Health Benefits Of Flaxseeds & How To Include Them In Your Diet

When I first started studying nutrition, I dove headfirst into the world of “superfoods.” You’ve probably heard that term before, but let’s take a quick look at what it actually means.

Superfoods are extremely rich in nutrition (like loads of vitamins and minerals) that help you achieve better health, prevent chronic disease and make you feel all-around amazing. Plus, they are super effective for anti-aging.

There are loads of various “best superfoods” lists all over the internet, but it’s likely you won’t find a single one without flaxseeds on it.


Flaxseeds (sometimes called linseeds) are small brown, tan or golden-colored seeds. They are a great source of dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and minerals like manganese, thiamine and magnesium.

Flax is one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA). Another unique fact about flaxseeds is that they are the #1 source of potent antioxidants called lignans in the human diet.

Flaxseeds can be eaten as whole seeds, but they are most beneficial when ground into flaxseed meal which makes them easier for your body to absorb.

Flaxseeds are also used to make flaxseed oil, which is a concentrated source of healthy fats that are very easy for your body to absorb.


This list below illustrates why flaxseeds are easily categorized as a superfood:

1. High in Fiber, Low in Carbs

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flaxseeds is they contain high levels of a gel-forming fiber (mucilage) that is water-soluble and, therefore, moves through the gastrointestinal tract undigested.

Once eaten, the mucilage from flaxseeds can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine. This can increase nutrient absorption and make you feel fuller.

Because the fiber found in flaxseed is not able to be broken down in the digestive tract, some of the calories that flax contains won’t even be absorbed.

Flax is low in carbohydrates but extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which means it supports colon detoxification, may help with fat loss and can reduce sugar cravings.

Eating just two tablespoons of flaxseeds per day will provide about 20 percent to 25 percent of the daily fiber needs for most adults.

2. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

We hear a lot about the health benefits of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, because they have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

Flaxseeds contain a type of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which has been found to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, reduce inflammation, promote healthy cell function, protect arterial function and reduce heart arrhythmias.

3. Helps Make Skin & Hair Healthy

The ALA fats in flaxseeds benefit the skin and hair by providing essential fatty acids as well as B vitamins. They can help reduce dryness and flakiness of the skin and make hair shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage.

It can also improve symptoms of skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema. The same benefits also apply to eye health, as flax can help reduce dry eye syndrome due to its lubricating effects.

If you want healthier skin, hair, nails and eyes, consider adding one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your daily diet (like tossing it in a morning smoothie).

Flaxseed oil can also be mixed with essential oils and used topically as a natural skin moisturizer, as it will seep into your skin and reduce dryness.

4. Helps Lower Cholesterol

Studies have found that adding flaxseeds into your diet can naturally reduce cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of fat excreted through bowel movements.

The soluble fiber content of flaxseed traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system, so it’s unable to be absorbed. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder.

The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and therefore lowering cholesterol.

5. High in Antioxidants (Lignans)

One of the greatest benefits of flaxseed is that it’s packed with antioxidants, specifically the type called “lignans” that are unique fiber-related polyphenols.

Lignans provide us with antioxidants that help reduce free radical damage, which creates anti-aging, hormonal-balancing and cellular-regenerating effects.

Lignans are considered to be natural “phytoestrogens,” or plant nutrients that work somewhat similarly to the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens in flaxseed can alter estrogen metabolism, causing either an increase or decrease in estrogen activity depending on someone’s hormonal status (in other words, flax has both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties).

For example, in postmenopausal women, lignans can cause the body to produce less active forms of estrogen, which is tied to increased protection against tumor growth.

Lignans are also known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties. This means consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of illnesses you experience like colds and flus.

Studies have also found that the polyphenols found in flaxseed support the growth of probiotics in the gut, and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body.

6. Supports Digestive Health

One of the most well-researched benefits of flaxseed is its ability to promote digestive health.

The ALA in flax can help reduce inflammation and protect the lining of the GI tract. The fiber found in flaxseeds provides food for friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.

Since flax is very high in soluble and insoluble fiber, it’s quite helpful for maintaining normal bowel movements. Flaxseed is considered to be one of the best natural remedies for constipation, because it can help bulk up stool and flush waste from the GI tract due to its gel-like quality.

You’ll also benefit from getting lots of magnesium from flax, a nutrient that promotes digestive health by hydrating stool and relaxing the muscles in the GI tract.

7. May Help Prevent Cancer

As part of a healthy diet, flaxseeds may be able to help prevent certain types of cancer including breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. For this reason, flax is typically included in natural approaches to helping prevent and treat cancer.

The lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol (types of estrogens), which is believed to be how flax naturally helps balance hormones. Balanced hormones (meaning not too little or too much estrogen and progesterone) can help reduce the risk of breast cancer and other hormonal problems in women.

For similar reasons, studies have found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

8. Can Help with Weight Loss

Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it helps you feel satisfied for longer. This means you may wind up eating fewer calories overall, which may lead to weight loss.

The ALA fats in flax may also help reduce inflammation and help with hormonal balance, which might be standing in the way of you losing weight. An inflamed body tends to hold on to excess weight,

Plus, it’s common to struggle with digestive issues like constipation and bloating if you’ve been eating a diet low in fiber and antioxidants.

9. Helps Decrease Menopausal & Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms

The lignans found in flaxseeds have been shown to have many benefits for menopausal women. In fact, flaxseed can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in some cases, or as a complementary approach to balancing hormones due to the estrogenic properties that lignans have.

Due to flax’s ability to balance estrogen, flaxseeds may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even benefit menstruating women by helping to maintain cycle regularity.


Here are some simple ways to include 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal or oil into your daily diet:

  • Add it to a morning smoothie or get flax from this delicious daily superfood shake (which I drink every single day).)
  • Bake flaxseeds into muffins, cookies and breads like this easy and delicious bread recipe.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water to make a plant-based egg for vegan recipes.
  • Sprinkle flaxseeds over salads.
  • Mix flaxseeds into soups.


You can usually find flaxseed in the bulk bins of health food stores. You can also find it here on amazon.

Cheers to enjoying a simple superfood that can greatly enhance your health!

With love and gratitude,


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