietary fiber, flaxseed can dramatically improve digestion and lead to more efficient weight management.
  • Reduce Cancer Risk – Lignans are plant proteins that have been studied for their potential link to anti-cancer properties. Flaxseed can have 75–800 times more lignans than many other plant foods.

Flaxseed Comes in Several Forms

Flaxseed is sold in three forms – whole, ground, and oil. Most dieticians recommend ground flaxseed over whole flaxseed simply because it’s easier for the body to digest. Sometimes, whole seeds can pass through the intestine, meaning you do not get all the potential nutrients you thought you were getting from a meal with flaxseed in it. While whole flaxseed can be enjoyed as is, it can also be ground at home using a food processor or coffee grinder.

Flaxseed oil is another option – a great choice for folks who like to cook or bake. Flaxseed oil may have different concentrations of nutrients, so be sure to check the label when calculating the nutritional benefits of flaxseed oil.

Easy Ways to Add Flaxseeds to Your Diet

There are so many ways to add flaxseed into your diet – and most are quite easy!

  • Add a tablespoon of flaxseed (ground or whole) to breakfast cereal or oatmeal.
  • Bake ground flaxseed into cookies, muffins, and breads.
  • Mix ground flaxseed into sandwich spreads, like mayonnaise, mustard, or chutney.
  • Toss roasted veggies in flaxseed oil.
  • Drizzle flaxseed oil on top of toasted bread as a replacement for butter or olive oil.


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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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