The 5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Flaxseed

Linum usitatissimum is the scientific name of flaxseeds -a flowering plant belonging to the Linaceae family. In common terms, flaxseed is also known as linseed and common flax. These are native to two of the world’s cooler regions -Asia and Southern Europe, where they are grown as food crops.

There are two varieties of flaxseeds -differentiated on the basis of color and slightly of taste. The two colors are reddish-brown and golden yellow. They both share a nutty flavor but the brown linseeds have a relatively earthy taste.

Flaxseeds are used in a variety of food items including pasta, bread, cereals, etc. They can also be added to regular foods soup, smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal. Other than food it is also used in textile production. The type of fabric produced from flax is known as linen, which is usually used for underclothes and bedsheets. Moreover, flax oil is also used in printing inks, paints, coatings, brake linings, and soap.

The surge in demand for linseed oil increased the oil extraction activity which also augmented its by-products -flax meal or cake, that can be used as fertilizers and animal feed.

Flaxseed is available and consumed in a variety of forms like crushed, whole, milled, grounded, and oil. All of these forms are used in cooking. However, the grounded form is considered to be the most beneficial as it is easy for the body to digest and obtain the benefits from.

Health Benefits of Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are packed with amazing health benefits that have granted them various names including wonder food, superfood, and functional food. They are rich in fiber, proteins, healthy fatty acids, and a variety of other nutrients. Flaxseeds are the biggest source of plant lignans which grant flax exceptional health benefits. They are effective against heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, and a variety of other diseases.

These health benefits are not new to human beings. Flaxseeds have been around since the early 3000 BC. Initially, it was grown and consumed in Babylon. Later in the 8th century, the ruler of the time -King Charlemange became a staunch advocate of the health benefits of linseed that he even passed a law, forcing his people to consume it.

Even centuries later, today, flaxseed is considered equally beneficial, which has made it a center of study for most researchers. Find out below what researchers have found so far.  

1. Reduces The Risk Factors of Cancer

Cancer is characterized by abnormal division and growth of cells that damage healthy tissues and organs in the body. Cancer can spread throughout the body, destroying all the healthy cells and organs. It is the second biggest cause of death in humans around the world.

Recent researches have shown the ability of flaxseeds dietary supplements to protect against colon, prostate, and breast cancer. It is attributed to the presence of omega-3 fatty acid which inhibits the growth of tumor cells.

Moreover, the peptides or linusorbs in the flaxseed have shown some anti-cancer properties. The researchers are of the view that the linusorbs show anticancer activity in several  tumor  cell  types,  including  breast  cancer,  gastric  cancer, brain  cancers  and  skin  cancer.

The lignans in flaxseed strengthen the shield against cancers that affect the hormones, which saves you from having to consume synthetic drugs like Tamoxifen. It has also been suggested that the consumption of sufficient lignan when transitioning into adulthood mitigates the chances of breast cancer. The other antioxidant properties of flaxseeds also contribute to fighting cancer cells.

Flaxseed are found to have a considerable amount of phytic acid. Phytic acid is rich in phosphorus and has a high chelating capacity. Chelating capacity refers to the ability to absorb heavy metals. Due to its chelating property, phytic acid is known to cause a mineral deficiency in the body when consumed regularly and in a large amount. However, it is also observed to reduce the risk factor of colon cancer.

2. Prevent From Heart Diseases

Omega-3 fatty acids are super helpful for the cardiovascular system as they significantly reduce inflammation and maintain a normal heartbeat.

Some researchers have demonstrated a positive effect of flaxseed on body pressure which is accredited to the amino acids and omega-3 acids found in linseed. Omega-3 intercepts the hardening of arteries and reduces the chances of plaques in the arteries by keeping the White Blood Cells (WBCs) from adhering to their walls.

Since omega-3 has been observed to be effective in maintaining the normal rhythm of the heart, it can also be used to treat an irregular heartbeat. However, we still need more research to confirm this effect and functionality of linseed.

Flaxseeds dietary supplements regulate cholesterol levels and reduce the bad cholesterol in the blood. Bad cholesterol exposes you to a number of health risks like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc. Thus, linseed reduces one of the major risk factors of these diseases.

A study was conducted to test this effect of linseed. The study involved several hypercholesterolemic menopausal women who consumed 38 g flaxseed during two 6-weeks periods, in the forms of breads and muffins, as part of the daily diet, . The results showed a decrease in total and bad cholesterol (LDL). The HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) was unaffected by the treatment.

3. Helps Treat Diabetes

The soluble fiber and the lignan content in the flaxseed are considered to be effective in reducing blood glucose levels. The phytic acid, contained in the flaxseeds, also contributes to reducing blood glucose

We have several pieces of research that back the anti-glycemic properties of flaxseed. One such research was conducted on 36 patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. They were given 360 mg linseed lignan extract for 12 weeks. The observations showed some degree of improvement in the patients glycemic control without disturbing insulin sensitivity.

Another study was conducted on six healthy people who they were given 50 g ground, raw flaxseed/d for 4 weeks. The results showed a 27% decrease in blood glucose level after the consumption. Another similar study was conducted 2 years later, using the same procedure with the only difference of incorporation method. The results, however, were the same.

4. Relieves Inflammatory Condition

Flaxseed nutraceuticals contain Phenolic compounds like phenolic acid and Flavonoids. This composition grants flaxseed some amazing therapeutic effects like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-allergenic.

Linseed is known to mitigate and fight agents of inflammation like the lipid mediators from omega-6 fatty acids, and cytokines, which in turn reduces inflammatory responses. This is especially effective against lupus, rheumatoid Arthritis, and Raynaud’s phenomenon.  

The lignan and the α-linolenic acid of the omega-3 fatty acids, in flaxseed also relieve inflammation caused by asthma and Parkinson’s disease.  

Linseeds’ ability to inhibit plaque buildup also reduces the chances of inflammation caused due to it, which further prevents strokes and cardiac arrests.

Researchers conducted a study on 15 healthy males. The participants were given flaxseed oil and spread for 4 weeks with an average dose of 13.7g. The results showed cramping of Tumour Necrosis Factor – an inflammatory cytokine released from inflammatory cells and promoted the production of Interleukin-1-beta by 30%. This indicates that flaxseed can be used to treat various inflammatory conditions.

5. Helps in Weight Loss

Researchers are divided on flaxseeds’ ability to reduce weight, though there are certain logical reasoning to believe that they are effective in weight loss.

Linseeds have a high protein and fiber content. Consuming food rich in these nutrients makes you feel full for an unusually extended period -or controls appetite. This helps you in regulating your intake in terms of both quantity and frequency, which helps in cutting calories.

Moreover, high fiber content helps with digestion as it keeps the food moving and the colon obstruction-free. This aspect also helps in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the chances of obesity.

The Alpha-linolenic acid, which makes up about 60% of flaxseed – is a type of omega-3 fatty acids that helps in weight management. According to research conducted in 2017, flaxseed has the ability to reduce weight in obese patients.


  • Flaxseed is known for its health benefits for a long time.
  • It is loaded with nutrients like fiber, proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Flaxseeds are low in carb and can be a great help in weight management.
  • Linseed is effective against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • It can also reduce the chances of inflammatory conditions and cancer.

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