Learning More About the Benefitsof Flaxseeds

Aditi Shenai

October 31, 2023

Flaxseed is a superfood that enhances the texture and taste of any recipe. The mild, crispy and nutty flavour of these versatile seeds improves the taste of food items and provides many health benefits. Interestingly, while flaxseeds are famous for their nutritional benefits and health advantages, the same flax plant is also a source of flax fibres used in the textile industry to produce linen and other textile products.

Flaxseeds come in various forms, including whole, powdered, brown, and golden. They are also a rich source of plant protein as well as antioxidants like lignan and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA).This article explores the benefits that flaxseeds offer.  

Nutritional Profile of Flaxseeds

Although no set guidelines exist for consuming flaxseed, 1-2 tablespoons daily is considered healthy. Here is the nutritional content of 1 tablespoon of whole flaxseeds (approximately 10.3 g):

  • Calories: 55 kcal
  • Protein: 1.88 g
  • Fat: 4.35 g
  • Fibre: 2.81 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.98 g
  • Calcium: 26.3 mg
  • Magnesium: 40.4 mg
  • Phosphorous: 66.1 mg
  • Potassium: 83.7 mg
  • Folate: 8.96 µg

Please note that the nutritional content of flaxseeds can vary slightly depending on the variety of flaxseeds and how they are processed. The above values are for raw, unground, and whole flaxseeds. Grinding the flaxseeds can affect their nutritional profile, making the nutrients more accessible to the body.

Flaxseeds: Health Benefits

From the nutritional values of flaxseed, it is clear that including it in the daily diet is beneficial. Below are the many benefits that flaxseeds hold that further highlight the importance of adding flaxseeds to the daily, balanced diet. 

Flaxseeds Help With Weight Loss

Flax seeds can help to maintain optimum weight, due to their fibre content. They can make people feel full even after consuming a small quantity. That is, flax seeds can reduce cravings. This satiety power of flaxseeds is especially beneficial for those habitually snacking between meals. 

One can reduce hunger and late-night cravings by consuming 2.5 grams of ground flax seeds daily. Regular flaxseed supplementation can help reduce waist circumference, weight and body mass index. 

Flaxseeds Can Lower Blood Pressure

Another benefit of flax seeds is that they can help reduce blood pressure. So, people who have high blood pressure can add flaxseeds to their diet. Consuming around 30 g of flax seeds for at least six months can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg. The regulation will be even more effective for those already consuming medications to reduce their BP levels. 

Flaxseeds Can Reduce Diabetes Risk

The fibre in flax seeds slows down the release of sugar into the blood. Consuming 10 to 20 grams of flaxseeds daily for a month can reduce 8 to 20% of blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients. 

Flaxseeds Can Lower Cholesterol Levels

Flax seeds are also capable of reducing cholesterol levels as a result of their high fibre content. There was a 17% decrease in the cholesterol levels of those with high cholesterol when they consumed flaxseed powder every day for three months. They may experience up to a 17% decrease in their cholesterol level or nearly 20% for those with “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. 

In addition to reducing bad cholesterol, flaxseeds can increase “good” HDL cholesterol by 12%. One can achieve it by consuming just a teaspoon of flaxseed powder daily for a month. 

Flaxseeds Can Help Lower Cancer Risk

Flaxseeds can lower the risk of developing different types of cancer as they are rich in lignans. Lignans are plant compounds that have oestrogen and antioxidant properties. Compared to other plant foods, the content of lignans in flaxseeds is around 800 times higher. 

Lignans in flax seeds can lower the risk of breast cancer, especially among premenopausal women. They are also capable of reducing the growth of tumours in patients who have breast cancer. Higher consumption of flax seeds and a balanced diet reduce the risk of developing skin, prostate, and colon cancers. 

Flaxseeds Can Support Women’s Health

Flaxseeds offer distinctive advantages for women’s health. Their rich content of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen, can help in various ways. Firstly, they may enhance fertility by promoting regular ovulation and hormonal equilibrium, potentially increasing the chances of conception. 

For post-menopausal women, flaxseeds protect against cardiovascular issues, contributing to heart health. The science behind these benefits lies in lignans’ ability to exert a mild estrogenic effect, aiding in hormonal regulation and overall well-being, making flaxseeds a valuable addition to a woman’s diet.


