People who follow a plant-based diet often wonder if they can get enough Omega-3 from plants. Flaxseeds are the top choice for this. Eating flaxseeds can protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, according to nutrition experts.
Doctors often recommend Omega-3 fatty acids as “good” fats for a healthy heart. While many of these come from animals, especially fish, plant-based eaters wonder where to find these fats. Flaxseeds are the answer. They not only provide Omega-3 fatty acids but also contain dietary fiber and protein. Flaxseeds have vitamins that dissolve in water and fat, which are important for your body. Importantly, including flaxseeds in your diet can offer protection against heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Why are Flaxseeds Good for Your Health?
Flaxseeds are packed with nutrients that fight diseases. They contain 70% of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), also known as Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for reducing inflammation and maintaining heart and brain health. Flaxseeds also have monounsaturated fatty acids and saturated fats. A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds contains about 1.8 grams of plant-based Omega-3s. Flaxseeds also have lignans, similar to estrogen, which act as antioxidants and fight inflammation. They contain significantly more lignans than other plant foods.
Additionally, flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which is great for your gut health.
Benefits of Eating Flaxseeds
Heart Health: Studies suggest that diets rich in flaxseed Omega-3s can prevent artery hardening and plaque buildup, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Flaxseeds can lower total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels, as well as help lower blood pressure.
Blood Sugar and Diabetes: The lignans and soluble fiber in flaxseeds improve insulin sensitivity, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes them helpful in managing blood sugar in diabetes, though they should be used alongside prescribed medications.
Gut Health: Flaxseeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber stabilizes blood sugar, while insoluble fiber promotes a healthy gut and regular bowel movements. This prevents constipation and supports a healthy gut ecosystem, reducing the risk of gut-related issues.
Including Flaxseeds in Your Diet
You can eat flaxseeds whole, ground, or as oil. Whole seeds have the best Omega-3 content. You can sprinkle a teaspoon over salads, oats, or cereals. Flaxseed powder can be added to soups for a nutty flavor. Flaxseed oil has a lot of ALA but doesn’t last long, so ground seeds are often preferred. Two tablespoons of flaxseeds provide around 70 calories, 3g of protein, 3g of fiber, and 4.5g of fats.
Incorporate flaxseeds into your daily meals to boost your health in various ways.