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Flax, also known as linseed, is a nutrient-dense and fiber-rich crop with multiple uses. Flax is grown for its seeds, which can be ground into flaxseed meal, pressed into an oil, or spun into linen.

Some people believe that flax seeds can be used in your diet as a way to jumpstart or speed up weight loss. Studies on this are conflicting, but there is reason to believe that flax seeds can help some people lose weight.

The health benefits of flax seed come from its unique nutritional properties and molecular composition.

Full of fiber

Flax seeds are rich in fiber. When you eat foods that are high in fiber, you feel full for longer. This can help suppress your desire to eat if you’re cutting calories for weight loss. Additionally, your digestive tract is stimulated by foods rich in fiber.

Eating fiber is essential to moving food through your intestines and keeping your colon free of obstructions. It’s also instrumental in stabilizing blood sugar and, yes, helping you reach a healthy weight.

Source of omega-3 fatty acids

Flax seeds are also packed with omega-3 chain fatty acids, which have proven health benefits. They can reduce inflammation (which can contribute to heart disease), help fight autoimmune diseases, and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. What’s not so clear is if these fatty acids bear a direct connection to jump-starting weight loss.

A 2011 study on how omega-3s affect weight loss in a program with diet and exercise showed little to no effect. Anecdotally, many people support the claim that omega-3s make losing weight easier. More research is needed to prove or disprove their effect.

Source of lignin

Lignin is a complex polymer found in the cell walls of many plants. It gives plant matter a woody or stiff texture. Researchers are finding that lignin has many benefits that they were previously unaware of.

Lignins may reduce blood pressure, and may aid in weight loss, according to recent studies. Flax seeds are rich in this plant material.

If you’re interested in using flax seeds for weight loss, there are two popular ways to try it. Keep in mind that everyone’s body will react differently to flaxseed supplements, and your results may vary in terms of weight loss.

Remember that flax seeds aren’t a magical ingredient. They won’t create a calorie deficit all by itself, without a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Ground flaxseed weight loss drink

You can make your own flaxseed weight loss drink by grinding flax seeds, or you can purchase ground flax seeds. This drink may boost metabolism, help you feel satiated for longer, and improve your digestion.

To make this drink, you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground flax seed (you can grind the seeds in advance and refrigerate them)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 6 to 8 ounces hot water

Combine the ground flax seed with the hot water and stir well. Add the lemon wedge to your glass and give it a squeeze for some flavor and a boost of vitamin C. You can drink this once per day while you’re trying to lose weight.

Flaxseed oral supplements

Oral flaxseed supplements, which contain pressed flaxseed oil, have less fiber content than raw flax seeds, but can be more convenient. You can take these supplements once per day to complement your weight loss plan.

Flax seeds are safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. But there are some things to keep in mind before you take flax seeds to lose weight.

Don’t consume raw or unripe flax seeds. Not only will they cause indigestion, they may also contain toxic compounds.

Flaxseed supplements should be avoided during pregnancy, because they trigger hormonal side effects. We don’t know much about the safety of taking flax seeds while you’re nursing.

If you’re using flax seeds in any form, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water. If you’re not hydrated enough when you use flaxseed supplements, your body won’t be able to digest the excess fiber in your body properly. This can result in stomach cramps and constipation.

Flax seed’s nutritional composition mean that it’s not just a weight loss aid. When you’re consuming flax seeds, you’re getting additional health benefits. Some of these benefits have been more clearly defined and researched than flax seed’s claim to help in weight loss. These benefits include:

  • lowering cholesterol
  • improving digestion
  • supporting a healthy kidney
  • reducing risk of certain cancers
  • cardiovascular support

You can purchase ground flax seeds at many grocery and health food stores. You can also purchase flaxseed products online. Flaxseed oil capsules and pure flaxseed oil are also available anywhere that health food and dietary supplements are sold. Check out these products available on Amazon.

Flax seeds can be beneficial for weight loss because of their unique nutritional properties. While they carry real benefits, they’re not a magic ingredient. Flax seeds work best as a complement to a healthy diet and exercise routine, not in place of one.