Have you tried using flaxseed for weight loss? These tiny golden or brown seeds are like little weight loss power packs.
My clients are always blown away when they add my suggestion for flaxseed for weight loss to their lives.
That’s because flaxseed is so easy to add to lots of foods and carry with them so many health and weight loss benefits, it’s hard to imagine life without them once you introduce them!
Flaxseed is a body-slimmer, a skin-booster, and a digestion-saver. In this post, I’ll tell you all about:
- Why flaxseed is such a powerful weight loss ingredient, can give you more beautiful skin, and prevent cancer
- Ways that you can use flaxseeds for weight loss in recipes, on snacks, and even in baking (vegan-friendly)!
- Exact guidelines and an infographic showing when to use flax vs. chia seeds for overall health and weight-loss
Flaxseed for weight loss
Flax seeds are also known as linseeds. These small seeds can be used for both food and as fiber for textiles. In fact, linen fabric is made with linseed or flax. (1)
They are small seeds that can be either brown or golden. Whichever variety you choose, both have the same health and weight loss benefits.
The best way to get the benefits of flax seeds is by consuming them ground instead of whole. This is because the whole seeds will pass through your digestive tract without it being able to break them down and extract the nutrients, so you’ll miss out on the benefits.
Grinding them fresh yourself at home is the best option. This is because the nutrients you release won’t be exposed to oxygen for as long. The longer healthy polyunsaturated fats are exposed to oxygen, the less potent they are. (2)
You can easily grind them up in a coffee grinder or small food processor. If you’re making a smoothie, you can toss flaxseed for weight loss in whole, because your blender will grind them up.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can always buy pre-ground flaxseed for weight loss. It’s still easier for your body to digest and gives you a lot of the nutrients. (3)
Always drink plenty of water when eating flaxseed for weight loss. One of its major benefits is that it gives you lots of fiber (which is great for weight loss!) but it needs water to move through your system efficiently and do its job.
Flaxseed can also make your skin look and feel better by supplying it with natural antioxidants, improving skin healing, increasing moisture, and brightening and evening out skin tone. (4)
Flaxseed and hormones
Since flaxseeds contain lignans, plant compounds that have both antioxidants and compounds similar to the hormone estrogen. Because of this, flaxseed is being researched as a possible cancer fighter with mixed results. (5)
In women, researchers are looking into how flaxseeds and other lignans can slow down breast cancer and other types of cancer that depend on estrogen. This means that flaxseeds could be particularly good for women after menopause. (6) According to some studies, flaxseed is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer in men. (7)
How much flaxseed do I need to eat to lose weight?
A tablespoon of flaxseed has 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Flaxseeds also contain two to three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared with walnuts. (8)
As I mentioned above, ground flaxseed is so good for weight loss in part, thanks to the fiber. The bulky fiber that flax seeds contain make you feel full and satisfied and also help move food through your digestive tract to clean your colon. (9)
Flaxseed for weight loss also stabilizes your blood sugar, which helps lead to a healthy weight you can happily maintain over the long-term. (10)
Omega 3 fats are another weight loss benefit of flax, which reduces inflammation and balances metabolism. (11)
Flaxseed for weight loss vs. chia seeds
Both flax and chia are excellent natural protein supplements. They work weight loss wonders for vegans and vegetarians, and everyone else!
Here are some of the differences between flax seeds and chia seeds.
Flax seeds –
- High in fiber and healthy fats
- Some protein
- Low in carbs
- Contain ALA fats (anti-inflammatory)
Flaxseed is great for weight loss because the fiber, healthy fats, and protein keep you feeling full longer, so you eat less overall. The anti-inflammatory benefits also help your body to release extra weight and water weight.
Chia Seeds –
- More soluble fiber than flax
- Less fat than flax
- Less protein than flax
- More carbs than flax
The soluble fiber in chia seeds slows digestion, ads bulk to stool, and slows glucose absorption to keep blood sugar from spiking. To read more about chia seeds, read chia seeds for weight loss.
Use flax seeds for higher protein if you need to keep carbs and calories low.
How to eat ground flaxseed for weight loss
There are so many ways to integrate flaxseed for weight loss into your healthy eating plan. Here are a few ideas to make it as easy and as fun as possible!
Ground flaxseed for weight loss drink
Try this simple drink recipe from Healthline that makes adding flax to your day as easy as drinking tea! (12)
Here are a few more ideas.
- Add 1 – 2 tablespoons to smoothies, such as these 6 low sugar smoothie to start your day.
- Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to breakfast cereal (hot or cold). Get my suggestions for the best cereal for weight loss here.
- Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed to salads and dressings
- Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into an 8-ounce container of yogurt. Preferably in yogurt from my best yogurt for weight loss.
- Bake ground flaxseed into cookies, muffins, bread and other baked goods (13)
- Make a “flax egg” instead of using a regular egg in baked goods. Here are the easy instructions for making a flax egg from Minimalist Baker. (14)