Top 9 health benefits of flax seeds

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Health is wealth, and indeed, it is the greatest possession of a human being. When so much food would help us lead a healthy lifestyle, why should we create a way to the hospital?

So many seeds, fruits, and foods offer the benefit of developing a healthy life if we were to follow it up in the right way. Food is the sweetest medicine, as it offers a cure for most of the health hazards we face.

What are flax seeds?

The seeds of the flax plant are known as flax seeds. They are widely hailed as functional food, as they behold the property to boost overall health.  

It is a powerful food rich in antioxidants, nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. Thus, it can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and Diabetes.

Nutritional facts about flax seeds 

100 grams of flax seeds have about 534 calories, or there are 55 calories per tablespoon (10 grams) of flax seed.

flax seed composition

According to the USDA Food Composition Database, the following nutrients are present in one tablespoon (10 grams) of whole flax seeds.

  • Calories: 55
  • Water: 7%
  • Sugar: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 1.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fat: 4.3 grams
  • Fibre: 2.8 grams

Healthy components of flax seeds  

1. Omega-3 fatty acids

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a kind of omega-3 fatty acid crucial for heart health, is present in flax seed in substantial amounts.

Since your body cannot make ALA, one of the two necessary fatty acids must come from the diet.

According to animal research, flax seed’s ALA may help lower inflammation and stop cholesterol from building up in your heart’s blood arteries.

In a recent PubMed Central research study of 8,866 persons, increased ALA consumption was linked to reduced cholesterol levels, a lower risk of type 2 Diabetes and Ischemic heart disease.

The National Institutes of Health have conducted several studies that connect ALA to a reduced risk of stroke. Furthermore, one comprehensive evaluation of 34 studies found a link between higher ALA consumption and a lower risk of dying from heart disease.

2. Carbs and fibre

Of the 29% of carbohydrates in flax seeds, 95% are fibre.

The quantity of total carbohydrates minus the amount of fibre equals the net digestible carbs, making them a low-carb meal.

20 grams of flax seeds, or two teaspoons, provide around 6 grammes of fibre. This is approximately 15% of men’s daily intake requirement and 25% of women’s daily intake requirement.

The fibre content is made up of:

  • 20–40% of soluble fibre
  • 60–80% of insoluble fibre

Blood sugar and cholesterol production are regulated by soluble fibre. Flax seed also supports digestive health.

The soluble fibre in flax seeds thickens when combined with water. This, together with the presence of insoluble fibre, makes flax seeds a natural laxative.

Flax seed consumption can help prevent constipation and lower your chance of developing Diabetes.

3. Lignans

One of the best recognised dietary sources of lignans is flax seeds, and these foods serve as phytoestrogens.

Plant substances known as phytoestrogens resemble the female sex hormone oestrogen.

Lowering blood levels of fat and glucose has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Additionally, flax seed lignans assist in lowering blood pressure, oxidative stress and artery inflammation.

The formation of numerous cancers, particularly hormone-sensitive ones including breast, uterine and prostate cancer, may be prevented by consuming lignans.

9 health benefits of flax seeds

The following are the health benefits of flax seeds.

1. Flax seeds help treat constipation and boost digestion due to their insoluble fibre content.

2. Lignans and phytoestrogens in the flax seeds may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases or conditions, such as Diabetes.

3. Phytonutrients in flax seeds strengthen joints and help reduce inflammation.

4. Flax seed reduces cholesterol levels, naturally lowering the risk of developing heart disease.

5. Flax seeds are rich in anticancer components, named Lignans, the polyphenols that minimise the risk of developing cancer.

6. There is the possibility that flax seed oil may help to reduce type 2 Diabetes (the inability to use insulin hormone to carry glucose to cells).

7. Flax seeds are highly beneficial in managing your weight. One can have a healthy weight by adding flax seeds to the diet.

8. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It benefits in improving eye health, fights depression and boosts overall health.

9. Flax seeds also aid in treating the symptoms of menopause.

Benefits of flax seeds for hair

Flax seeds are rich in vitamin E. This vitamin supports your scalp and provides substantial growth. Other benefits are listed below,

Benefits of flax seeds for skin

Flax seeds can benefit the skin in the following ways.

  • Prevents skin diseases
  • Speeds up the processes of healing (wounds)
  • Acts as a moisturiser
  • Reduces acne
  • Removes the dead cells

How to eat flax seeds?

Flax seed is a great ingredient that blends in food to enrich the taste and texture of the food.

