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8 Useful Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are a very old crop. Its cultivation goes back a very long time in the history of human civilization. The health benefits of eating flax seeds were established way before the advent of modern society. In fact, history says that Charles The Great encouraged his subjects to consume flax seed for its health benefits. Flax seeds are packed with several active ingredients.(1) As more scientific research points to its various health benefits, flax seeds have emerged as a “superfood”. Let us look into the nutrients that is loaded in flax seeds and also the benefits it has.

Key Ingredients in Flax Seeds

Modern studies have adequately proven that these tiny seeds are loaded with nutrients like the following ones:(2)

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fiber
  4. Fats
  5. Omega 3 fatty acids
  6. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
  7. Vitamin B1 and Thiamine
  8. Calcium
  9. Folate
  10. Iron
  11. Magnesium
  12. Potassium
  13. Phosphorus

A daily intake of one tablespoon of flax seeds which is roughly about 7 gms is enough to provide you with all the required nutrients for your body.

8 Useful Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

If you are still in doubt, it is time you get to know all about the benefits of consuming these seeds regularly.

  1. Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 fatty acid, also known as “good fats” is one of the most important nutrients required for a healthy heart, muscle development, cell development, and damaged cell replenishment. Since the body is unable to produce the nutrient on its own, it has to absorb the same from the dietary intake. Flax seeds are rich in this nutrient.(2) Hence, they help to improve the overall health of the body and also enhance the immune system. It helps to reduce inflammation and also control the growth of tumors.
  2. Flax Seeds are Beneficial in Reducing the Risk of Cancer: These tiny seeds are a rich source of Lignans. This is a powerful antioxidant that also has estrogen properties. Both these factors can help to reduce the risk of cancer. Flax seeds contain about 800 times more lignans than are found in foods from other plant sources. It is considered to be highly beneficial for women in their post-menopausal state to reduce the risk of breast cancer. In males, it reduces the risk of prostate cancer.(2,3)
  3. Rich Source of Fiber: Flax seeds contain both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. 100Gm of flax seeds provide 27Gm of fibre. The soluble fiber helps to control different health aspects like blood sugar level and blood pressure level. On the other hand, insoluble fiber helps to improve bowel movement. It helps to keep your guts clean and strong promoting better gut health.(4)
  4. Health Benefits of Flax Seeds for Improving Cholesterol Levels: It has been seen that the soluble fiber present in flax seeds binds with the bile salt at the time of being excreted from the body.(1) To replenish the levels of this bile salt, cholesterol is pulled back into the liver from the blood. This helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level.
  5. Flax Seeds are Beneficial in Reducing Blood Pressure: Investigations into the domain have pointed out the fact that consuming flax seeds help to reduce the blood pressure level in your body.(1) Studies show that eating flax seeds in limited quantities helps to reduce blood pressure considerably.
  6. High Protein Content: 100gm of flax seeds contains 18.29 gms of protein. Flax seeds are one of the best vegan sources of protein. Very little other plant-based food can compete with them in terms of the protein content they offer. It is a source rich in amino acids, aspartic acids, arginine, and glutamic acid.(1) This is why people who follow a vegan diet must include these tiny seeds in their diets for the entire protein intake they require.
  7. Health Benefits of Flax Seeds for Controlling Blood Sugar Levels: Flax seeds can be extremely helpful in controlling type 2 blood sugar. It is the insoluble fiber in flax seeds that helps to contain blood sugar levels in the body.(1)
  8. Weight Management Benefits of Flax Seeds: Since flax seeds are rich in fiber content digesting them takes a good amount of time. Hence, you can feel fuller after eating them. This is one property that helps in weight management as it effectively keeps the hunger pangs at bay. In this context, the soluble fiber in the seeds comes to use to keep your appetite satiated for a long while.(4)

Flax seeds can be consumed in their seed form by dry roasting them and having it as a snack or make a powder of it and adding it to you curries or in the bread dough or in your salads. You can also consume flax seed oil which also harbors nutrition.

Uses of Flax Seed Oil

This is a new food item that is fast gaining popularity in different parts of the world. As the name of the product suggests, this oil is attained out of cold pressing flax seeds. The oil is used for cooking and dressings of salads. Flax seed oil is rich in ALA.(1) It is best to use this oil only for low-temperature cooking. You can use it for frying vegetables or preparing any recipe alone if you wish to get the maximum benefit out of it. Keep this oil in dark bottles in cool dark places away from harsh light. However, even then flax seed oil cannot provide you with the rich fiber that is present in whole flax seeds.


Flax seeds are more than just a nutrient-packed food item. It has an essential nutty flavor that adds a rich aroma to curries, salads, and other culinary items. Flax seeds are available in two varieties –white seeds and brown seeds. However, in terms of taste and nutrients both the variants are equally good.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 15, 2022

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