Are you someone who is trying to lose weight for like forever? Have you tried various types of diet plans to lose weight but have not been successful? Do you live a hectic life that does not give you too much time to work out? If you have answered yes to the above questions, you sure must be rather frustrated about the extra weight that you are carrying and may want to lose that extra weight as soon as possible, no matter what it takes. Well, would you believe us if we tell you that a flaxseed meal is all that you will need? Yes, with flax seeds, weight loss is possible and it is quite an easy thing to do.
What are Flax Seeds?
Flax seeds are one of the oldest discovered super foods. It would be quite surprising for you to know that the flax seeds nutrition facts were known to making for over 6,000 years. Yes, that’s how old the consumption of flax seeds dates back to.
Also known as linseeds, these flax seeds are basically small, brown or golden colored seeds, known to be the best source of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids. This omega 3 fatty acid found in the flax seeds is known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a component that is responsible for weight loss and many other benefits. An amazing source of protein and fiber, the nutrition content of flax seeds goes much beyond your expectation.
There are various flax seed benefits but the fact that is quite effective in weight loss is making it quite popular today.
How Flax Seeds Promote Weight Loss?
Flax seeds are considered to be very effective in supporting and promoting weight loss. Flax seeds weight loss is possible mainly because of the fiber content of the seeds. The fiber in the seeds will make you feel full and offer other weight loss benefits as well. Also, the omega-3 fatty acids and the lignan contained in the flax seeds will contribute to weight loss.
The best thing about flaxseed meal nutrition is the fact that a teaspoon of flax seeds has only 37 calories so you can quite easily incorporate this into your daily meals without going over your calorie intake constraints. So basically, consuming flax seeds will not essentially require you to make huge changes in your daily diet routine. Hence, it is a simple approach to weight loss.
We all know that fiber rich foods have a great impact on our weight loss regime. One of the reasons for this is that fiber stabilizes your blood sugar levels. Now, the thing is that flax seeds contain a huge amount of fiber – about 25%. There is also about 12% mucilage, a substance that is known to lower blood cholesterol levels. The high fiber content of the flax seeds makes them gentle and powerful laxatives that clean your colon of all the toxic waste that may get accumulated. So, basically your bowel functions optimally and this will, in turn, contribute to weight loss.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that flax seeds promote loss immensely and are also one of the most valued functional foods that you can find today. Typically, a functional food is that which provides additional health benefits over its nutritional benefits and flax seeds quite perfectly fit the bill. As mentioned above, it is rather easy to add a teaspoon of ground flax seeds to your diet without making too many changes. You can simply sprinkle it on your salad, soup or yogurt and enjoy a delicious yet weight-losing meal!
Prefer Ground Flax Seeds over Whole Flax Seeds
One thing that is worth a mention here is the fact that the ground flax seeds are always a better choice than the whole flax seeds. What happens here is that the whole flax seeds tend to pass through your digestive canal without getting digested and that way the benefits of flax seeds cannot be fully enjoyed.
Another important thing to make note of here is that your flax seed benefits can only be derived when you grind your flax seeds fresh. This means you should grind the flax seeds just before consuming and not stock ground flax seeds. This is because; the flax seeds contain a type of oil that tends to start oxidizing the moment it comes in contact with air.
Fiber in Flax Seeds – Flax seeds weight loss
Dietary fiber is one of the most important weight loss component found in foods that promote weight loss. When talking about flax seeds nutrition, you cannot miss out on the fiber content. Just as little as a tablespoon of flax seeds contains over 2 grams of dietary fiber, which is quite good enough. As per a study in Journal Appetite, 2012, a drink that contained 2.5 grams of flax seed fiber promoted weight loss by suppressing the appetite of the participants.
Now, you may wonder how a flaxseed meal will promote weight loss. Well, it is the fiber in the flax seeds that works the magic. The dietary fiber will make you feel full almost instantly and this would mean, it will become easier for you to eat less. Also, the flax seed’s soluble fiber will slow down your digestion process and also prevent the glucose from spiking up your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels remain under control, you can experience more weight loss because any excess sugar absorbed by your body is stored as fat. Another negative effect of the high blood sugar level is that it triggers the release of insulin in your body which tells your body to stop breaking down stored fat. This would mean, your body won’t burn excess fat.
Flax seed benefits here go much beyond what you have read above. The dietary (soluble) fiber in the flax seeds is also fermented by the bacteria in your colon and this basically, promotes the growth of good bacteria.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Flax Seeds – Flax seeds weight loss
Flax seeds contain the omega 3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. This is an essential omega 3 fatty acid. Your body converts some of this ALA into eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA. Both these EPA and DHA play a significant role in lowering your risk of cardiovascular diseases. But you may wonder what flax seeds benefits here are with regard to weight loss so well, the omega 3 fatty acids are also known to prevent obesity. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013, omega 3 fatty acids promote the production of the hormone adiponectin.
