Thought to be the oldest fiber crop in the world, flaxseed, also known as linseed, has astonishing health benefits. Packed with omega-3 acids, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals like lignans, protein and essential vitamins, it is highly effective in fighting many diseases. Just two tablespoons of these tiny brown seeds are enough to get your daily dose of heart-healthy fats.

How Do Flaxseeds Help?
Emerging research suggests that the health-boosting properties of flaxseeds can help in fighting:

1. Cancer: Studies have highlighted the protective effects of flaxseeds against breast, prostate and colon cancer. The omega-3 acids present in them inhibit the growth of tumors. The lignans present in the seeds have antiangiogenic properties, which prevent the tumors from forming new blood vessels, stunting their growth and spread.[1]

2. Blood Sugar & Diabetes: Lignans present in flaxseeds are a boon for diabetics, as they help in managing blood sugar levels.[2]

3. Cholesterol: Flaxseeds can lower your cholesterol levels drastically. High levels of LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’, increase your risk for heart disease. The cholesterol-lowering benefits of flaxseeds arise from the combined benefits of lignans, fiber and omega-3 acids. [2]

4. Heart Disease: Flaxseeds not only protect you from inflammation, but also stabilize an irregular heartbeat. The omega-3s guard against plaque formation and thickening of the arteries. [3]

5. Hot Flashes: A study carried out with post-menopausal women shows that eating flaxseeds regularly may lower the incidence of hot flashes.[4] Flaxseeds also improve digestive health, aid in weight loss, reduce bone damage and improve immunity.

How To Add Flaxseeds To Your Diet
Available all year-round, you can buy flaxseeds whole, roasted, or in granular form. Here’s how you can add it to your foods:

  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of ground or whole flaxseeds to your morning bowl of cereal or oatmeal.
  • Ground flaxseeds make a tasty addition to your sandwich mustard or mayonnaise.
  • You can also blend a tablespoon into your smoothies and juices.
  • Or just sprinkle it over your salads, soups and yogurt.
  • Their nutty taste can enhance the flavor of your baked goods.

With so many easy ways to include flaxseeds in your daily diet, reaping their health benefits may only be a spoonful away. Get started, now!

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

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1. Lowcock EC, Cotterchio M, Boucher BA. Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Apr;24(4):813-6. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0155-7. Epub 2013 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 23354422.

2. Thakur G, Mitra A, Pal K, Rousseau D. Effect of flaxseed gum on reduction of blood glucose and cholesterol in type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 6:126-36. PubMed PMID: 19548163.

3. Rodriguez-Leyva D, Dupasquier CM, McCullough R, Pierce GN. The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):489-96. Review. PubMed PMID: 21076723; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2989356.

4. Pruthi S, Thompson SL, Novotny PJ, Barton DL, Kottschade LA, Tan AD, Sloan JA, Loprinzi CL. Pilot evaluation of flaxseed for the management of hot flashes. J Soc Integr Oncol. 2007 Summer;5(3):106-12. PubMed PMID: 17761129.