Flax Seeds for Weight Loss

To a great extent, the slimming benefits of flaxseed are due to the flaxseeds’ low carbohydrates and high omega 3 fatty acid content, these tiny seed has come in to much prominence- Flax or Linseed, also known as “Alasi” in Hindi. The benefits of Flax seed are numerous and this tiny brownish seed is packed with micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, so how does flax seed help you to loose weight?

Ground Flaxseed Lignans Benefit Metabolism

Only two foods are significant sources of lignans — flaxseeds and sesame seeds — and flaxseeds have nearly eight times more lignans than sesame seeds. Lignans are called plant phytoestrogens because bacteria in the intestine convert them into enterolignans, which subsequently exert a mild estrogenic effect in your body. Lignans may help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol. They use their antioxidant action to fight inflammation and slow down cancer growth, but more research is needed to verify their effectiveness, according to a report in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2010.

Even though research has not directly connected lignans to weight loss, the 2010 report noted that they may protect against metabolic syndrome by lowering blood levels of lipids and glucose. Their potential to reduce glucose may help you lose weight, as long as total calorie intake stays below the calories used for energy.

Fiber is processed very slowly by our body and hence gives the feeling of being “full” for a longer duration. Flax seed contains soluble and insoluble fiber. These help to lower blood cholesterol levels, let stool pass more quickly, and help in bowel movements. Flaxseed is low in carbohydrates and very low in calories. Thus it is useful for weight loss.

Flaxseed oil is over 50% omega-3 alpha linolenic acid. That’s a fat, but in contrast to the misinformation most of us have been fed about weight loss, healthy fats like omega-3s help us lose weight, not gain it. In fact, it would actually be far more difficult to lose weight without a good intake of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

The alpha linolenic acid in flaxseed oil is an essential fatty acid (EFA). Your body needs it to function correctly but cannot make it itself. You have to get it from your diet and most experts seem to think we’re not getting nearly enough of it.

Weight Loss FlaxseedOmega-6 fats like linoleic acid are also considered essential, but modern Western diets are generally very high in omega-6. In fact, it’s quite likely we are getting far too much of them.
The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is said to be at least one to five, preferably even one to two. The average American is estimated to be consuming a ratio of around 1 to 20 in favor of omega-6 fats.

This dramatic imbalance in our intake of the essential fatty acids, that are involved in so many vital processes at a cellular level within our body, is theorized to be a major factor in a variety of health issues and diseases. Inflammation conditions such as cardiovascular problems, arthritis, asthma and skin diseases are commonly discussed, but some also believe they may play a role in the current epidemic of obesity.

How to consume flax seeds for weight loss ?
Now that we have seen the connection between flax seeds and weight loss, lets see how to add them to your diet. The first thing to remember is that its best that flax seeds are not to be consumed directly, since they cannot be assimilated by the body in that form. You would first need to powder the flax seeds before using it for maximum benefit. Once powdered, store it in an airtight jar to prevent the powder from becoming rancid. The many ways in which you can use it are:

Add a teaspoon of the powder to your daily morning smoothie.
Sprinkle some flax seed powder on your cereal.
It acts as a great egg-replacement and flour replacement in bakes like cakes and muffins.
Add it to your granola bars that you can chew on when the hunger pang strikes.
Add some flax seed powder to your bread and make your breakfasts more wholesome.

Once you start using flax seeds and get used to the taste, you can experiment with the ways in which you can add it to your meals. Flax seeds are indeed a super food which will give you sustained energy and cut down your junk food intake. But by itself, flax seed is no magic ingredient that will melt away fat. Combine it with a good workout regime and you are well on your way to lose that extra weight.