Let’s talk about my favorite ingredient in the whole world. No, I’m not exaggerating. I absolutely love flaxseeds. I think I put them on everything that I eat and I mean everything. Chicken, fish, veggies, lentils, smoothies, juices, cottage cheese, yogurt… I’m serious- everything.
Flaxseed is called lenaza in my country (Colombia). It’s actually quite popular over there. But not necessarily for weight loss. It’s more so used as a diuretic.
My grandmother used to grind it up and put in our smoothies when we were kids, especially my sister. When we were younger, she always had a hard time going to the bathroom. When my grandma started add flaxseed to her diet, my sister felt much better.
Other than helping us go potty, we didn’t even realize how healthy flaxseeds were for our bodies.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Helps Prevent Cholesterol– Flaxseeds help fight against LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Aside from a healthy diet and exercise, consuming flaxseeds can significantly reduce you cholesterol.
Reduces Chances of Disease and Cancer– Flaxseeds contain a natural compound called lignans. Also, a high amount of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) has been found in flaxseeds. ALA helps fight cancer and other illnesses. And due to its high fiber content, flaxseed also helps fight against colon cancer as well.
Minimizes Inflammation– Flaxseeds have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s assist in reducing inflammation for people with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in the January 1996 issue that participants taking flax oil on a daily basis decreased inflammatory responses up to 30%.
Helps Fight Heart Disease– Deaths in America due to heart disease is rising because of the unhealthy diets of most Americans. And because it helps with your cholesterol, it in turn helps prevent heart disease. Flaxseeds help reduce blood clotting and helps ease blood flow, ultimately helping prevent strokes and heart attacks.
And that’s just the health end of it, we haven’t even gotten into the weight loss portion yet!
Flaxseed and Weight Loss
Only one ounce of flaxseeds have nearly 32% of your daily intake of fiber. There are a number of ways high fiber foods help you lose weight.
For one, fiber helps you go to the bathroom a lot. By having a healthy digestive system, you are better able to get rid of the foods you don’t need, while store the nutrients your body does need.
Another reason the fiber in flaxseeds help you lose weight is because fibrous foods hold in your stomach longer. This prevents you from munching on snacks and snacking when you aren’t really hungry. Essentially, you stay full longer.
A second ingredient in flaxseed is healthy fats. Many times we are warned to stay away from fats. That is true to some extent. Saturated fats, the greasy kind found in pizza and French fries, are most definitely bad for your health and you should pass on them. However, polyunsaturated fats (the fats in flaxseeds) are an important part of your daily nutrition. This too helps with the “feeling full” feeling.
While I may be biased of flaxseeds because I adore them, there is no denying how good they are for you. Don’t be afraid to be creative and think of new ways to incorporate them into you meals. Just make sure you are drinking plenty of water and sleeping a full night- essencial to any weight loss. And if you don’t like the idea of ground flaxseeds in your food, trade it with a flaxseed oil supplement. I like to take one with each meal to help with my weight loss. It never lets me down!