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8 Surprising Benefits of Flax Seeds | Nutrition Meet

Weight Loss, Diabetes

Flax seeds are the versatile, oldest crop in the world [1]. It is said that it is native to Egypt; however, with growing popularity, it is grown in different parts of the world, such as Europe, South America, and Asia. Popularity probably because of the health benefits of flax seeds and especially as weight loss flax seeds.

Therefore, the focus of this article is Flax seed’s benefits, especially health benefits; how to achieve weight loss with flax seeds; and flax seed’s nutritional value.

Benefits of Flax Seeds

1. Versatile in nature – Benefits of Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are versatile in nature; they can be used in various dishes, either grounded, whole, or flax seed oil.

You may,

  • · simply add flax seeds to water and consume
  • · prepare fruit flaxseed muffins
  • · Flax seed “raita”
  • · Add to your morning cereals or oatmeal
  • · Add grounded flax seeds to the sandwich with the addition of mayonnaise.
  • · Etc.

As a matter of fact, flax seeds are also called linseed, but there is a twist to the tale; linseed is used in industries used for various reasons, specifically fabric production, and flaxseed is used when it is used for dietary purposes, i.e., human consumption [1].


Flax seeds are versatile since they can easily blend with various numerous types of dishes, and these dishes can shower people with the health benefits of flax seeds.

2. High in fiber and Omega3 fatty acids

On average, a healthy person should consume 14g of fiber per 1000 Kcal, and flax seed’s fiber content is 2.73g per gram; hence, consumption of 5 g of flax seeds accounts for 30% of daily dietary fiber [3, 4].

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the main functional component serving as a source of flax seed omega-3 fatty acids in a vegetarian diet. One tablespoon (approx. 12.35g) of flax seeds has 2.35g of alpha-linolenic acid, whereas one tablespoon of flaxseed oil (~13.6 g) contains 7.24 g of ALA acids.

Moreover, alpha-linolenic acid is among the essential fatty acids that the body derives from food [5]. A plethora of studies found that ALA may lower the risk of stroke.


Flax seed is an excellent source of high fiber and Omega 3, which makes it ideal for inclusion in various diets to get the benefits like regular bowel movement, improved digestion, better heart health, etc.

3. Do flax seeds lower cholesterol?

In a study with 17 young adults, within seven days, a 12 to 15% of reduction in both total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively, was observed as compared to the control group, with the consumption of flaxseeds water [6].

Similar results were obtained in other publications in which, for three months, 5 g of flaxseed gum per day consumed by type 2 diabetes lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 10 and 16%, respectively [7].

Nevertheless, analysis of the effect of flax seed on lowering both total and LDL cholesterol was effective, but surprisingly flaxseed oil was ineffective [6].


The high fiber content in flax seeds can regulate cholesterol levels.

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4. Flax seeds and cancer

Cancer is a burden on the economy of the country and has a detrimental effect on patients if diagnosed. According to the “American cancer society,” 1.9 million new cases will be detected in this year of 2022, and approx. 609360 people lost their lives in the US [8].

The Omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, lignan, or fiber are the nutrients present in flaxseeds has antioxidant and antitumorigenic properties [11].

Flaxseeds lignans, an anti-inflammatory molecule, predominantly through a series of biochemical changes that get converted structurally, like estrogen, and bind to cell receptors to decrease the growth of breast cancer cells. However, this study is restricted to clinical levels in an animal model [9].

Flax generally increases the levels of lignans 75-800 times as compared to other plant foods [10].

In animal studies, it is also found that flaxseed alpha-linolenic acids have the potential to suppress the growth, size, and proliferation of cancer cells and, eventually, breast cancer cell death [12].


The nutrients like lignan and omega-3 fatty acids of flax seed may help in cancer cell growth in breast cancer and other types of cancer.

5. Flax seeds benefits for diabetes

Diabetes is one kind of metabolic disorder that at least one member of most homes in the world is fighting. But there is no fixed cure for it.

Significantly, Whole flax seed consumption in trials has been shown to lower insulin resistance and has significant glycemic control. However, the consumption of flax seed oil and lignan extra do not have a similar potential to lower blood glucose levels [13].