It has a flexible nature and can also be used in the form of oil for cooking purposes. You can also innovatively add flax seed oil to a smoothie or your favourite recipes.

Flax seed tea aids in weight loss. Flax seeds with yoghurt boost the metabolism and serve as a perfect recipe for weight loss. Apart from adding it to a recipe, flax seeds work well on an empty stomach. Add flax seeds into a cup of water and leave it till the morning. Strain the water and drink it in the morning. This provides the adequate nutrition required for the day and promotes overall health.

Ways to include flax seeds in your diet

Breakfast cereal

Adding flax seeds over hot cereal like oatmeal or sprinkled over cold cereal may start your morning with a healthy dosage of Omega-3-fatty acids.


Flax seeds offer a somewhat nutty taste that is not overpowering. For an additional 2 grams of protein, stir 1 tablespoon of whole flax seeds into your morning smoothie.

Veggie salads

Create an omega-3-rich vinaigrette using flax oil to go with any salad. Topping the salad with natural seeds will provide extra fibre and a satisfying crunch.

Protein salads

Mix ground flax seeds into the dressing while making tuna, chicken or egg salad.


Add a spoonful of ground flax seed to soups as a garnish for a subtly nutty taste and delicious crunch.

Stew or porridge

Stir some crushed flax seeds into a hearty casserole, porridge or stew to provide fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Risk factors of flax seeds  

Not everyone will benefit from the nutrients in flax seed. People should not consume flax seed and its products; they are

  • Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Using blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Using cholesterol-lowering medication
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Having a hormone-sensitive uterine or breast cancer
  • Allergic to flax seeds

In general, those who consume flax seed should

  • Avoid eating raw or unripe flax seeds since they might be poisonous.
  • Only eat flax seed ground with lots of fluid to avoid stomach issues.
  • Only buy small quantities and store them in the fridge, because flax seed oil can spoil fast.
  • Not use flax seed oil after the labelled expiration date.
  • Not heat flax seed. Don’t cook with the oil; add it to already prepared food.

Side effects of using flax seeds 

1. Allergic reactions

Some people claim that eating too many flax seeds causes allergic reactions. The most common allergic responses to flax seeds are prolonged breathing obstruction, low blood pressure and anaphylaxis. Vomiting, nausea and stomach discomfort are some other effects.

2. Diarrhea

Flax seeds promote regular, healthy bowel motions and relieve constipation when consumed in moderation. However, if consumed in excessive amounts, these fibre-rich seeds may cause Diarrhoea. And individuals who already have digestive issues should avoid eating flax seeds.

3. Intestinal obstruction

According to experts, eating too many flax seeds without drinking enough water might cause intestinal blockages and obstructions. It is predicted that those with experience with such issues should stay away from these seeds.

Patients with scleroderma should be careful while consuming flax seed since it can result in severe constipation and intestinal blockage. However, people may efficiently treat scleroderma with flax seed oil.

4. Hormonal issues for women

Flax seeds frequently mimic the effects of oestrogen, which means they can disturb the body’s hormonal balance. It could also result in modifications to the menstrual cycle.

Additionally, some women may experience hormonal issues like PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), uterine fibroids, uterine cancer and ovarian disorders.

5. Unsafe for pregnant women

Flax seeds have an oestrogen-like effect that might cause menstrual periods to start. Therefore, pregnant women are not advised since these seeds might cause severe and unforeseen harm to both the mother and the child.


Flax seeds are known as “Linum usitatissimum” the word gives the meaning “the most useful”, which is well-matched with its benefits. Adding flax seeds to your food is healthy as they are highly beneficial.  

When it comes to flax plants, the seeds are always more effective than any other part of the plant. As seeds are taken straight from the hands of mother nature, there is less risk of producing side effects. However, overconsumption will also have a consequence.    


Who should avoid eating flax seeds?

Avoiding flax seed consumption is advised for those who are allergic to them or have hormone-sensitive cancers or diseases.

Can flax seeds be taken daily?

Yes, they can. Consuming flax seed daily may lower your cholesterol. An increased risk of heart disease, obesity, Diabetes and metabolic syndrome has been related to blood levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.

Does flax seed cause hair loss?

No, it does not. Flax seed causes hair growth. Applying flax seeds is one of the best strategies to reduce hair loss since they include omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It straightens hair follicles, which reduces unnecessary hair fall and breakage.

Can I eat flax seeds during pregnancy?

While pregnant, eating flax seeds in moderation is safe as part of a nutritious diet.  


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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