Flaxseeds are still more of an insider tip among the superfoods. Goji berries, ginger and avocado have been known as such for longer and more widely. Linseed, also known as flax, also belongs to this club thanks to its active ingredients and can be healthy in the right amount.
This article explains why flaxseeds are healthy and count among the superfoods. In addition, the most important questions about the topic are answered, which enables you to decide whether flaxseed belongs on your menu plan or not.
the essentials in brief
- Flaxseeds contain a mucilage in their husk that swells when it comes into contact with water. This process expands the intestines and makes the intestinal walls more slippery.
- Flaxseeds help with constipation and have a laxative effect. They should be consumed with plenty of water to achieve the ideal swelling effect.
- In the right amount, flaxseed can have beneficial effects on digestion, hair, skin, and
Is Flaxseed Healthy: What You Should Know
Flaxseed has been used as a medicine for any ailment since ancient Greece. And today they are among the superfoods.
In addition to their healthy nutrients, the seeds primarily support digestion and have a laxative effect. Researchers have also found that it can lower blood cholesterol levels. (1) Recent studies even indicate that flaxseed may prevent prostate, breast and colon cancer. (2)
Why are flaxseeds healthy?
Flaxseed consists of about 30-45% fatty oils, 25% fiber and 25% protein. The oils contain omega-3 fatty acids , which research has shown to have many health benefits and is an essential nutrient for us. (6)
Other ingredients and nutrients include the following (13):
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- vitamin E
- nicotinic acid
- folic acid
- pantothenic acid
What is special about flaxseed is that it contains a mucilage that stimulates digestion in the intestine. When in contact with water, the swelling mucus expands the intestines and acts as a lubricant for the digesting food. (2)
Does flaxseed boost the immune system?
Whether flaxseed has a direct effect on the immune system has not been researched. However, thanks to the rich occurrence of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds promise to maintain good cardiovascular health. According to studies, omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on vessels, immune cells and a lowering effect on blood pressure. (6.7)
Are Flaxseeds Good for the Gut?
Plenty of water should be drunk to induce swelling.
Flaxseed can also help with abdominal pain, irritable bowel and colon problems by flushing the intestines well with its swelling effect. However, caution is advised if an intestinal obstruction has already occurred or if there is a risk of it. (5)
Is flaxseed healthy for hair and skin?
Human studies on flaxseed and its effect on human hair are lacking. However, based on animal studies on rabbits, it was found that the ingestion of flaxseed caused the hair to grow longer and stronger. Therefore, it can be assumed that flaxseed is healthy for the hair. (8) You can apply flaxseed oil directly to the scalp, or include flaxseed in your diet.
Flaxseed has been used medicinally since ancient Greece. (Image Source: Eva Elijas / Pexels)
Flaxseed oil and the consumption of flaxseed is also good for the skin. A study shows how the skin sensitivity and moisture in the test subjects improved after taking flaxseed. (12)
Can Flaxseed Help You Lose Weight Healthy?
Flaxseeds can help if you want to lose weight in a healthy way. Due to their high fiber content, they give you a quick feeling of fullness and the mucilage stimulates your digestion. They also stabilize the blood sugar level, which prevents ravenous hunger attacks. The high protein content can also help you build muscle. (9)
Are Flaxseeds Healthy for Children?
Flaxseeds can be good for children for exactly the same reasons that flaxseed can be good for us. They contain good and important nutrients such as proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and other important fats. Nevertheless, a doctor should be consulted first and, above all, the dosage and the administration of sufficient liquid should be observed. (5)
Is Flaxseed Healthy for Dogs and Horses?
According to veterinary studies, linseed is used by farmers in all animals. They aim to ensure the digestion, metabolism, skin health and general strengthening of the animals. For dogs it is recommended to give 1 - 2 g per day in the feed with plenty of water. (10)
In what amounts is flaxseed healthy?
Since flaxseed contains a small amount of hydrocyanic acid, nutrition experts recommend taking no more than 20 g per day. However, a distinction is made between mild and severe side effects.
No more than 15 g of flaxseed should be taken per meal, otherwise there is a risk of long-term damage due to its hydrocyanic acid content.