Flaxseeds, rich in health benefits, aid weight management by reducing cravings and promoting fullness. They also help lower blood pressure and mitigate diabetes risk by regulating blood sugar. These seeds excel in cholesterol control, decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol while elevating “good” HDL cholesterol. Their lignan-rich content reduces cancer risks, particularly breast cancer, and supports women’s health by promoting fertility and hormonal balance. Flaxseeds are a simple yet effective addition to your daily diet for overall well-being.

Healthy Recipes With Flaxseeds

Strawberry – Banana Green Smoothie

This Strawberry-Banana Green Smoothie can be a great addition to breakfast. This healthy drink will only take five minutes to prepare.


  • Banana medium length: 1
  • Baby spinach: 50 g
  • Flaxseeds: 1 tbsp
  • Frozen strawberries: 6 
  • Low-fat Greek yoghurt: 50 g
  • Nonfat milk: 50 g

Method of Preparation

  • Chop banana, spinach and strawberries.
  • Add yoghurt, milk and flaxseeds into a bowl. 
  • Add the mixture into a blender and puree them until smooth. 
  • Once ready, pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy. 

Whole-grain Bread

One loaf of this bread will have ten servings and take four hours to prepare. 


  • Avocado or extra-virgin olive oil: 25 g
  • Baking powder: 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda: ½ tsp
  • Buttermilk: 225 ml
  • Eggs large size: 3 
  • Flaxseed: 3 tbsp
  • Pumpkin seeds (Unsalted): 50 g
  • Rolled oats: 150 g
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 3 tbsp
  • Sunflower seeds (unsalted): 50 g
  • Whole-wheat flour: 300 g

Method of Preparation

  • First, proceed to preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking oil.
  • Combine flaxseeds, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds and then toast them in medium heat. Keep stirring and heating them until it is light brown, which will take around five to seven minutes. 
  • Shift two tablespoons of the seed mixture into another bowl and transfer the rest into a large bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then whisk them well to combine. 
  • Break and whisk the eggs in another medium bowl, then add oats, oil, buttermilk and honey.
  • Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  • Continue stirring and fold them until they combine well. 
  • Once combined, scrape the batter into a prepared pan and sprinkle the seeds. 
  • Bake it until golden brown, which will take 45 to 55 minutes. 
  • Let the loaf cool in the pan for around 30 minutes, and then shift it to a wire rack to cool it. 

Possible Side Effects of Flaxseeds

Hormonal Balance Concerns

Flaxseeds contain compounds known as lignans, which have phytoestrogenic properties. These compounds can interact with estrogen receptors in the body, potentially affecting hormonal balance. As a result, individuals who are already dealing with hormonal imbalances or conditions like endometriosis may want to exercise caution when consuming flaxseeds. The phytoestrogens in flaxseeds could mimic or interfere with the body’s natural estrogen, which may not be suitable for those with estrogen-sensitive conditions.

Pregnancy Considerations

Pregnant women are often advised to be cautious with flaxseed consumption due to its phytoestrogen content. While phytoestrogens are not the same as the oestrogen produced by the body, there is concern that excessive consumption during pregnancy could potentially affect the developing fetus. It’s generally recommended for pregnant women to consult their healthcare providers before adding flaxseeds to their diet to ensure it’s safe in their specific circumstances.

Potential Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may have allergies to flaxseeds, which can lead to various digestive discomforts. Allergic reactions to flaxseeds might manifest as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, or stomach aches. If you suspect you may be allergic to flaxseeds or have experienced adverse digestive symptoms after consuming them, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.


It’s essential to be mindful of the potential side effects of flaxseeds. Flaxseeds contain lignans with phytoestrogenic properties, which may influence hormonal balance, making them a consideration for individuals with hormonal imbalances or conditions like endometriosis. Pregnant women should exercise caution due to concerns about the effects of phytoestrogens on fetal development, consulting healthcare providers for personalised guidance. Allergic reactions can lead to digestive discomfort, so if you suspect allergies or experience adverse digestive symptoms, seek professional evaluation. Though flaxseeds offer health advantages, it’s wise to assess their suitability based on your unique circumstances.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Start adding flaxseeds gradually to your intake if you are trying them for the first time. They can tend to have a slightly soapy texture when you consume them plain so instead add them to your mid morning fruit cup or to your salad at lunch time. And a great way to up your family’s flax intake is to freshly grind some flaxseeds and add it to your whole wheat flour while making rotis, thereby making your roti even healthier.


Flax seeds are versatile seeds that can help improve health when consumed regularly. They offer excellent nutritional value and many health benefits, making them an ideal choice in any diet plan. One of the best health benefits flaxseeds provide is their ability to help lose weight.

