Flax seeds have a somewhat dusty image as health food – quite wrongly! Because the brown seeds are now available in every drugstore and supermarket. They are also being used in more and more products, such as bread, because they not only fill you up for a long time, but are also incredibly healthy.
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Together with the nutritional scientist and food journalist Inga Pfannebecker, we took a close look at these inconspicuous little seeds. Here are 8 reasons why you should eat linseed much more often in the future:
1. linseed makes you slim
You want to lose a few pounds? Regular consumption of linseed can help you achieve this. Because linseed has a high fibre content, it keeps you full for a long time and prevents ravenous attacks. The high proportion of omega-3 fats – 16.7 grams per 100 grams – also contributes to a good figure, because the unsaturated fatty acids help build muscle.
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However, the basic prerequisite for this is a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
2. linseed makes digestion work
Linseed supports digestion and provides quick relief from constipation. ” Linseed contains mucilage in its seed coat which binds water in the intestine and swells up in the process. This increases the volume of the intestinal contents, which stimulates digestion,” explains the nutrition expert.
Linseed supports the digestion and makes you slim. © Y Photo / Shutterstock.com
The author Hans-Ulrich Grimm additionally explains in the book Linseed oil makes you happy (Knaur Verlag, 18 Euro via amazon.de) that the oil from the linseed exerts a kind of lubricating effect and thus accelerates the further transport of the intestinal contents.
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Tip In order for the little helpers to swell up as much as possible and thus have the greatest possible effect on digestion, it is best to use ground linseed. You can get them in most supermarkets or online. Important: Drink a lot, otherwise the seeds themselves can promote constipation.
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Alternatively, you can grind the flax seeds yourself with a coffee grinder, so that the valuable fatty acids are retained. This is best done with a powerful electric coffee grinder (KYG , 24 Euro via amazon.de).
3. linseed strengthens the immune system
Your immune system depends on many factors. Among other things, the health of your intestines plays a role that should not be underestimated, and linseed has a positive effect on this. The fibre and swelling capacity of flaxseed provides your intestines with the best possible supply and enables them to work better.
Linseed naturally strengthens our immune system. © PageSeven / Shutterstock.com
“In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants contained in the product counteract inflammation in the body and thus improve the immune system,” explains Inga Pfannebecker.
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4. linseed strengthens the brain
Your brain consists largely of fat, part of which is omega-3 fatty acids. It is therefore not surprising that a healthy brain needs plenty of them. If you do not eat enough healthy fats, your brain’s performance suffers because the cell membranes only become flexible and permeable when omega-3 fatty acids are added.
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With your daily portion of flaxseed you strengthen your brain and provide full brain power.
5. linseed makes you happy
It is clear that linseed is not a treatment for depression. However, several studies have already shown that the consumption of flaxseed has a positive effect on mood. This is because the omega-3 fats are involved, among other things, in ensuring that communication processes in the brain function smoothly. So a cereal with linseed is just the right way to start the day.
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6. linseed makes the hair shiny
Shiny hair does not only result from the right shampoo and conditioner. “Care for your hair from the inside, because one thing is certain: thanks to their high-quality fat and the vitamins and minerals they contain, the small seeds contribute to healthy, shiny hair,” explains the nutritionist.
Flax seeds not only make you happy, they also ensure full, shiny hair. © Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com
“In addition, flaxseed, due to its hormone-like action, can curb hormonal hair loss.”
7. linseed reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases are among the most frequent causes of death in Germany. Fast food and other foods that are bursting with saturated fats significantly increase the risk. The consumption of linseed, on the other hand, protects the heart. This is because, unlike butter and many types of meat, linseed contains the good omega-3 fatty acids. These have the property of reducing blood fats and blood pressure.
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“This is mainly due to the so-called lignans, a special type of dietary fibre that can lower blood fat levels,” explains our expert. “The lignans bind the cholesterol to themselves, which is then excreted. This not only reduces the total cholesterol level, but above all the ‘evil’ LDL -which can damage our blood vessels and lead to arteriosclerosis.”
Alongside avocados, salmon and vegetable oils, linseed is one of the top Omega-3 sources. © Kerdkanno / Shutterstock.com
The explanation: Arteriosclerosis is a calcification of the blood vessels. Calcification causes the vessels to narrow, blood pressure rises, and there is a risk that a coronary vessel will become blocked, leading to a heart attack.
8. linseed prevents diabetes
If you sprinkle linseed over your cereal, the rise in blood sugar after eating will be slowed down. This is because fibre slows down digestion and ensures that the carbohydrates from the food enter the bloodstream more slowly.
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“The healthy omega-3 fats of linseed also contribute to a lower rise in blood sugar levels after a meal. Thus, regular consumption of linseed can prevent the development of diabetes mellitus type 2 and have a positive effect on already existing diabetes type 2”, Inga Pfannebecker reveals.
Best place for a portion of linseed: A nice cereal. © Yuliya Gontar / Shutterstock.com
How much flaxseed should I eat in order to achieve a positive effect?
You can consume up to 2 tablespoons of flax seed per day. However, as linseed husks – like apple seeds – contain prussic acid, you should not overdo it. Make sure that you drink enough to allow the seeds to swell and aid digestion.
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Attention: “People with intestinal problems should avoid flaxseed. Even children under 12 and pregnant women should only consume small amounts of flaxseed, for example in a muesli mix or bread, and not by the spoonful,” advises our expert.
You can use the flax seeds ground or as a whole in your diet or use the valuable oil for cold dishes. Although linseed oil does not contain any dietary fibres, it also contains no prussic acid. Moreover, linseed oil contains the highest content of omega-3 fats of all foods: an incredible 53 grams per 100 grams.
Flaxseed has it all: not only does it support healthy digestion and weight loss, it also protects your most important organs and simply makes you happy. Try it out and sprinkle these all-rounders over your muesli more often!