How Much Flaxseed per Day Is Best for You?

Have you ever eaten flaxseed in any form? If not, it should interest you to know that flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. The small seeds that come in brown, golden or tan colors have been in use in many countries for about 30,000 years. The shiny seeds have many health benefits, including weight loss, regulation of blood sugar and control of inflammation. But how much flaxseed to have daily is good for you?

How Much Flaxseed per Day

 

Most nutrition experts recommend a daily intake of one to two tablespoons of flaxseeds. Grounded flaxseed are recommended as they can be absorbed better compared to flaxseed oil or the whole seeds. Following are specific suggestions on how to take flaxseeds:

1.     For Weight Loss

How much?

Take 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds for each 100 pounds body weight. You may begin with ½ tablespoon and build it up as your body gets accustomed to it.

The abundant fiber in flaxseed helps in weight loss by giving you a feeling of fullness, and the omega-3 fatty acids enhance metabolism. This combination helps you eat less, store less fat and break down stored fat for energy supply.

2.     For Constipation

How much?

Take two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseeds, and a lot of water (about 10 times the amount of flaxseeds). 

How much flaxseed per day if you have constipation? Flaxseeds contain mucilage, a slimy material that can temporarily cover the lining of the gut, thus helping to eliminate constipation by aiding movement of the contents in the digestive system. The fiber content also helps relieve constipation.

3.     During Pregnancy

How much?

Take one tablespoon daily during pregnancy. You may need to consult your doctor before taking flaxseeds.

Flaxseeds contain many necessary nutrients for pregnancy, including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Fiber enhances digestion, and prevents constipation, and omega-3 helps to lower cholesterol levels which can reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Flaxseeds also help stabilize blood sugar levels, and protect against irritable bowel disease.

Reasons Why You Should Eat Flaxseed Everyday

Now you know how much flaxseed per day is good for you, then you may want to know why you should consume it daily.

1.     Flaxseeds Improve Heart Health

High cholesterol level is associated with cardiovascular problems including heart disease. Various studies have shown that consumption of flaxseeds helps lower cholesterol levels as they contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acid. Consumption of 30 grams of ground flaxseeds per day lowers LDL cholesterol level more efficiently than taking cholesterol lowering medications.

2.     Flaxseeds Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is one of the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Characteristics of the syndrome include excess belly fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome can affect your long-term health due to reduced energy resulting from glucose and insulin resistance.

Consumption of flaxseeds can help treat this condition. A study conducted recently found that making flaxseeds part of your daily diet helps to reduce obesity and the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. 

3.     Flaxseeds Reduce Inflammation

While normal inflammation is a natural process in the healing process, excess inflammation can cause many health problems, including damage to joints, arteries and tissues. Causes of excess inflammation include toxins, unhealthy diet and free radicals. Taking a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients including vitamins and minerals can help reduce inflammation.

Besides omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds contain lignans. The two are believed to help reduce inflammation. One study reported that adding flaxseeds to the daily diet of individuals with hypothalamic inflammation reduced both the inflammation and fat deposit.

4.     Flaxseeds Give Antioxidant Protection

Many research studies have found that free radicals and oxidation can cause diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular problems and some cancers. Free radicals and oxidation also damage the body and cause premature aging. Therefore, having antioxidants in your diet is very important.

Flaxseeds can help in this case. A study involved found that a flaxseeds enriched diet can reduce the production of prostaglandins, which may effectively decrease the incidence of ovarian cancer.

5.     Flaxseeds Enhance Digestion

Digestion is the foundation of good health. Efficient digestion helps you to get maximum benefits from the food you eat.

The high fiber content in flaxseeds helps move food through the digestive system at a pace that ensures maximum absorption of nutrients. Additionally, fiber supports gut health.

6.     Flaxseeds Help Relieve Menopausal Symptoms

Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens which have similar effects on the body as estrogen. Using flaxseeds can help reduce menopausal symptoms by supplementing the reduced natural estrogen production.   

7.     Flaxseeds Reduce Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance leads to arteriosclerosis, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The problem begins when cells are unable to receive insulin and glucose, thus failing to produce the required energy.

Studies have found that regular consumption of flaxseeds helps to reduce insulin resistance in glucose-intolerant and obese people. How much flaxseed per day in this situation depends on your body weight. However, one to two tablespoons is generally sufficient.

Tasty Flaxseed Recipes

1. Flax Seed Smoothie


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 1 cup soy milk, flavored
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries, chilled
  • ½ cup chopped bananas, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Garnish: 2 banana slices and 2 strawberries

Directions

  • Blend the flax seeds, bananas, strawberries, soy milk and honey into a smooth and frothy mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into two glasses.
  • Garnish with banana slice and strawberry and serve.

2. Flax Seed Raita

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd
  • 1 cup freshly beaten low-fat curd
  • ½ cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin seeds 
  • ¼ teaspoon black salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons roasted and ground flax seeds
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Put the bottle gourd in one cup of water, cover and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat.
  • Put the other ingredients in a deep bowl, add the cooked gourd and mix thoroughly.
  • Put in the refrigerator for about one hour before serving.
 
 
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