One can consume flaxseeds in many ways, including as an ingredient in smoothies, pudding, or an addition to whole-grain breads. However, it is essential to consume them in the recommended quantities and ensure no allergic reaction to flax seeds before regular consumption.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are flaxseeds?

A: Flaxseeds are tiny, nutrient-rich, versatile seeds derived from flax pants that offer several health benefits. They are high in fibre, protein and healthy fat content. Individuals include flax seeds and consume them to help manage weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and provide other essential nutrients. 

Q: How are flaxseeds typically consumed?

A: Flaxseeds are consumed ground or whole. One can add them to yoghurt, smoothies, or baked goods for a nutritional boost. Flax seeds sometimes substitute eggs in vegan recipes because of their binding properties when mixed with water.

Q: What are the nutritional components of flaxseeds?

A: Flaxseeds are rich in essential nutrients like dietary fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and high-quality protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals like folate, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Q: Are flaxseeds a good source of dietary fibre?

A: Yes, flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fibre. They are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, capable of supporting digestive health. They also help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Q: Can flaxseeds help with weight management?

A: Yes, flaxseeds can help with weight management. Their high fibre content promotes a feeling of fullness, thus reducing appetite. Therefore, this further leads to the consumption of fewer calories, making them a great addition to a weight management plan.

Q: Do flaxseeds have any potential benefits for heart health?

A: Yes, flaxseeds are great in helping improve heart health. Their high dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acid content help reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease cardiovascular disease risk.

Q: How do flaxseeds support digestive health?

A: Flaxseeds support digestive health with the help of their high-fibre content. They can regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation, and maintain a healthy digestive system. Flaxseeds’ soluble fibre also contributes to a healthy gut microbiome, promoting overall digestive well-being.

Q: Can flaxseeds be included in a diabetic-friendly diet?

A: Yes, flaxseeds can be part of a diabetic-friendly diet. Their high fibre content helps stabilise blood sugar levels by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Therefore, this makes them a valuable addition to the diet of individuals with diabetes.

Q: Are there any potential side effects of consuming flaxseeds?

A: Flaxseeds can have some side effects if consumed more than the recommended amount. They trigger digestive discomforts, such as gas, bloating, or diarrhoea. Additionally, some people may be allergic to flaxseeds, so monitoring for adverse reactions is essential.

Q: What are the effects of flaxseeds on cholesterol levels?

A: Flaxseeds can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. Their high fibre content helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Flaxseeds can also increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels, improving overall cholesterol profiles.

Q: Can flaxseeds help with reducing inflammation?

A: Yes, flaxseeds can help reduce inflammation. They have alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming flaxseeds as part of a balanced diet can contribute to a reduction in inflammation.

Q: Do flaxseeds have any impact on hormone regulation?

A: Because of their high lignan content, flaxseeds can impact hormone regulation. These plant compounds with antioxidant properties can mimic oestrogen in the body. They can help regulate oestrogen levels, thus potentially benefiting women’s health, especially during menopause, and potentially reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.

Q: What are the benefits of flaxseeds for skin and hair health?

A: Flaxseeds offer several benefits for skin and hair health. Their omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant properties promote healthier skin by reducing inflammation and maintaining moisture. 

Q: How can flaxseeds be used in cooking and recipes?

A: For a nutritional boost, grind flaxseeds into a powder and add them to smoothies, oatmeal, or baked goods. One can also use them as a vegan egg substitute in recipes or as a crunchy element to savoury dishes.

Q: What is the recommended daily intake of flaxseeds for adults?

A: The recommended daily intake of flaxseeds for adults can vary. A general intake guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily to reap their potential health benefits.

Research Sources

The USDA values for Flaxseeds

Flaxseed dietary fibre supplements for suppression of appetite and food intake

The effect of flaxseed supplementation on body weight and body composition: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 45 randomised placebo-controlled trials

Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients

Flaxseed-a potential functional food source

An open-label study on the effect of flax seed powder (Linum usitatissimum) supplementation in the management of diabetes mellitus

Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components: can they play a role in reducing the risk of and improving the treatment of breast cancer?

About the Author

M.Sc in: Dietetics and Applied Nutrition from Manipal University. Worked: All over India and have been involved in helping set up nutrition departments in start ups. Interested in lifestyle based nutrition. Mantra: A healthy lifestyle isn't a choice to be made or discarded, it's a way of life!

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