Is flaxseed good for weight loss? Flaxseed has been found to have benefits in helping lose weight, especially when it is ground or used in its oil form. In our truth series of the best seeds for shedding excess weight, here are the health benefits of flaxseed on weight loss and how to use it, some reviews and testimonials from real people.
Flaxseed oil has many health benefits and that is why it is listed as one of the healthiest foods to include in your weight loss diet. These seeds are also called linseeds and are a very rich source of important macronutriends. According to Medical News Today (see sources at the end), the seeds come from the flax tree which is “one of the oldest fiber crops in the world – known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China.”
There are two types of flax seeds: brown flaxseed and golden flaxseed. Both of them have a closely similar nutritional profile and can be used just about in the same way.
The American Nutrition Association notes that flax seeds are the best natural laxatives available and are generally used for weight loss primarily because of their ability to absorb water and swell up to three times its dry volume.
Before we see how to use flaxseed for weight loss, here are the nutritional and health benefits of eating flaxseed or using its oil.
General Uses and Benefits of Flaxseed
Flax seeds make one of the best source of linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid, the two essential fatty acids that are essential for human health. They are also an important source of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Here are the health benefits of using flaxseed oil or eating these small seeds.
- A research by the Lowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center has shown that including flaxseed in your diet will lower cholesterol levels.
- The seeds are also useful in improving blood sugar levels, making them beneficial for obese men and women.
- The concentration of healthy fatty acids in flaxseeds is beneficial in reducing bone loss according to a study done on diabetic rats.
- Preliminary research has revealed that consuming these seeds will help improve your immune system.
Other benefits that are not related to fat loss and weight loss include fighting cancer (due to antioxidant properties), improving your digestive health and preventing heart failure. So, what flaxseed weight loss benefits are known today?
Benefits of Flaxseed on Weight Reduction
Does flaxseed help with weight loss? Do they work? The principle behind these seeds, as is with most seeds such as chia seeds when used for treating excess weight is that they have the following properties:
- They make you feel full for longer. When included in your diet, the seeds will make you feel satisfied because they swell on absorbing water. When eating, you will feel full a lot faster, meaning you will eat a lot less and help your weight loss goal.
- People use flaxseed for slimming because they contain few calories. According to Nutrition Data, one ounce contains just 150 calories.
- One of the reasons why some health experts recommend using flaxseed oil for weight loss is that the oil is good at protecting the lining of the digestive tract.
Why Ground Flaxseed Weight Loss and Not Whole Grains?
According to BrainyWeightLoss, ground flax seeds are the best to use for weight reduction. Obese people or anyone who wants to use these to shed off pounds fast should consume ground ones for one simple reason:
Whole flax seeds pass through the digestive system without being digested, so it is always better to include them in your meal when they are ground.
Since wheat flour is one of the major culprits of weight gain, you can replace it with ground flaxseed in order to reduce weight fast. Remember to keep your milled flaxseed in an airtight container in the refrigerator and not for more than 90 days.
Flaxseed Oil Weight Loss
Would you prefer to use the oil? Well, it has its own advantages, although some sources indicate that the oil goes rancid too easily. You will need to refrigerate it almost all times and keep it away from light so that it does not go bad. If you have any difficulty digesting oils, avoid using this oil for slimming or getting rid of obesity.
Generally, most people use flaxseed oil as a laxative for constipation. There are reasons why the oil is important in losing excess pounds. The oil contains over 50% omega-3 and alpha linolenic acid. You might wonder why you should take in fat when you want to lose weight. Healthy fats such as omega 3 will help you lose weight as opposed to gaining it. According to Super Food Files, “…it would actually be far more difficult to lose weight without a good intake of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.”
When using capsules and supplements, ensure you use the right dosage to avoid any possible side effects.
Take this oil regularly in order to increase metabolism. Fat burning is a beneficial process for weight loss. Nutrition experts say that if you want to burn fat around the waist and belly, you should eat more essential oils such as those found in flax.
How to Use Flaxseed for Weight Loss
Now that we have seen how flaxseed helps with weight loss. But how do you use it for this goal? There are various ways on how to get more flaxseed in your daily diet including common weight loss supplements such as Nopalina and so on. Generally, the following are the various supplements and options you can take to reduce weight with this seed.
- Flaxseed pills and capsules
- Flaxseed meals
- Flaxseed oil
- Ground flaxseed sprinkles
Fiber weight loss diets are popular today because they are touted to be the healthiest and natural ways to keep weight in check. The biggest question here is how much flaxseed is good for weight loss? The University of Maryland Medical Center advises that adults should take just one tablespoon of ground flax seed two times a day. Even so, here’s how to eat flaxseed for weight loss:
- Add them to your diet and chew them as crunch foods. However, be careful because they have hard shells that might prove difficult to chew. This method is not the best for shedding off the excess pounds because whole seeds because they will be excreted unchanged.
- Flax seed smoothies are also incredible for weight loss. One such smoothie is an apple flaxseed and cinnamon smoothie. The flax will bulk up the content in your cup and enhance your satiety. The extra fiber in it will also make you feel full until lunch time and prevent cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Dr. Oz also recommends flaxseeds in his rapid weight loss plan. In his low calorie breakfast drink, you can blend 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, half a banana, 2tbsp of ground flaxseeds, 2tbsp of rice powder protein and half a cup of frozen berries to make the smoothie that will help you lose weight fast.
Flaxseed and Weight Loss Reviews
Are there people who have seen good weight reduction results with flaxseed meals? Reviews, testimonials on weight loss can come from just about anywhere and may be hard to trust. Reviews of some products and supplements of flax such as pills, diets and recipes do not necessarily show direct influence, but coupled with other efforts, the results in before and after pictures are desirable. Here are some comments I found on online forums.
“LOVE this – all natural, does what it says it does and I have definitely lost weight. My appetite has diminished greatly and my GI tract is very happy. I take 4 in the morning and 4 at night, drink lots of water and haven’t had the side effects many people seem to have.” Amazon reviews on Nopalina Flax Seed Plus Formula of 120 capsules.
“I just bought a bag……here goes! (I will change my 5 star rating if it does not work!) Purchase for weight loss…..not constipation!” Amazon reviews and testimonials.
There are not so many reviews and photo evidence to show any progress by obese or overweight people looking to lose weight with this dietary food though.
Is Flaxseed Good for Weight Loss?
Flax contains high fiber content and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Fiber will make you feel full and reduce your calorie intake
- Omega 3s are the good fat and aid in weight reduction
Given that these seeds will swell and increase in volume when in solution such as water, you will get the benefits that aid with cutting weight. However, though this functional food is good for cutting weight, it is worth noting that you must add it to your meals and diet not as a sole weightloss remedy on its own but as a good ingredient in functional program including physical activity and diet moderation.
Sources and References
- Medical News Today: What is flaxseed? What are the benefits of flaxseed?
- The American Nutrition Association: Flaxseed, a Neglected Food
- Nutrition Data: Flaxseed Nutrition Profile