This hormone, produced by fat cells, regulates the metabolism of lipids as well as glucose. If your body is not producing enough adiponectin, it may contribute to insulin dysfunction. With one tablespoon of flax seeds, you will get 1.6 grams of ALA, as much as a man’s body needs throughout the day and above the minimal requirement for a woman, which stands at 1.1 grams.
Lignans in Flax Seeds – Flax seeds weight loss
There are only two significant sources of lignans – the sesame seeds and the flax seeds. But yes, flax seeds benefits are better here as they contain about 8 times more lignans than sesame seeds. Lignans are antioxidants that promote heart health by reducing cholesterol levels in your body.
When it comes to weight loss, a report in the British Journal of Nutrition, 2010 provides that lignans lower the blood levels of lipid and glucose. This protects your body against metabolic syndrome. Also, because they help in reducing glucose levels in your body, you may lose weight as your calorie intake will fall below your calories used for energy.
Things to Keep In Mind Regarding Flax seeds nutrition
In general, flax seeds are rather safe for consumption by all people. However, there are a few concerns too that you should be mindful about –
- Flax seeds tend to have a laxative effect. This means you should consume them in control else you may encounter side effects such as diarrhoea, gas formation and abdominal pain
- Pregnant women are not recommended to have flax seeds as they contain phytoestrogens
- People with diabetes, any kind of a bleeding disorder, bowel obstruction or any other chronic health concern, it is advisable to check with your medical practitioner before you start consuming flax seeds
Major Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
The flax seed benefits go beyond just weight loss. If you want to know what is flax seed good for, you may want to understand the flax seed nutrition content better. Nevertheless, here are some of the best health benefits of flaxseed –
Flax seeds are high in fiber but low in carbs
This is one of the best benefits of flax seeds. Flax seeds contain high levels of mucilage. This water soluble fiber has amazing benefits in promoting digestive health.
Mucilage basically helps to keep food for longer in your stomach and this implies more nutrient absorption.
Flax seeds for healthy skin and hair
2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and about 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil can contribute wonderfully to your skin and hair.
The ALA fats and the vitamin B benefit the skin by reducing dryness and flakiness. Flax seed oil keeps your skin and hair hydrated, acting as a natural moisturizer.
Flax seeds for weight loss
As per a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, flax seeds contribute immensely to weight loss. Flax seeds make you feel full and satiated.
This means you will eat less and this significantly promotes weight loss.
Flax seeds lower cholesterol levels
The soluble fiber contained in flax seeds can trap the fat and cholesterol in your digestive system. It also traps bile. This bile can then be excreted through the digestive system.
This forces your body to make more of bile, which in turn uses up more cholesterol, thereby lowering the overall cholesterol levels.
Flax seeds promote your digestive health
The best of flax seeds benefits is the fact that it is a great stimulator to promote digestive health. The ALA contained in the flax seeds can protect the lining of the digestive tract and also maintain the gastrointestinal health.
The high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber also contributes to the improvement of digestive health.
Apart from above, flax seeds are also beneficial for fighting cancer, menopausal symptoms and improving your overall health.
Flax Seeds Weight Loss Benefits
Here are some of the most important flax seeds benefits for weight loss –
- Flax seeds help in lowering the blood cholesterol levels.
- Just 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds in your everyday diet can boost your weight loss
- A flaxseed meal is low in carbohydrates and high in other essential nutrients such as vitamin B, dietary fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. All of this contributes to making you less hungry and keeping you feeling full and satiated.
Tips on How to use flax seeds
It is possible to lose weight with flax seeds but you need to use the flax seeds right. Here are some quick tips to help you here –
- You can grind the flax seeds and keep them refrigerated for about 24 hours. Don’t consume ground flax seeds beyond 24 hours as they will then start losing their potency.
- You can replace about 15% of the wheat flour in most of your recipes with ground flax seeds. However, you may have to increase the amount of yeast in the recipe.
- Flaxseeds can also be used as a substitute for eggs in some recipes. For replacing each egg, you need to mix 1 tablespoon of flax seeds to 3 tablespoons of liquid.
- You can replace 1 tablespoon of margarine with 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds.
- Add ground flax seeds powder to anything such as the whole wheat pancakes, muffins or oatmeal. You can even sprinkle it on yogurt or your tuna salad.
While flax seeds weight loss may seem to be quite achievable, making sure that you use the flax seeds the right way is equally important.