Flax seeds, like all seeds, are a good source of polyunsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. In addition, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance.
Many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied. Flax seed is also high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, all vital to human health.
Today, flax seed is found in all kinds of foods, from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. Although flax seed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flax seed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
- Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flax seed contains 75- 800 times more lignans than other plant foods
- Fiber. Flax seed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
How do flax seeds help in weight loss
It has been seen that adding flax seed oil to foods, or seeds taken with a meal, creates a feeling of satiation (feeling of fullness and satisfaction following a meal). The essential fats in flax seed oil cause the stomach to retain food for a longer period of time as compared to no-fat or low-fat foods.
The addition of flax oil to food also results in a gradual release of this combination into the small intestine. The physiological effect is a slow, sustained rise in blood sugar, then a prolonged plateau of blood sugar. Ultimately, the blood sugar undergoes a slow and gradual drop.
You will experience a corresponding feeling of prolonged energy, stamina and satisfaction with no immediate hunger pangs following the meal. The net result is that you feel fuller, longer, and actually eat fewer calories in the long run than if you would have chosen a no-fat, low-fat diet.
It may be healthy to add one to two tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed to your cereal in the morning for potentially controlling weight as well as for other health benefits. Flax seed that’s freshly ground will have more active lignans than flax seed that’s already pre-ground, so it’s best to get a small flax seed or coffee grinder to grind your own flax seed.
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