The cultivation of flax has been found in the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea for many thousands of years.
But its origin is believed to trace back to even about 10,000 BC, during a period known as the Neolithic Era (1).
Nowadays, its production is ubiquitous, with some of the leading producers being Canada, Russia and France.
Therefore, because of its popularity, it is clear that flaxseed has a lot of applications in human daily life.
Even in ancient times, despite lack of scientific evidence, human beings were well aware of flax seed benefits.
For example, flax fibers were made use of to create clothing and products related to textile.
But in general, health benefits of flaxseed attract more attention than any other aspect, which mainly come from its nutritional value.
Nutrition facts of flaxseed have a powerful say over its health benefits.
Specifically, 100 grams of flaxseed provides 534 calories (2).
Nearly half (42 percent) of flaxseed content is fat, followed by carbs and protein with 29 and 18 percent, respectively.
Most carbs in flaxseed are fiber, which make up for 95 percent.
Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which makes it suitable to deal with some problems related to digestion and cholesterol.
Besides, protein in flaxseed, along with some types of important amino acids, is responsible for many of its health benefits on the immunity.
Last but not least, fat is an important part of flaxseed and 73 percent of it is taken by polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Flaxseed is also known as an abundant source of vitamins and essential minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus or vitamin B1.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Below are top 10 health benefits of flaxseed that have been summarized after thousands of years of cultivating this seed.
They all aim to help you make the best use of it to stay healthy.
1. Improve Digestion
One of the best health benefits of flaxseed is to strengthen your digestive system.
You can say that you have problems with digestion when you suffer from diarrhea or constipation.
Diarrhea affects around 2-7 percent of the U.S population, while constipation threatens up to 42 million people (5).
With a richness of fiber, flaxseed is claimed to serve as a laxative agent, which enhances bulk to your digestive waste.
Relieving constipation is one of the best-known benefits of flaxseed oil (6).
Bottom Line: When it comes to flaxseed oil benefits, the prevention against constipation and diarrhea is one of the most outstanding.
2. Weight Loss
To aid weight loss might be one of the best health benefits of flaxseed that have been searched for many centuries.
Soluble fiber is the main reason why the combination of flaxseed and water is very sticky.
In addition, flaxseed reduces the risk of inflammation, which is one of the common catalysts for excess weight (11).
Bottom Line: To help you lose weight faster, flaxseed reduces not only your consumption of foods daily, but also inflammatory markers.
3. Lower Cholesterol
When the blood cholesterol becomes high in the body, the risk of heart disease will go up significantly.
Thus, it is important to keep the level of blood cholesterol, especially LDL or “bad” cholesterol, under the control.
This objective is also one of the best health benefits of flaxseed.
This benefit results from its high content of fiber and lignan (14).
Bottom Line: The possibility of high cholesterol and heart diseases will be lower at the same time thanks to flaxseed which contains much fiber and lignan.
4. Reduce Blood Pressure
Among the best health benefits of flaxseed, it will be a mistake if we do not mention the reduction in blood pressure.
High blood pressure is highly likely to result in cardiovascular diseases.
Bottom Line: Thanks to flaxseed, your blood pressure will witness a positive reduction, which helps you avoid heart disease.
5. Prevent Cancer
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, one of the most popular health benefits of flaxseed is to prevent cancer.
Cancer will develop more easily in the body if chronic inflammation appears.
In this case, flaxseed may diminish the risk of inflammation in a variety of body parts.
As a result, it is effective in preventing cancer cells in the breast or colon (17).
In particular, the prevention against colon cancer should be referred as one of flaxseed oil benefits (18).
For male, prostate cancer is one of the most common fatal problems.
Some studies concluded that flaxseed could give a hand in preventing it (19).
Bottom Line: With the participation of flaxseed every day, a wide range of cancer can be stopped in advance.
6. Handle Menopause
The next among common health benefits of flaxseed is to help women deal with menopausal symptoms (20).
In one study, 140 women experiencing menopause used flaxseed for 3 months.
The results showed that the severity of this problem dropped significantly (21).
Normally, flaxseed oil is more appropriate to reduce menopause.
Note: You can add about one or two spoons of flaxseed oil into your breakfast smoothie on a daily basis.
7. Against Diabetes
In 2012, there was a report to conclude that there were 29.1 million people suffering from diabetes in the United States (22).
The information about health benefits of flaxseed on the diabete treatment will help these people and others get rid of many discomforts in life (23).
According to a number of studies, type-2-diabete patients with 10-20 grams of flaxseed on a daily basis during one month have the lower level of blood sugar (24).
In addition, whether flaxseed can help control the level of insulin and blood glucose remains uncertain (27).
Bottom Line: Though there is a need for more scientific confirmation, flaxseed is claimed to have positive effects on treating diabetes.
8. Healthier Skin
One of the greatest benefits of flaxseed oil is for the condition of our skin.
The abundance of fatty fats found in flaxseed can provide many valuable nutritional values to strengthen the skin, especially sensitive one (28).
Flaxseed oil is also common in the treatment for a series of skin problems, from acne to eczema.
To witness these benefits of flaxseed, you should combine 2 spoons of flaxseed oil every day.
Thanks to many antioxidants in flaxseed, you can fight against aging process with the help of this ingredient.
According to some studies, flaxseed can make some biological intervention to reduce inflammed and aging cells (29).
10. A Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Undeniably, omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in developing our health and mind.
Unfortunately, these acids do not exist naturally in our body and the simplest way to absorb them is to eat seafood.
But in fact, seafood is not favorite to everyone. Some even have allergies to it.
In this circumstance, flaxseed and some other seeds will be great alternative choices.
Omega-3 can lower the risk of inflammed arteries (30).
Besides, ALA in flaxseed can help you stay away from chronic kidney diseases (31).
Bottom Line: The abundance of omega-3 fatty acids constitutes many amazing health benefits of flaxseed.
Both benefits of flaxseed and benefits of flaxseed oil have been practised for ages; therefore, you can rely on it without worries.
Nevertheless, it does not mean that there should be no attention when you use this ingredient.
With the excessive consumption, flaxseed can trigger many unwanted consequences.
First, those who experience bleeding disorders are not suitable to use flaxseed because it has some effects on blood.
Secondly, its laxative quality can result in some irritating bowel syndromes.
Flaxseed is not suitable for pregnant women because of some possible adverse impacts on the baby.
On the other hand, the over-consumption of flaxseed can result in rapid breathing, weakness, or vomitting.
Therefore, it is a good idea to control your consumption of flaxseed.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.