If 15 g of flaxseed are distributed well throughout the day, a quantity of 45 g of flaxseed per day is not necessarily harmful. It is important to note that the effects of a 45g dose have not been adequately researched. (11)
Can flaxseed be consumed daily?
As long as it's no more than 15g per meal, yes. If you want to be on the safe side, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends 20 g per day. It is important to consume flaxseed together with plenty of water, otherwise the mucus in the intestine can stick together and fail to have any effect. (2)
It is particularly popular to add crushed flaxseed to muesli. (Image source: Rachael Gorjestani / Unsplash)
In what form is flaxseed healthy?
The active ingredient in flaxseeds is in their husks. Therefore, they have a stronger effect when broken up; means ground, crushed or crushed. (2)
Whole flaxseed kernels may travel through the intestines undigested. However, ground flaxseed should not be stored for too long, as the released fatty acids break down quickly and they go bad. (2)
How are flaxseeds taken?
Flaxseeds can be eaten whole or crushed. Flaxseed oil can also be consumed, but it should not be heated, otherwise it will have an unpleasant smell and taste.
Ground flaxseed can be added to various baked goods and is often used in bread, bars, and even pasta. Additionally, they can be added to many meals in the form of oil or crushed seeds. It is important not to forget to drink enough water.
What healthy flaxseed recipes are there?
Flaxseeds go well with many dishes. They are particularly popular in muesli and puddings, but they are also delicious in pasta dishes. Here are 3 examples of healthy flaxseed recipes:
|Fruit quark with linseed oil||1||3 tbsp quark, 3 tbsp milk, 2 tbsp linseed oil, 1 fruit of your choice, 1 tsp ground linseed, 1 tsp honey||1. mix all ingredients except fruit and seeds, 2. chop fruit and mix in with seeds|
|Leek Flaxseed Spaghetti||4||500g spaghetti, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 leeks, 4 tablespoons of linseed, 200 ml of warm water||1. Soak the flaxseeds in water for 10 minutes, 2. Cook the spaghetti while frying the garlic in oil, 3. Cut the leek into strips and add the flaxseed and water to the garlic and stew, 4. Put the finished spaghetti in the pan and stir in, serve with Parmesan|
|Flax Pudding||1||2 tablespoons flaxseeds, 100-150 ml plant-based milk (almond milk), honey, maple or agave syrup||1. Crush flaxseed with a universal chopper and place in milk in the refrigerator overnight. 2. The next day, if necessary, liquefy with milk and sweeten with honey or syrup|
When should flaxseed not be taken?
Flaxseeds have an effect on the intestines, so if you have any previous illnesses with the intestines, you should avoid the seeds or discuss their intake with a doctor. (5)
With flaxseed, there can be minimal hormonal events, which is why consumption of flaxseed is not recommended during pregnancy. The effects during breastfeeding have not yet been well researched, so it is worth asking a doctor for advice. (5)
Since taking flaxseed can delay the absorption of medication, the drug should be taken half an hour before or after consuming flaxseed. (5)
What alternatives are there to flaxseed?
Flaxseeds aren't the only healthy superfood seeds. The following foods can also be used as alternatives:
Both seeds also aid in digestion and must be consumed with plenty of fluids.
Flea seeds work the same as flaxseeds. In their shell there is a mucilage that swells with water in the intestine and promotes digestion. They are against constipation, help with irritable bowel problems and hemorrhoids. (3)
Chia seeds are very well known and are often mixed into muesli. The seeds have the same swelling effect as flaxseed and are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. But they have to be imported and are therefore not cheap. (4)
Flaxseed can be healthy as long as it is taken in the right amount, no more than 15g per meal, and with enough water. Their richness in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber are considered particularly healthy. Due to the mucilage in the shell, they are also natural laxatives and help with constipation and digestive problems. They can also be administered to animals and children in any form.
They are particularly effective when they are broken up, i.e. crushed, ground or as an oil. In addition, flaxseed can not only help with digestion, but also improve skin suppleness and hair health. Because flaxseed causes a quick feeling of fullness and stimulates digestion, it can be a good companion when trying to lose weight.
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