What Are the Health Benefits of Flaxseed?


Quick Answer

There is evidence that flaxseed can reduce your risk of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, stroke and diabetes, according to WebMD. Other studies have shown it to also be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and lung disease.

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Full Answer

The three essential components of flaxseed that are getting the most attention are fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Fiber regulates digestive health and can have many benefits including weight loss or weight management and skin health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends Americans eat between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day, and flaxseed contains 7.6 grams per serving. The second component, called omega-3 fatty acids, have proven to lower blood triglyceride levels as well as act as an antidepressant. These can also lower the symptoms of ADHD and asthma and boost effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Lignans are phytonutrients, high in antioxidants, that support immune system health and regulate hormone production levels. Lignans also improve breast and prostate health, lower menopausal symptoms and reduce stress hormones. WebMD also states that flaxseed inhibits growth of tumors, normalizes the heartbeat and improves blood sugar levels. Although there are many benefits to flaxseed, women who are pregnant or nursing should not consume ground flaxseed in case of negative effects on the fetus.

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