What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed?

Flaxseed offers a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, manganese, micronutrients and omega-3, an essential fatty acid. The nutrients within flaxseed may work to improve heart health, shrink tumors or reduce the risk of certain cancers, and improve blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes.

The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed provides anti-inflammatory action and normalizes the heartbeat. Ingesting flaxseed may also help to lower blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries, both necessary components of maintaining a healthy heart and preventing cardiovascular disease. The healthy ingredients within flaxseed may also help to reduce inflammation that results from certain diseases and to reduce plaque buildup within the arteries to prevent strokes or heart attacks.

Ground flaxseed may also help to reduce the intensity of hot flashes in women of menopausal age. Cancer patients may benefit from flaxseed. Studies have suggested that incorporating flaxseed into a daily diet may have a protective effect against colon, prostate and breast cancer. In particular, the presence of omega-3 fatty acid may inhibit tumor growth, and lignans work to protect individuals who are at risk of breast cancer.

Consumers may buy flaxseed supplements, or they can find flaxseed incorporated into food products, including oatmeal and frozen waffles.