In the lowering of blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients, soluble fiber plays a role since it slowdowns the process of sugar absorption in the blood. The proof of this hypothesis is that the oil of flax seed lacks fiber and hence does not significantly affect blood glucose levels upon consumption [13, 14, 15].


Flax seeds, especially whole flax seed, not flax seed oil, are highly effective in lowering blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetic patients.

6. Flax seeds for weight loss

Obesity is the major cause of stress and anxiety; low self-esteem needs to be addressed seriously. In some females, obesity is not only the product of a bad lifestyle. Instead, there are health conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that lead to weight gain.

Nonetheless, a trial with 41 patients with PCOS in which they were asked to eat flax seeds powder (30 g/day) with moderate lifestyle modification or only lifestyle modification. At the end of the trial group with flaxseed, consumption showed a prominent reduction in body weight and a significant reduction in insulin resistance [16].

Otherwise also, irrespective of gender and cause of obesity, flax seeds have an inverse relation with obesity; specifically, flax whole seeds can be consumed for weight management and weight loss in overweight participants [17, 18].

The high fiber content of the flax seeds is associated with increased perceived satiety and significantly regulates appetite [19].


The high fiber, the potential to lower insulin resistance, etc., works in favor of weight loss with the consumption of flax seeds.

7. Flax seed for heart health

Omega-3 content in flax seed is approx. 50 -60% and omega-3 fatty acids have cardioprotective effects. Therefore, in the trial, when participants supplemented with 5 g of flax seed oil significantly improved Triglyceride levels and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) [20].

An older study provided data where whole flax seeds, not flax seeds oil, could suppress the progression of atherosclerosis (fat build-up in the artery wall). In contrast, flax seed oil predominantly suppresses white blood cells product that is oxygen radical and prolonged bleeding time [21].


The improvement in triglycerides and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is observed with the consumption of as low as 5 g of Flax seeds hence can maintain better health of the heart.

8. Flax seeds benefits for skin health

In Ayurveda, flax seeds are used for many of its preparation, and according to Ayurvedic doctors, massaging the skin with flax seed oil can moisturize and reduce wrinkles [22].

Similar results were also provided by research; daily intake of flax seed oil profoundly decreases the sensitivity (after nicotinate irritation), skin roughness and scaling, and increases the smoothness of the skin with locked hydration [23].


The application of Flax seed oil can give you smooth skin with a moisture lock.


How to eat flax seeds?

Flax seeds offer diverse consumption options: add to water, use in salad dressing, sprinkle over cereal or oatmeal, blend into smoothies, or incorporate into baked goods. These versatile seeds provide numerous health benefits for a balanced diet.

What is the flax seeds’ nutritional value?

The values are per 100g [2]
Protein: 18.3 g
Fiber: 27.3 g
Calcium: 255 mg
Iron: 5.73 mg
Magnesium: 392 mg
Phosphorus: 642 mg
Potassium: 813 mg
Zinc: 4.34 mg
Selenium: 25.4 mcg
Vitamin B6: 473 mcg
Folate: 87 mcg
Choline: 78.7 mg
Vitamin E: 31 mcg
Vitamin K: 4.3 mcg
PUFA’s: 28.7 g
MUFA’s: 7.53 g

What are flax seed’s side effects?

An increase in the dose of flax seeds in the diet may cause repeated bowel movements throughout the day, bloating, gas, stomachache, and nausea.

How much Flax seed do you need a day?

Most of the trials conducted that may be related to weight loss, blood glucose level, cholesterol reduction, etc., approx. one tablespoon (approx. 7 g) of ground flaxseed per day. Nevertheless, one can consume 4-5 tablespoons which are 28-35 grams.

Written by

Sobin S. Gupta (MSc)

Sobin S. Gupta is a multifaceted professional—nutritionist, researcher, writer, and diabetes educator. She founded "Nutrition Meet," dedicated to educating the community on preventing and curing chronic diseases. With a passion for health and wellness, Sobin empowers individuals to take control of their well-being through informed dietary choices.

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