When you begin changing your diet to become healthier, there are a lot of unknowns. What can I eat? What can I drink? What defines healthy and unhealthy foods? These are all questions that are commonly asked by people that are starting their health journey.
These questions may seem simple, but the world of weight loss can often be tricky and difficult to manage. This isn’t meant to scare or discourage you. Weight loss takes a lot of planning and effort, but the results are well worth it.
Movement, as opposed to exercise specifically, and dieting are the two biggest factors during a weight loss routine. A healthy meal low on sugar and calories will go a long way towards reaching your goal in terms of dieting. Many people think salads, organic foods, and juice cleanses are the key to a good weight loss diet. While those things are very beneficial to your health, one of your best friends is actually something a lot smaller: flax seeds.
Flax seeds have been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. You may not realize it, but you’ve likely been eating flax seeds for your entire life. From crackers to biscuits to oatmeal, flax seeds are an ingredient in some of the most commonly consumed foods in the world.
The world of flax seeds might be one of the biggest industries you’ve never heard of. The Flax Council of Canada and Ameriflax (yes, there are actual councils on flax) have reported continued growth in production and consumption for years now, and it is only projected to go up.
Flax seeds have only recently become a worldwide phenomenon, mainly because of the long list of health benefits that come with consuming them. For one, they are a huge help for weight loss and can help support your overall health.
Before we get into the details about flax seeds and weight loss, we feel like we aren’t doing our due diligence if we don’t mention some other benefits. There are TONS, so we’ve narrowed it down to what we believe are the most important and has the most research to back it up.
There are so many benefits to eating flax seeds we don’t have the room to list them all. Seriously. That’s how awesome these seeds are. Remember, the following list is based on the consumption of flax seeds by themselves, not in oatmeal or other foods that they are an ingredient in.
If you can’t already tell, flax seeds contain many nutrients. When we say a lot, we mean it.
When plugged into the Nutrition Data Calculator, just one tablespoon will (roughly) give you:
As you can see, just one tablespoon of flax seeds packs a lot of nutritional action! If you have not yet shared our enthusiasm for flax seeds, don’t worry. Nutrients and weight loss aren’t the only things flax seeds are good for.
Let’s cover the other health benefits that flax seeds offer.
During a recent study, it was found that women who consume flax seeds at least weekly are likely to have a significantly lower chance of developing early-stage breast cancer. This was the first study conducted on the relationship between breast cancer and flax seeds, but the early results are very promising.
Another study conducted by a similar group attempted to see if flax seeds related to a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer in men. The sample size was small, but it was concluded that the participating men that consumed roughly 30 grams of flax seeds daily showed reduced signs of a prostate cancer marker.
Again, the pool of participants was small, but the results were still shockingly positive. Anything that helps the fight against cancer is a big win for humanity. For something as small and cheap as flax seeds, there is no reason not to go out and buy yourself some flax.
During another study that examined people with high cholesterol, it was found that three daily tablespoons of flax seeds significantly lowered cholesterol levels and blood pressure. That’s only three tablespoons per day in your goal towards a healthier lifestyle.
Between getting a lot of your daily nutrients in one tablespoon, cancer risk reduction, and lower cholesterol levels, we highly encourage you to go to your local supermarket and pick up some flax seeds.
Now that we’ve gone over the seemingly endless benefits of eating flax seeds, it’s time to talk about how they can help with weight loss.
The key to it all? Fiber.
As we mentioned before, one tablespoon contains a lot of fiber. Fiber is super important for weight loss, as it allows you to feel full for longer periods of time and it helps move food through your digestive tract.
In addition to fiber, flax seeds contain a notable amount of lignin and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Don’t forget the lowered cholesterol as well!
To summarize: a tablespoon (or two) of flax seeds daily or even a couple of times a week can make a huge difference in your weight loss or general health goals. If you’re trying to gain muscle, the protein and calories will take care of that. If you’re trying to lose weight, the fiber and acids have got you covered. Flax seeds really are superfoods.
It looks like you’re ready to begin your journey. If you’ve already started, then you’re ready to kick it up a notch with some flax seeds.
After all the information we’ve gone through, you’re probably wondering how to keep track of it all.
Well, it’s easy with Able. Record your progress, diet, and more with an easy-to-use system built specifically for you. With Able, you can get an accurate estimate of when your goals will be completed with some friendly encouragement along the way.
Are you looking to keep track of your weight loss journey? Able has got your back!
Flaxseed: Little Seed, Big Benefits | Cleveland Clinic
The Flax Council of Canada | FCC
Flaxseed Nutrition Facts and Calories (Calculator) | NutritionData
Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk | PubMed
Pilot study to explore effects of low-fat, flaxseed-supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific antigen | PubMed
Evaluation of flaxseed formulation as a potential therapeutic agent in mitigation of dyslipidemia | PubMed